How to Raise a Natural Baby
2.7 million kids are now taking medication for ADHD in the United States alone and the research is mounting that these mind altering drugs are likely doing more harm than good.
Infants are now frequently treated with protein pump inhibitors such as Prilosec, Nexium, etc. As Dr. Eric Hassall explains in the Journal of Pediatrics, “in the 6 years from 1999 to 2004, there was a >7-fold increase in PPI prescription. One of the PPIs… saw a 16-fold increase in use during that 6-year period…”
The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control, showed the prevalence of food allergies increased in children under age 18 from 3.4 percent in 1997 to 5.1 percent in 2011. Skin allergies rose from 7.4 percent to 12.5 percent in the same time period.
So what are steps that you can take to keep your baby is healthy, natural and drug free as possible?
Watch What You Eat
According to parenting.com, if you’re ever going to make an effort to change the way you eat, now is the time. “Pregnant and nursing moms should try to make as much of their diet organic as possible,” says Robert Sears, M.D., co-author of Happy Baby: The Organic Guide to Baby’s First 24 Months. “We know that pesticides can harm developing brain cells, even in small amounts.” If going organic is outside your budget, Dr. Sears suggests buying only the organic version of the fruits and vegetables, known to have the most amount of pesticides called the “dirty dozen”:
- Grapes (imported)
- Sweet Bell Peppers
“These 12 foods have more pesticides than any others,” he says. Produce that’s okay to buy non-organically includes asparagus, avocado, cabbage, eggplant, mango, onion, sweet corn (frozen), sweet peas (frozen) and watermelon.
Other diet do’s for pregnant and nursing moms, says Sears: Eat the right fats, which nourish baby’s developing brain and nervous system. Think cold-water fish like wild salmon, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and tofu. And don’t forget to drink at least eight glasses of water per day to stay hydrated; nursing moms should sip throughout the day.
Breast Milk the Ultimate Natural Food
For baby, breast milk is the ultimate natural food, says Alan Greene, M.D., author of Raising Baby Green. “You can’t get any more organic.” Of course, not all moms breastfeed exclusively. If you use formula or expressed breast milk to feed your baby, make sure you choose BPA-free bottles, cautions Dr. Greene. BPA, aka Bisphenol A, is a chemical found in many plastic containers, including baby bottles. Its estrogen-like effects may disturb the hormonal system and an infant’s hormonal and sexual development. “BPA is also found in some pacifiers, teethers and the like,” says Dr. Greene. “So double-check labels and make sure anything your baby frequently puts her mouth on is BPA-free.”
Watch what your baby’s breathing
The air in your house may not seem dirty, but it is, thanks to fumes from harsh cleaning products, secondhand smoke and residue from building materials such as particleboard, says Dr. Greene. Limit what you can: Don’t allow anyone to smoke in the house, skip harsh chemical cleaners, and change your furnace filter frequently. The best all-around defense against harmful fumes is the simplest: Bring the outdoors in. “Open the windows whenever you can,” says Dr. Greene. With a baby under 12 months, don’t worry about pollen and other outdoor allergens, he adds. “Some degree of pollen during their first year is probably a protective thing,” he says. “Studies show that if kids visit a farm, even once, during their first year of life, they are much less likely to develop allergies.” Another path to cleaner air: green growing things. “Believe it or not, house plants are a huge help in removing pollutants from indoor air,” says Dr. Greene.
Most discount stores now carry a range of affordable, organic cleaning supplies, notes Lauren Feder, M.D., author of Natural Baby and Childcare. Another option is to use natural cleansers you already have in your fridge or pantry. “Vinegar is an antiseptic that kills most bacteria, viruses and mold,” says Dr. Feder. “Hydrogen peroxide has antiseptic qualities and is considered a safe and natural cleanser.” Pour vinegar and hydrogen peroxide into two separate spray bottles and use in tandem to clean countertops and wood cutting boards. Other natural cleaning agents to try: baking soda for scouring stove tops, and lemon, which kills household bacteria and removes rust from copper and stainless-steel pots and pans.
Make Sure Your Baby Wasn’t Injured during the Birth Process
Frequently the upper neck is misaligned during the birth process, which leads to altered brain to body communication.
This dysfunction in how the brain is working has been linked to a variety of children’s problems, including ear infections, acid reflux, colic, poor sleep and more. All children should be evaluated by an upper cervical specialist in order to determine if their upper neck has been injured during the birth process. When this upper neck misalignment is corrected by a safe and gentle approach such as NUCCA the positive effects in kids have been tremendous.
Dr. Tymothy Flory, Dr. James Weiss and Dr. Jameson Wong of Atlas Spinal Care in Upland, California are Upper Cervical Specialists trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Their upper cervical clinic also serves Claremont, La Verne, San Dimas, Glendora and surrounding areas. They are uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems.