Friday, January 15, 2010

Green Baby-Part 2- Health and Hygiene

The health and hygiene of our children is also a topic that she talks about. She recommends using soaps and shampoos that have no dyes and un natural fragrances. I'm totally into that because eczema runs in my family. She also recommends opening up the windows and using a nebulizing diffusers to allow essential oils to enter the room. This is great for things like colds and asthma. She recommends checking out Dr. Young's book Essential Oils Desk Reference. The nurses during our prenatal classes recommended using a humidifier because of our dry climate. But she said we should clean it daily to prevent mold growth. She suggested also using eucalyptus to help prevent mold and I asked her about tea tree oil which she said was also good.

The author comes up with natural remedies and ways to prevent common childhood illness. She lists several of her favorite alternatives to things like Tylenol. One major one she mentions is by a manufacturer called Boiron. She also recommends chamomile tea and noni juice. I've also heard salt is great for thinks like nasal congestion and sore throat. She also recommends using garlic oil or peroxide for ear infections and pain. She warns against the overuse of antibiotics (something that many doctors are now trying to reduce prescribing) and the overuse of cleaning products like bleach that kill good bacteria as well as bad. These things don't help our bodies learn how to fight off exposure to bacteria. Probiotics are becoming a better way to stave off illness. It's also great for colon health.

She also warns against using traditional lice-removal products. She suggests those fancy combs that zap the bugs and trying home remedies to remove the bugs from our children's hair. She also says to rosemary, ylang-ylang, and lemon are great for repelling lice. Lemongrass is also good for repelling mosquitoes.

Then she goes into the most controversial of all topics: vaccines. I won't go into a ton of details because like I said it's controversial. But she says that in 1983 children received 18 doses of vaccines. Now we have 50. She does not advocate not having vaccines but rather being more informed. Many vaccines have aluminum, antibiotics, egg, formaldehyde, MSG, and thirmerosal (mercury) as preservatives. She suggests asking to see what the ingredients of the vaccine are and asking for a preservative free version. (Makes since because they gave me preservative free flu shots because of being preggo, but I noticed they don't do the same for children). She also says instead of going to have 5 shots at once to insist that you stagger the shots and get one vaccine a month. It easier for a child to build up immunities and you can tell if they have had an adverse reaction. And she says that you should evaluate the risk of catching the disease vs. the risk of a reaction to the shot. Things like chicken pox aren't nearly as deadly. She also says to have your child tested for titers rather than agreeing to a boaster. Titers show whether a child has built up an immunity or not. I think that this is all sound advice which I'm sure I'm going to go over with the doctor when it comes to vaccines. Which apparently is now at birth. They give you a vaccine to Hepatitis B, which they didn't have when I was a child. HepB is disease that affects the liver that can only be contracted through blood and other body fluids. So unless you plan on taking your newborn out into the wide world, there's no reason for the vaccine to be given early. Although you will eventually want to get the vaccine because it can be acute or cause chronic inflammation of the liver.

She recommends this regiment.
Starting at two months with one vaccine per month:
Pneumonococcal vaccine (Prevhar)
Hepatitis B
Haemophilus influenzae B (Hib)
Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DtaP)
Takes three vaccines of each, Takes nine months, will be completed by age one

Age Two:
Three for polio
Three for Hepatitus B (one at a time)
MMR (one)
And Varicella vaccine (one)
Check for titers of all antibodies at four and five years of age


  1. Ok seriously I need to find this book. I have Raising Baby Green, but this looks better!

    My husband has excema too... and Kalila has a mild version. She uses an organic shampoo, our soap isn't but its one of a few that doesn't bother Jas skin.

    I love "home remedies" as opposed to drugs too...

    And I can vouch for number of vax.. I was born in 81 and had a ton and a half less than Kalila got on the normal schedule. Not happy.

  2. I warn you that the overall reviews of this book aren't great. Raising Baby Green doesn't look much better. There is a lot of misinformation.

    This book Growing up Green! gives pause to breast feeding (she says that it may be better to use formula because it doesn't have the toxins that breast milk can have if you are exposed to them). She also says she didn't use cloth diapers. She used the eco-friendly sposes (which I might have to use from time to time with baby sitters and whatnot) and pull-ups for potty training (I mean the brand of disposable pull-ups).

    She also doesn't talk about ways that you can be green very much. Like teaching your child to garden and compost and collect rain water. She doesn't include crafts and other activities that you can do with recyclables (Christmas angels out of tp rolls anyone?). Maybe she is saving it for another book. Who knows. I would have liked those ideas in a book, but maybe it's an incentive for me to write my own book later on down the road when I try this stuff with my own kid.

  3. Eek... Id have major issues w/ the first part. Formula has its place, but is an absolute last resort in my opinion (at least for me).

    As for sitters, I get why you might have to do that, but we haven't had too... Cloth is easy enough that ours have adjusted.

  4. My mom has warned me about how difficult it was for her to breast feed that she finally gave up. I've heard that happening to a lot of women so I don't automatically dismiss formula. It happens. Plus I was a C-section and my mom had a horrible recovery.

    That being said there are a lot more resources out there to help. Our hospital has a breast feeding group that meets and lactation consultants that you can see (for a fee but it's worth it). We also have a local Le Leche group. I figure if I face the same trouble my mom had I'll go get help. Plus I know a lot of moms in the area that I could probably call and get immediate help from too.

    There are way too many benefits to breast feeding that outway the "toxins being transfered." Personally if you are exposed to toxins, your baby already is exposed as well whether you breast feed or not. They can get them from your clothes and in the house etc.

  5. Oh, the sposies. My mom's group offers baby sitting because they meet during the week day. I already read on their thing that they only use sposies (I guess for hygenic reasons?). I figure when he's small I can keep him with me b/c a lot of mom's do that so they can breast feed. But once he's mobile they prefer that you use the babysitting. I'm not too happy about being forced to use the babysitting and sposies. Maybe I can work out a compromise where I go and change him myself.


I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!