Bringing up Healthy Children
July 28

People ask me all the time when I started getting interested in the environment and organics, health, toxins etc. I really don’t know the answer…I remember earth day as a kid & being amazed by how much we waste, how we harm the planet, and I would say little by little I started making difference choices. They can be tiny ones, like carrying a travel mug and buying as local & organic as possible, to biggies like the materials we used in building our home.

When I was ready to get pregnant I took it all a bit more seriously as I knew my body would be the home for a babe & wanted to make it as 100% natural & organic as possible. We are learning so much, much of it very scary, about the toxins and chemicals of our world and how they effect the health of our children. A new friend of mine just made an incredible film called TOXIC BABY http://bit.ly/qMFdZB) about just this issue, and I just went to an incredible symposium at Mount Sinai hospital (http://bit.ly/r92Q7P) about this.

Now that Liv is in the world, I try to have her world be as natural and organic as possible. Because I still breastfeed that means the foods I eat, the foods she eats, her clothes, both of our skincare, cleaning products in our home, hand sanitizer – you name it! It is always a choice for both the environment, global impact and our personal health.

For me it is always a choice for both the environment, global impact and our personal health. Being organic and fair trade means I know there is less likelihood of Liv having an adverse reaction to something, less toxins for her little body to deal with, and I also love knowing we are supporting something I believe in deeply: helping the world be less toxic, helping communities grow, helping people get what the deserve in terms of treatment and wage.

For me its about consciousness and educating yourself: being aware that every decision counts – clothing, skincare, diapers, food, toys, what is in our homes, all of it. It can feel overwhelming, but really its about the small decisions – like knowing the top fruits/vegetables to buy organic (http://www.foodnews.org/), or with your home, become conscious of cleaning products, little by little making changes. There is so much information now, we are so lucky to know what we know, so kids can be as healthy and chemical free as possible.

Bedtimes

One of the first things I ever heard about helping your babe to sleep, is create a ritual and stick to it. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated, but you want to do something easy for you and easy for them. Starting when Liv was about 3 months old we did this, creating a very simple one of: dinner, one book, bath, massage, milk (and our special momma /babe chat) and sleepy song. I think it has really helped her go to sleep easily and quickly, because the consistency makes her feel safe – even if we are in a foreign place, we try to keep it the same. Even now, 2 years in, it still helps so much, because it helps her have a sense of structure, and if she starts to buck the system, we get to say ‘ do you want to do xyz (next step of ritual) or go right into the crib’ and it helps her to settle down because she really loves all the parts of the ritual now and doesn’t want to miss anything.

Being the A-type gal I am, before Liv was born I got a baby massage book and video, and when she was tiny I took an infant massage class. From the beginning she loved it, and I loved it. I made up a silly song I sing every night, and it relaxes her and bonded us. I love the little twig lavender creme and so does Liv. Now she says “lavender creme? Livia do?” and she wants me to pump it into her hand and she sings the song and massages her own leg with me. Its beyond cute. We also put the Badger night night balm under her nose sometimes if she seems very awake, and in the winter or when she has a cold will put the Badger baby balm on her nose & cheeks, which she loves, I think for her its fancy, like momma makeup. Now I just need to find a organic baby lip gloss for when she wants to take mine. She is like this at not even 2 years old, God help me when she is a teenager!

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  • Ilvny820

    Great read. I am a mom of a 2 year old and doing many of the same practices. Mine is also into the make up and clothes, etc, which I did not expect at this young age. Yikes! I make all of my daughters food organically and we have organic bedding, an organic mattress and buy pajamas and clothing that are all cotton (not all are organic cotton, but some are). I want to give her the safest and best environment we can. Research shows that feeding them healthy and eating together will allow her to be aware and likely make healthy choices as a child and beyond. Same for the cleaning in our house…we have made so many changes but not only do I feel better about it, I know my daughter will benefit from all of it.

  • Jaime Hecht

    wondering what your thoughts on animal products are?