Archive for Health

Yeast Diaper Rash

Oh my. Oh my. We’re cloth diapering and our son got a yeast diaper rash. I learned a lot through this whole experience, much of it with the help Karen (who sews our cloth diaper covers); the rest of it from internet research. Here’s what I learned. product_diaper_rash_relief

1. Only certain diaper rash creams should be used on babies wearing cloth diapers. Most commercial creams create a barrier on the inner material and cause the diaper to repel instead of absorb moisture. Others contain cod liver oil, such as A&D Ointment, and there’s nothing worse than fishy diapers.

2. Only certain detergents should be used on cloth diapers. Check out the list here.

3.  The yeast on the cloth diapers needs to be killed or the rash will continue to come back. I added a tablespoon or so of bleach to every hot water cycle, then added vinegar to the rinse cycle, and finally ran an extra cold water rinse with nothing in it until the rash was gone.

4. Some disposable wipe solutions will feed the yeast. So, I continued to use my cloth wipes and a homemade wipe solution. For the solution I mixed 2 t. vegetable oil, 1/8 t. Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild liquid soap, and 1 c. water.

5. There are natural ways to treat a yeast diaper rash on a cloth diapered baby. We laid our baby out to air dry during the day. I rubbed virgin coconut oil (it has anti-fungal properties) on him and hoped he didn’t get too cold (since it’s in the 20s outside). He had to be in a diaper for naps though, so we used MotherLove cream since it is safe for cloth diapers and fights yeast. I also gave him acidophilus powder to suck off my finger since it is known to stop the growth of yeast.

Our babe is now better, but I am going to run one more cycle of bleach and vinegar in his diapers to make sure the yeast is long gone! Phew!

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Dairy-free living

It has been 3 months now since I’ve been dairy-free. My infant son has a cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) and because I am committed to nursing him, I have cut all dairy out of my diet. It was hard at first, but I can say that my cravings have significantly subsided now. That’s pretty amazing since I was a huge dairy consumer — milk, cottage cheese, cream cheese, yogurt, and hard cheeses. Yes, cheese has been the most difficult item to go without. There’s just no substitute close to smoked gouda. Mmm. At any rate, I wanted to share some dairy-free resource for anyone else who might be in the same boat. I hope you find them useful. I also plagodairyfreen to share dairy-free recipes this month. Stay tuned.

Informative Websites
Go Dairy Free
No Milk
Whole Foods Market

Blogs
The Spunky Coconut
Avoiding Milk Protein
The Milk Free Life
Ashley’s Dairy-free cooking

Books
Go Dairy Free
The Milk-Free Kitchen: Living Well Without Dairy Products
Levana Cooks Dairy-Free

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Turn the fan ON

imagesYoung infants who sleep in bedrooms with fans have a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome than babies who sleep in less well-ventilated rooms, research shows. It’s possible that fans improve air circulation, preventing infants from rebreathing exhaled carbon dioxide, which can pool up in the gap between a baby’s face and the mattress. Researchers concluded that sleeping with a fan lowers SIDS risk by more than 70% so turn on those ceiling or countertop fans!

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Teeccino

Have you heard about Teeccino — a caffeine-free alternative to coffee? I just tried a cup of Maya Caffe and it was delicious. You might be wondering what the big deal is since coffee comes in two forms — caffeinated and decaffeinated. The problems associated with caffeine are well known. It’s the decaf that carries some concerns that aren’t as well known, in addition to the fact that decaf isn’t completely decaffeinated. For reasons why one might want to eliminate decaf, click here. pr-3-hr2

So what is Teeccino? It is a blend of herbs, grains, fruits and nuts that are roasted to taste like coffee. You brew it in your coffee maker. No new gadgets required. Teeccino also claims health benefits. According to their website, Teeccino is

  • Naturally caffeine-free – no processing, no chemical residues
  • High in heart-healthy potassium
  • Natural energy boost – from nutrients, not stimulants
  • Alkaline – helps reduce acidity and restore alkaline balance
  • Rich in inulin, a soluble fiber in chicory root, that helps improve digestion and elimination plus increases the absorption of calcium and minerals

If you want to give Teeccino a try, you can purchase their sampler which includes all ten of their flavors, from their site. Most local health food stores carry Teeccino as well. Give it a go. What I tasted was delicious.

