When you first hold your baby in your arms and you realize that this sensitive, tender little being is entirely reliant on you for protection, love and sustenance one of the first thoughts that goes through your head is that you will protect it from all harm, come what may. Many mothers and fathers say that from that moment they know they will be prepared to lay down their lives for those of their children. It is a powerful moment and says much about the strong bonds that form so quickly between parent and child.
Yet in modern society, many of the dangers that our children face are hidden. Worse, many of them are introduced by well-meaning and loving parents who only wish to do the best for their children. And by this I mean that most of us are unwittingly exposing our newly-born babies to a complex cocktail of powerful chemicals every time we bath them, clean them with wet-wipes or rub them down with creams and ointments that we thought were good for them.
Unfortunately the regulation of cosmetics lags far behind the advances that chemical companies have made. Many companies blindly add all sorts of chemicals to products as preservatives, scents or cleaning agents without us having an adequate understanding of how they all interact and affect the human body. I’ve written a bit before on the dangers lurking in our medicine cabinets and why we should switch to organic shampoo or organic toothpaste. Whatever I’ve said in that context is one-hundred times more relevant when it comes to products we use on our newborn babies and our growing children. Their bodies are growing so fast and their hormonal and nervous systems, never-mind their brains, are in such active states of development and growth that we really don’t want to be using any sorts of products that may disrupt the natural and healthy process of growth. By this I’m thinking of chemical additives such as Paraben, which is a known hormonal disrupter. Some scientists have shown that it can block or interfere with the normal hormonal processes in the body. Now without us all going back to high school biology, it is sufficient to say that hormones are vital switches in the body that turn on and off the growth or activity of various parts and systems in our bodies. Male hormones, for instance, kick in to action in unborn infant boys and cause their bodies to start develop male characteristics. They become active again at around the age of 4, causing boys to become more active and physical. Similarly female hormones activate at key steps in a child’s maturation. The last thing we want to do is expose our children to chemicals that mimic these effects – in other words that cause baby boys to start growing breasts, for instance, as has been shown in some experiments.
So if you are thinking about or have already resolved to switch to organic products for yourself then please don’t short-change your children. If money is an issue, and unfortunately products such as organic baby shampoo and organic baby wash are often more expensive than non-organic alternatives, then you would probably be better off doing without these yourself and spending the money on your children. Their bodies are at a much more vulnerable age than those of adults and would probably benefit most from the use of natural skincare and hair products such as organic body wash and organic baby lotion. Organic shampoos are not as cheap as the standard variety, but when it comes to my family, when I ask myself “is organic shampoo worth it” then I know that I think the health of my family is definitely worth it.