All moms know that a properly packed diaper bag can make or break your day, when you are dealing with small children and babies. A diaper bag is not just a portable changing station, but it can also be a first aid kit, a small kitchen, and a toy store. However, there are things in your diaper bag that you may not be considering. Chemicals like phthalates (the “ph” is silent) are used to make plastic flexible and stabilize fragrance, while bisphenol A (BPA) is used to make plastics hard. There are also parabens, preservatives in lotions and shampoos. All these chemicals are going straight into your baby, and while there has been a push for regulation on BPA in baby bottles and water bottles, we still need to be conscious of what we are putting in and on our babies.
Here are a few things that you can do to make your diaper bag safer and greener:
Diaper Creams: If your little one has a diaper rash, air time is really the best medicine. Free them of their diaper for 5 or 10 minutes per day and you will notice a huge difference. However, when diaper cream is necessary, look for one that contains zinc oxide and is free of synthetic fragrance. Mother Love makes a great diaper and rash cream.
Hand Sanitizer: Some of the most popular hand sanitizers contain the hormone disrupting chemicals triclocarban and triclosan. Instead, try a plant-based one.
Diapers: Here is a scary stat – each baby in disposable diapers generates at least a ton of waste for the landfill. But they sure are convenient. Well, there are so many companies that offer the convenience of a disposable diaper, but are environmentally friendly. Companies like gDiapers offers flushable diapers without the use of chemicals, dyes, plastic and perfumes. Seventh Generation also makes a disposable diaper that is earth- and baby-friendly.
Teething: Skip the Tylenol and the Advil. Homeopathic teething tablets from Hylands, or homeopathic drops from Boiron take the pain away without artificial colors and sugars found in over-the counter-teething gels. Teething can start as early as 2 months, so watch for crabbiness, lots of drool and ear pulling.
Baby Wipes: If you ask any mom what she cannot live without in her diaper bag, it will be wipes. Used for sticky hands, faces and bums, wipes get as close to baby’s skin as anything else. Most conventional wipes contain propylene glycol, a petrochemical used in antifreeze, but Seventh Generation offers one free of chemicals and uses aloe and glycerin as moisturizers. If you are at home, water and washcloths are all you really need.
Snacks: Once little ones are able to eat finger foods, snacks become important. Earth’s Best and My Organic Baby make organic cereals and snacks that are easy to pack in your BPA-free containers.
Even diaper bags have come a long way. You can find durable bags that are free of pthalates and chemicals by searching online. This is mine and I love it. The great thing is that it doesn’t look like a diaper bag and hubby doesn’t mind carrying it around. Do you have a diaper bag that you love?