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Breakfast of Champions — Feeding My Toddler

I love to cook and come up with new recipes, especially in order to make them healthier while still maintaining taste. Cooking for my son is no exception! Because experts recommend that babies eat iron fortified cereal starting around 6 months (source) and because only 4 T. of it gives them 45% of their daily iron intake, I have felt pretty good about spending the money on those expensive little boxes of Earth’s Best Oatmeal for my son. Now that’s he’s 18 months old and he doesn’t need the consistency of the baby cereal, not to mention that he’s now eating almost everything, I make him a homemade oatmeal concoction that even Grammy loves. I still use ingredients with iron in them, but not the same amount, of course. (He likes peas and spinach and other sources of iron, so I’m not concerned about his iron intake.). And I must say, my oatmeal goodness is much cheaper than those little yellow boxes! Here it is if you’d like to try it out.

Oatmeal Goodness

1/4 c. cooked oats groats (I get it at our local co-op; contain small amt. of iron)

1/2 mashed banana

1/4 c. plain, whole milk yogurt (I use Stoneyfield Farms)

1 T. flaxseed meal

2 T. wheat germ (= 0.5 mg of iron)

1 T. cinnamon

organic whole milk to desired consistency (I use Horizon Organic Ultra-Pasteurized)

Combine and heat for 30 seconds. Serve warm.

Notes:

* I cook my oats groats once a week. I use 1 c. dry oats groats to 4 c. water. Simmer on the stove for 45 minutes or until water is soaked up (just like you cook rice).

* If our bananas go bad before I can use them, I peel and halve them and freeze. They defrost easily in the microwave. That way I always have bananas nearby to use in our Oatmeal Goodness.

* I store the flaxseed meal in the freezer and the wheat germ in the fridge.

* Buy the Ultra-Pasteurized whole milk because it lasts much longer. Well, that is, unless you like drinking whole milk, too. Ew!

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Soft Soled Baby Shoes

According to the Robeez site, “The human foot is one of the most complicated parts of the body. At birth, feet contain only 22 partially formed bones. Over time those bones will grow and harden. In the first year, your child’s feet will reach almost half their adult size. By the age of 18, their feet will have 26 bones, 19 muscles, over 100 ligaments, and thousands of nerve endings. That’s a lot of change for something so tiny and precious. And that’s why it’s so important to select shoes that support healthy development.” Medical experts recommend a soft, flexible-soled shoe for infants and children to support healthy development. Here are three soft soled brands that we own…

Rileyroos
Rileyroos have leather uppers that are incredibly stylish and soles with rubber pads that provide support for walking development. I adore these shoes for their style and durability. The rubber padded soles make these shoes last longer than Robeez and they are actually feasible to wear in the rain and snow. Several retailers carry these shoes and I’ve found them on-line for half price. Just google “Rileyroos” with the name of the style you want and see who has the best price. My only complaint is that they stopped making these at the 24 month size.
Sizes: 6-12, 12-18, 18-24
My summer favorite
: Chessie in chocolate $28
My winter favorite: Sportie in butterscotch $28

Robeez

Robeez are the most well known soft soled shoe. They are made with an elasticized ankle that are made of natural, breathable leather. They are a cinch to get on and off. I do not like how I can’t put them on my son in bad weather, though. The soles end up soaked in rain and snow. The soles also scuff up easily on the sidewalk.
Sizes: 0-6, 6-12, 12-18, 18-24, 2-3 years, 3-4 years
My rear round favorite: Robeez trainer Royal $27.95

Jack and Lily
Specially designed to encourage a baby’s development, Jack and Lily state that their “beautifully appointed, soft-soled shoes invite babies to discover, touch and smile.” These shoes are a lot like Robeez. Actually, I’m not really sure of their differences, having owned both. Just like Robeez, rhese shoes cannot be worn out in the rain or snow without getting wet on the soles.
Sizes: 0-6, 6-12, 12-18, 18-24, 2-3 years, 3-4 years
Winter favorite: Cream/brown trainer $26
Summer favorite: chocolate sandal $30

