10 February, 2020

3 Baby Products You Should Avoid and Why

By One Fine Baby team

Products to Avoid

It’s hard to believe that a product designed for babies could potentially harm them. Unfortunately there are baby products on the market that aren’t as ‘baby friendly’ as they seem. Here One Fine Baby expert Brittany Darling of Whole Food Healing lists three products that are a no-go, and the safe alternatives! Read the article or skip to the video below…

It’s true that harmful ingredients are found in a range of different baby products, from soap, to food and even their toys. There’s so much to think about when it comes to a new baby, and all you want to do as a parent is keep them as safe as possible. One way you can do this is by making sure you are aren’t using unnecessary and dangerous products, including vapour rub, baby oil and talcum powder.

Vapor Rub

Vapor rub is probably something you’ve reached for on a number of occasions to soothe either your own, or your child’s symptoms of coughing or congestion, however, it may cause respiratory distress in children, and even skin rashes. 

Vapor rub is petroleum based, which means that it is a byproduct of the petroleum manufacturing process. Yes, petroleum as in petrol. Not something we want to be rubbing on our little ones! Vapor rub also contains eucalyptus, camphor and menthol, which despite being natural, are too strong to use directly on a child’s skin. Camphor, in particular, has actually been shown to irritate a child’s skin, potentially causing itching or rashes. 

The ingredients in vapor rub can also act as internal irritants, causing the body to produce more mucus to protect the airway. As infants and young children have much narrower airways than adults, any increase in mucus or inflammation can narrow the airway resulting in dangerous consequences. 

A great natural alternative to vapor rub is to use a humidifier or essential oil diffuser. It’s also recommended to seek the advice of an educated Essential Oil expert to find out the best suited essential oils for your family.  

Baby products to avoid

Baby Oil

Baby oil is almost 100% mineral oil. Mineral oil is a petroleum ingredient that is derived from crude oil and is used as a metal cutting fluid. Yikes! Are you now wondering why on earth manufactures would put this ingredient into their products? Because it’s cheap and abundant, so manufacturers sell us the story that it’s good for our skin. It’s not! Here’s why…

Mineral oil coats the skin like glad wrap, blocking pores and preventing the skin from being able to breathe and release toxins. The result? Skin conditions including rashes and acne but it can also affect the natural functions of the skin. As the skin is the body’s largest organ of elimination, this can lead to serious health hazards, particularly for babies. 

So ditch the baby oil and instead choose natural and nourishing oils such as olive, coconut, or sweet almond to massage into your baby’s skin. Try Mama Maya’s Serene Mama and Baby Essential Oil Roller Blend.

Caution is advised for the use of essential oils in children younger than 3 years. 

Talcum Powder

It’s the baby scent. We’ve also been led to believe that talc plays an important role in a nappy change, but is it really necessary? The answer is no, and it’s not safe either. 

Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral made up mainly of the elements magnesium, silicon and oxygen. As a powder, it absorbs moisture well and helps cut down on friction, making it a popular choice for keeping a baby’s skin dry and helping to prevent nappy rash. However, numerous studies have shown that if a baby inhales talcum or baby powder (which is very easily done), the particles can cause severe lung damage, breathing problems and even choking. 

In its natural form, some talc contains asbestos, a substance known to cause cancers in and around the lungs when inhaled. Even though talcum powders have been asbestos-free since the 70’s, researchers say there may still be a link between asbestos-free talc and cancer, and that further studies are required. It’s also not just the particles that could be dangerous, experts are still worried about the cancer risks associated with the long-term use of talcum powder in the genital areas, especially for girls. Although many brands have now switched to ‘talc-free’ baby powder, the products still contain a whole host of other harmful and potentially irritating ingredients, including fragrances and parabens. 

If you are changing your baby’s nappy regularly, give them a chance to ‘air out’. Otherwise try a calming cream like the Gilly Goat Soothing Baby Nappy Cream.    

Safe alternatives?

When it comes to knowing which products are the safest to use on a baby’s super sensitive skin, the answer is few and far between. A baby’s skin is much better off with minimal intervention.

If your baby does need extra support, make sure you are using mild, gentle and natural products. Opt for 100% organic and make sure the product is specifically designed for babies. If you’re unsure, always double check. 

If your baby is repeatedly presenting with a certain condition it’s also worth considering what the underlying cause of that condition might be. Is eczema due to an allergy or impaired immune system? Is the nappy rash due to sitting in the nappy for too long, or a reaction to the material of the nappy? 

If you are concerned about a certain condition or want advice on the safety of a product, check in with your health care practitioner.

One Fine Baby Expert Brittany Darling @wholefoodhealing

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