Archive for August, 2007

Wee love these!

Friday, August 31st, 2007

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Newborn babies love to look at colors with high contrast, preferably black and white. In the age of litigation, there are warning labels all over baby products. Fortunately for babies, this offers them good, close range “art”. In the early weeks and months I caught my daughter staring cross-eyed at the warning label printed on the inside of both her bassinet and her car seat. Welcome to America, I thought.

Wee gallery has taken the ball and run with black and white baby art. They have paired fresh design with baby’s love for contrast and created a line of flash cards, wall graphics, wrapped canvases and more for your wee one.

We love these products all the more because they grow with baby, helping them to learn animal names and can be displayed as part of a mobile. We recommend placing mobiles over changing areas to provide a low-key distraction for diaper changes.

Why organic?

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

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Organic products are cropping up (no pun intended) everywhere these days. And while we know that organic is better, do we really understand why? Or which items we should splurge on and where we can skimp?

Pesticides are used to improve crop yields which in turn has increased the overall quantity of fresh produce available. This increase in supply has meant positive things for public health. However, pesticides also damage the environment and accumulate in ecosystems. Some pesticides can cause a range of adverse effects on human health, including cancer, acute and chronic injury to the nervous system, lung damage, reproductive dysfunction, and possibly dysfunction of the endocrine and immune systems.

Dr. Natalie Geary, a pediatrician in NYC, states that children are more vulnerable to these toxins than adults. She also points out on her blog that studies on the affects of these chemicals has not been done on children during critical stages of development, so the best information we have relates to adults. That, quite frankly, isn’t good enough.

The Environmental Working Group has posted a wallet guide of produce they tested for pesticides after washing or peeling. Here is what they have to say about the importance of choosing produce wisely:

“There is growing consensus in the scientific community that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can adversely affect people, especially during vulnerable periods of fetal development and childhood when exposures can have long lasting effects. Because the toxic effects of pesticides are worrisome, not well understood, or in some cases completely unstudied, shoppers are wise to minimize exposure to pesticides whenever possible.”

Clearly we, as parents, really need to do our homework when it comes to choosing which foods to feed our children. Our food doesn’t come with a guarantee that it’s safest for our children, though many of us would argue it should. The Consumers Union suggests,

“the simplest solution is to choose organic foods, which contain two-thirds fewer residues.” They recommend that the foods listed below, which are highest in pesticides, are best to purchase organic.

 

  1. Winter Squash
  2. Wheat
  3. Strawberries
  4. Green Beans
  5. Celery
  6. Apples
  7. Peaches
  8. Grapes
  9. Spinach
  10. Pears

In my house we are also striving to buy local and seasonal produce to minimize the environmental impact of importation. Thank goodness NYC has bountiful farmer’s markets!

got breastmilk?

Monday, August 13th, 2007

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Like many other breastfeeding mothers out there, I quickly found myself with a freezer full of breastmilk that was not likely all going to get used before the three month expiration. I figured there would have to be a good use for this nutrient rich “perfect” baby food. And in fact there is: donating milk to National Milk Bank means that your milk goes to premature and/or ill babies in hospitals in the US. Aside from the warm fuzzy feeling you’ll get when you send off each cooler filled with your breastmilk, the milk bank also treats you to a hospital-quality electric breast pump free of charge for you to use and keep ($300 value). There is no minimum donation required, so you can certainly ensure that you always have enough on hand for your child. The process to become a donor is rather simple and includes some paperwork and a blood draw (they will even send a phlebotomist to your home) and you’re ready to begin. You now have several good pint-sized reasons to hook yourself up to the pump each day!