Monday, February 04, 2008

Up Goes the Baby Budget

But it's worth it for out precious little ones, right?

I just read this article, and it's got me all annoyed & frustrated right before bed. (you know, when I'm supposed to be sleepy. Not after reading this!)
**edited to add excerpts from the article:
The chemicals, called phthalates, are found in many ordinary products including cosmetics, toys, vinyl flooring and medical supplies. They are used to stabilize fragrances and make plastics flexible. Animal studies have suggested that phthalates can cause reproductive birth defects and some activists believe they may cause reproductive problems in boys and early puberty in girls. But the chemicals often don't appear on product labels. That's because retail products aren't required to list individual ingredients of fragrances, which are a common phthalate source.
(How angry does this make me! It doesn't even have to be on the label, legally!)

I know it's not new news. Kim posted a while ago on this topic, and most of my other friends (both blogging and irl, alike) have expressed similar concerns. We've made many of the necessary changes in our food & menu planning, but when it comes to health & beauty products, not so much.

The main reason? It costs so much more! I hate it. I hate that you can buy store-brand (even) of the typical Johnson & Johnson's original baby wash for just over $1.00. Yet to get something without the chemicals, you're looking at more than doubling the cost per container! For folks on a tight budget, that's more than a strain. (& unfortunately we fall under that category at the moment).

I've always been impressed with Burt's Bees and California Baby products. I'm thrilled to see them more available outside of the health stores. (I got pumped when Target started carrying California Baby!). I know what I like, so that part shouldn't be too hard. Arranging the budget? That's a different story.

Had this been the first time I read something on this matter, I'd probably feel less motivated to switch out our products. It's not, though. I've seen it come up in the news many times over the past year. I suppose it's high time I get my booty moving in a better direction for my boys' beauty goods, huh?

Share with me. What do you use on your kids for bath & other health products?


Jennifer said...

I was going to e-mail this article to you, but I figured you already read it, so I didn't....Every day we read about something we've been doing wrong, huh? It makes me soooo mad! Andy and I have always tried to go the natural route with most tings Landon, but we're not as meticulous as we are with food. I do really love the Aveeno baby wash with the blue top--It was the first thing we used on him as a newborn and the smell is AMAZING!! I just sit and sniff him when he gets out of the bath--ha ha ha! I also love Burt's Bee's lotion for after bath time.

By the way, did you read the yahoo stortytoday about saving money?? Ha ha ha! We already do those things---give me something real, people!

Amy said...

DS seems to have inherited my sensitive skin, and so I just LOVE the Aveeno lotion for him. I've recently switched to Aveeno products myself and my skin is much happier.

I have used whatever baby wash/ shampoo I can get a deal on, honestly... Baby Magic, usually, or else Johnson & Johnson. I didn't care for the WalMart brand for some reason, even though I'm usually a big fan of generics. I'd like to try the Aveeno next time we're out, but I'll have to see how expensive it is.

I don't know what to do about these chemicals. A part of me thinks it will be like everything else- in a few months they'll be telling us nevermind, it's all fine. And I also wonder if switching now... after having used these products for years already... makes enough of a difference to matter? JMHO. For now I'm going to stick with what we're using.

Andrea said...

Doesn't it seem like nothing is completely safe anymore? It drives me crazy - everytime I turn around there is something else I find out that worries me. Thanks for the article though. I need to read more of this stuff.

Just wait until you start researching diapers - wow!

As for what we use - I hope this doesn't get lengthy. When Landen was born we got the J&J and Baby Magic stuff, even though I was advised not to use it on baby delicate skin.. we did anyway (idiot). So.. Landen broke out.. he looked HORRIBLE. Well, like an idiot I continued to use it. He's been fine since. I don't use a lot though, a little in the hair and for the body. Sometimes I even just put some in the water and then rinse him before he gets out. However, right now we're dealing with some sort of exzema/dandruff and we're trying T-gell (it's not working though.) He also gets patchy skins easily on his skin, so I've been thinking of switching to some different lotion- horrible to say, I'm waiting for this bottle to be gone. =(

For Amelia - I was very leary this time around. I hardly use soap on her and her hair only gets washed once a week. Some may think that is sick, but she's clean it's not like she's getting all dirty.. she's an infant. As for lotion, I've been using Olive Oil with a little bit of good smelling extract in there (I can't think of the right word right now). It's natural and works like a charm. I should use that on Landen, but like I said, I'm emptying the bottle on him and I.

So... thanks for the heads up and I am going to look into the stuff you mentioned. I could go on and on about the make up and things, but I think I mentioned something to you another time. My dad has always said "there are things in stuff you don't even know". Ahh, so true.

Mommychicky said...

I use the Target version of J&J head to toe wash... that was until my mom gave me the website for the "Cosmetic Safety Database" - Gee, thanks Mom... now I'm not sure what products I want to be using or even where to buy the ones that are "not toxic"

Sharon said...

Mommychicky-thanks for that link. I'm going over there now. :)

Morgan Leigh said...

Thank you for the information. I think I've read it somewhere before, but I thought it wasn't true.

Kim said...

We switched to comletely natural products for the kids way back. We've used a few different lines, starting with Burt's Bees baby wash/shampoo which I loved. Now we use Aubrey Organics baby shampoo & lotion, and Avalon Organics baby wash...both are great and I especially love Aubrey Organics b/c they're 100% natural and organic ingredients and I can recognize every ingredient on the list (it's also the line I use on myself). We also have a pretty tight budget, but I can't bring myself to buy the conventional brands when I know the ingredients are potentially harmful...even though I'm often tempted by the much lower prices! One thing we do to extned the life of our products is to do bath every other night, and sometimes every 2 nights..they don't get all that dirty in the winter and too frequent baths make their skin dry anyway. And we only use a small amount since a little goes a long way on their tiny bodies :). So we get a pretty decent run on a $10 bottle of baby wash and shampoo. But I still get sticker shock each time I buy more!!

Sharon said...

Kim-thanks. :) And I hope it's ok that I linked to your previous post.

Where do you find those brands? Unfortunately our area has yet to gain a Whole Foods or even Trader Joe's. I've seen some brand in one of the health stores-Jason, I think it is?
Anyway, just curious where you purchase yours! I'll check online, too.

Thanks to everyone for the feedback! It's very interesting to hear what everyone else does.

Kim said...

It's no problem at all! I find them at the local natural food store, and also in Whole Foods/ Wild Oats. If you have a Shaw's supermarket near you they also carry many of them in their "Wild Harvest" section. But really any natural food store will have them...they're pretty popular brands. Good luck!!