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Plastics & BPA

Plastic polycarbonate bottles such as Nalgene bottles are still popular as drinking water bottles. I should know. I just bought 3 more – one of which is a pretty cool sippy bottle for my son. (Note: now Nalgene is phasing out those bottles & replacing them.) I recently learned that polycarbonates in those and other bottles release a chemical known as bisphenol A (BPA). Then, I learned that 90% of all baby bottles are polycarbonates, which includes the brand we own — Avent. So, what’s the big deal? They’re still selling them, so they can’t be that bad, right? Not exactly…

Even though the plastic industry safety studies find no significant health effects from typical daily doses of BPA, 90% of government studies found harmful health effects to children and expecting moms as well as male sexuality and reproduction, according to Dr. Colleen Huber. She goes on to state that BPA acts as a “xenoestrogen,” which mimics the female hormone estrogen with the exception of the following: 1) it’s foreign to the body (which is what “xeno” means) and 2) it is much more harmful than our natural estrogen for both males and females. Breast cancers are much more of a risk in women who carry a high amount of xenoestrogens and both sexes are subject to a huge range of other harmful health effects. The most far-reaching effects are birth defects and miscarriages. Another effect is a disruption of beta cell function in the pancreas, which creates a pre-diabetes type condition of high blood insulin and insulin resistance. So it seems that none of us are safe from the affects of BPA.

A recent Canadian news source had the following to say:

“Bisphenol A manufacturers have said the trace amount leaching into food and beverages isn’t dangerous to people because it’s quickly metabolized into a form that loses its ability to act like a female sex hormone.
While the authors of the new assessment agreed that people break down some of the bisphenol A they absorb, they said since so many plastics and other products containing it are in use that “virtually everybody” in developed countries has chronic, low-level exposure to the chemical and measurable amounts of its biologically active version.
Typical readings are about two parts per billion in blood. Although this is an extremely small amount, hormones are active at this level, and at even lower concentrations.
Based on the amounts being found in people and what is known about the metabolism of bisphenol A from animal experiments, it also appears that human exposures are above the current U.S. safety limit, according to the assessment.

Now I should note that not all plastics contain BPA. We should mainly be concerned with plastics that come in contact with our food and water. You can learn more about plastics by reviewing the Smart Plastics Guide and matching the triangled number to what you currently own or are considering purchasing.

Here are a few items to consider for your baby. Oh, and be sure to read the San Francisco Chronicle’s article on the comeback of glass baby bottles.

1. Glass bottles. Evenflo makes them in two sizes — 4oz and 8oz. Siliskin is another brand that is totally hip. They come in 4 and 8 oz sizes as well and they have a silicone sheath that helps to prevent the bottle from breaking. WeeGo glass bottles are nice too. I believe they only come in 9oz sizes, but they are covered with a modern sleeve that will help protect the bottle from breaking.
2. Bio-plastic bottles. Born Free makes them in two sizes — 5oz and 9oz. Whole Foods and Amazon carry them as well as the company itself. Amazon even has their gift set with bottles and a sippy cup. Another option is the Green to Grow brand, which has a 5oz bottle and they’re so cute.
3. Snappies – Polypropylene breast milk storage bottles that enables moms to collect, store and feed from the same convenient container.
4. Medela breast pump storage containers and baby bottles are all made of Polypropylene, which is free of BPA.
5. Adiri Natural Nurser is made from 100% polycarbonate-free and bisphenol-a free materials that is warm to a child’s cheek, like a breast, when filled with warm milk. The nipple design helps alleviate nipple confusion for breastfeeding babies. Shaped like a breast, they encourage the same type of open-mouthed latching that is required for breastfeeding, making bottle feeding and breastfeeding more easily interchangeable. They come in three stages for three different flow rates. Each stage holds 8 oz. of fluid and is dishwasher safe.

Here are a few brands to consider for sippy cups:

1. Avent Naturally sippy cup (We currently use these and are happy with them)
2. Born Free sippy cup
3. Klean Kanteen water bottle with sippy adapter & spout
4. SIGG baby water bottles

If anyone has a suggestion on any of the above mentioned brands or any other brands not mentioned that you love, please leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you!

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