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BabySafe in Seven Steps

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The BabyGanics Guide to Smart and Effective Solutions for a Healthy Home

Written by Kevin SchwartzAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Kevin Schwartz, Keith GarberAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Keith Garber and Samantha RoseAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by  Samantha Rose

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List Price: $11.99

eBook

On Sale: April 22, 2014
Pages: 304 | ISBN: 978-0-345-54713-2
Published by : Ballantine Books Ballantine Group
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

The “founding fathers” of babyganics, the much-loved brand of baby-safe household and body care products, share some surprising news: “Green” isn’t necessarily baby-safe. But here’s the good news: What’s safe and good for a baby is always good for the planet. It’s a simple change in perspective, and everybody wins! Now these authors have written a vital guide to creating a baby-safe home, diet, and environment that’s healthy and happy for your new family.
 
When a new baby comes home, you suddenly start paying close attention to everything he touches and everything that touches him. From cleaning your floors and countertops to giving a bath or applying sunscreen to grooming your pets—now that a baby’s involved, everything raises the same simple question: How safe is it for my family?
 
Kevin Schwartz and Keith Garber know babies. And they know safety—especially when it comes to protecting, moisturizing, nourishing, and cleaning babies. In BabySafe in Seven Steps, they’ve applied their family-tested and expert research to these seven critical categories:
 
• MOMMY DETOX: How to reduce exposure to additives, preservatives, and chemicals in food and beauty products while pregnant—plus essential tips for safeguarding the nursery
• “CRIB” IMPROVEMENT: Here’s help in identifying toxins under the sink, in the garage, or on the patio—and how to mix your own DIY baby-safe cleaners
• PAMPERED BABIES: Advice on selecting the best diapers, soaps, shampoos, and laundry detergent for your little one
• PLAYING SAFE: How to avoid PVCs in toys, understand “choking hazard” warnings, and ensure that rattles, teething rings, and other gear are safe
• FAMILY FOOD FUN: Helpful hints for choosing, cooking, and storing the most nutritious snacks, meals, and treats
• FUR BABIES MATTER, TOO: Learn the baby-safe ways to groom, bathe, and play with your pets
• WORLD-PROOFING: How to fertilize your lawn without pesticides, keep bugs away naturally, protect baby skin from the sun, and prepare for dirty parks, playrooms, and changing stations.
 
These seven steps make it easy and affordable to create an environment that will allow your baby to develop and explore freely and safely—so that you can relax and enjoy every special moment!

Excerpt

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=Windows-1252"> <p class="">Step 1
<p class="">
<p class="">Mommy Detox
<p class="">
<p class="">Ready? Set? Taking the first step toward a baby--safe home starts today! You can start to make significant changes that are healthier for your baby as early as conception by evaluating the products you use on your own body and by becoming even more aware of your personal habits. As soon as our wives, Ali and Nicole, discovered they were pregnant, we both became super focused on everything that could affect our babies at this vulnerable stage of their lives. We understood that the outside world with its contaminants and pollutants was a potential threat to our babies in utero because everything Mom is exposed to, her baby is as well. So we started having conversations with our wives and began to consider what we could each do individually and together as parents to reduce exposure and harm, and keep our growing babies as healthy and safe as possible (like a sort of practice run for our homes once our babies were born!).
<p class="">
<p class="">What we realized pretty quickly was that if you’re a soon--to--be mom or dad who wants to create a healthy, clean, and safe environment for your baby, you’re smart to start doing better for yourself. That is, learn what’s healthy, clean, and safe (and what isn’t), and begin to make choices and personal lifestyle shifts that help you improve your own health. 
<p class="">
<p class="">For us, in the months before our babies were born, making shifts toward healthier, cleaner, and safer wasn’t such a big deal because naturally we wanted to do better for ourselves than ever before. We looked down the road—-nine months down the road, to be exact—-and we recognized the most significant reason to make healthy change—-for our babies. The tiny, precious humans we couldn’t wait to welcome into the world! Have you had a of moment of clarity like this, too? We figured as much, so as you get ready and set for the arrival of your little one, we’ll share with you what we’ve learned about
<p class="">
<p class="">• Glowing naturally
<p class="">
<p class="">• Breathing a little easier
<p class="">
<p class="">• Drinking clean and safe water 
<p class="">
<p class="">• Eating happily and healthily
<p class="">
<p class="">• Decorating with love
<p class="">
<p class="">Glow Naturally
<p class="">
<p class="">Pregnancy is the perfect time to evaluate your beauty and skincare routine because the skin is your largest organ. Most of us don’t often think about the fact that what goes on our skin has the potential to get under our skin and into our bloodstream. In the biz, this is referred to as “topical absorption,” and it seriously adds up over time, like sun damage. If we got our blood tested today, we’d each likely discover a bunch of nasty toxins that we absorbed through our skin at some point in our lives. Yeah, it’s kinda gross, but the not--so--pretty truth is that we live in a world where most of the products we come into contact with carry some level of toxicity that our bodies absorb little by little over the years. This exposure and accumulation can lead to minor and major health problems for you and, if you’re pregnant, for your baby, too. It sounds scary, but by making simple product swaps where you replace even just a few of your skincare products with safer alternatives (and there are many out there), you can maintain your existing beauty and skincare routine without the ugly side effects.
<p class="">
<p class="">Take a minute and think about your favorite cosmetics and skincare products. Have you ever read the ingredient list on the back of all those tubes and bottles? If your answer is “Umm . . . sometimes?” or “I’ve tried and I don’t get what I’m reading,” you’re not alone. Most of us don’t know exactly what we’re putting on our skin, and those of us who do read ingredient lists (hey, we already admitted we’re science geeks) know that you almost do need a degree in chemistry to understand them. Almost. We believe you can make safer choices for you and your baby without a textbook; all you need is some basic knowledge (we’ll help you!) about the leading toxic offenders.
<p class="">
<p class="">Whether you’re pregnant or already have children, switching from products that contain any of these chemicals is a smart idea.
<p class="">
<p class="">Kevin and Keith’s Not--So--Pretty List
<p class="">
<p class="">Parabens
<p class="">
<p class="">Where you’ll find them: Personal care products like lotion, shampoo and conditioner, shaving and shower gel, spray tan solution, deodorant, and toothpaste. Parabens are used to preserve a product’s shelf life; they slow down the growth of mold in your personal care products and your baby’s.
<p class="">
<p class="">Why they’re bad news: Parabens can be absorbed through our skin, scalp, and blood and linger in human fat tissue and breast milk. They’ve been linked to cancer; they’ve been found inside breast tumors. There’s also strong evidence that parabens are endocrine disrupters—-gender--bender chemicals that mess with our hormones. Parabens have been linked to early puberty in girls and reduced testosterone levels in boys.
<p class="">
<p class="">Phthalates
<p class="">
<p class="">Where you’ll find them: Body wash, nail polish, lipstick, fragrances and scented sprays, deodorant, hair gel, hand and body lotions, liquid soap, and shampoo. Phthalates also make plastic toys more flexible and soft (more on this later).
<p class="">
<p class="">Why they’re bad news: Phthalates keep hair spray sticky, mascara from running, nail polish from chipping, and they help fragrances linger longer, but numerous U.S. Environmental Protection Agency studies have documented that exposure to phthalates may threaten our reproductive health. Phthalates are also suspected endocrine disrupters. 
<p class="">
<p class="">Synthetic Fragrances
<p class="">
<p class="">Where you’ll find them: Shampoo, lotion, body wash, bubble bath, body spray, and in baby--care products like diapers and wipes. Basically any personal care, household, or cleaning product that’s “scented” contains synthetic fragrance.
<p class="">
<p class="">Why they’re bad news: Many synthetic fragrances and perfumes contain phthalates and other toxic chemicals that can concentrate in human fat tissue and breast milk, and have been linked to hormone disruption, allergic reactions, asthma, migraine headaches, and other respiratory and sinus problems. The ingredients in synthetic fragrance formulas are considered proprietary industry “trade secrets” so the actual ingredients do not have to be disclosed. This is why you often just see the word “fragrance” in the ingredient list.
<p class="">
<p class="">Formaldehyde
<p class="">
<p class="">Where you’ll find it: Shampoo, deodorant, body wash, nail polish, lipstick, hair coloring, and hair--straightening treatments. Also used in wall-to-wall carpeting, area rugs, furniture and building materials made from pressed woods (particle board, chip board, etc.).
<p class="">
<p class="">Why it’s bad news: Especially when inhaled, formaldehyde is a toxic chemical linked to nausea, chronic fatigue, dizziness, ear infections, burning eyes, headaches, joint pain, loss of sleep, and can trigger respiratory irritation and asthma. Oh, and—shocker—it’s also been linked to cancer.
<p class="">
<p class="">Hydroquinone
<p class="">
<p class="">Where you’ll find it: Skin lightener, anti--aging products, and hair dye.
<p class="">
<p class="">Why it’s bad news: Hydroquinone heightens skin sensitivity by decreasing the production of melanin pigments in the skin, and simultaneously increasing the skin’s exposure to UVA and UVB rays. Hydroquinone may also have carcinogenic effects and has been linked to compromised immunity and reproductive health. It may also cause developmental delays in children who are exposed to it.
<p class="">
<p class="">Petrochemicals
<p class="">
<p class="">Where you’ll find them: Lotion, foundation, lipstick and lip balm, and in products that list paraffin and mineral oil as an ingredient.
<p class="">
<p class="">Why they’re bad news: Petrochemicals are by--products of petroleum (the stuff used in gasoline)! While petroleum is acknowledged by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an approved over--the--counter skincare product, it tends to interfere with the body’s own natural moisturizing mechanism. This means products with petrochemicals can easily block pores, irritate the skin, exacerbate acne, and actually lead to dryness and chapping. Ever wonder why some lip balms seem to chap, rather than soothe, your lips?
<p class="">
<p class="">OK. End of the ugly list.
<p class="">
<p class="">We’re really not trying to freak you out (it’s only Step 1!). But if you’re feeling a tad overwhelmed, understand that we’re simply arming you with a working knowledge of some key ingredients that you’d be smart to avoid, so you can begin to make choices that you can feel really good about.
<p class="">
<p class="">Q: Dear Founding Fathers,
<p class="">
<p class="">I did it. I read the ingredients on the back of some of my favorite cosmetics and beauty products. Ugh. Nearly everything I’ve been using since high school is potentially harmful to my baby and me. Problem is, if I throw it all out, I won’t have anything left to use. I want to be safe, but honestly, I am not a “bare face” type. Help! I need a makeup plan.
<p class="">
<p class="">A: Dear Cosmetics Queen,
<p class="">
<p class="">It’s not necessary to throw everything out! Just consider swapping out a few products that will help you avoid some of the more toxic ingredients, like parabens and phthalates. Our feeling is that if you substitute even somewhere between one and three products with a high toxic profile that you use every day for products that are more natural, healthy, and safe, you’re doing better than you were yesterday. (And always better than you did in high school!)
<p class="">
<p class="">We don’t claim to be experts on cosmetics (we rely on a knowledgeable team of dermatologists and our savvy wives to help keep us informed), so our advice for you in this department is pretty simple, and yet effective: Shop for products where the ingredient list is short and in a language that’s made to be understood. Look for product labels with words like aloe instead of monoethanolamine. That said, as guys who spend all day developing formulas that are as healthy and safe for babies as possible, we can tell you it’s very unlikely you will find a line of cosmetic products where the ingredient mix doesn’t contain some amount of chemicals. And that’s okay. You should know that some chemicals actually do good. That’s right, not all chemicals are bad news. Take preservatives, for example, used in many skincare products to keep uninvited organisms away—we’re talking about microscopic bugs that grow in your product the longer it sits on the shelf. We think that bugs in your and your baby’s lotion are kinda gross (wouldn’t you agree?), so some amount of preservatives in skincare products are a good idea and we use them in our babyganics products in levels that are perfectly safe to apply topically. As product designers, we consult with leading toxicologists all the time and we’ve yet to meet one who believes in an all--out ban of chemicals in skincare products. That’s extreme, and we’re advocates of a balanced approach. Shop around. See what’s out there and ask yourself, “What products are available that will allow me to make a safer choice?”
<p class="">
<p class="">In addition to switching to skincare products that are more natural, healthier, and safer than what you may have been using up until now, consider our smart solutions for hair and nail care.
<p class="">
Kevin Schwartz|Keith Garber| Samantha Rose

About Kevin Schwartz

Kevin Schwartz - BabySafe in Seven Steps
Kevin Schwartz and Keith Garber founded BabyGanics with a mission: to help parents create a world where their babies are free to live, grow, and thrive in a safe and healthy environment. With this vision they created a baby-safe brand—an ecosystem of innovative, nontoxic, nourishing, hardworking cleaning and skin care products. They both live on Long Island, New York, with their families (wives, children, pets) in baby-safe homes of their own.

About Keith Garber

Keith Garber - BabySafe in Seven Steps
Kevin Schwartz and Keith Garber founded BabyGanics with a mission: to help parents create a world where their babies are free to live, grow, and thrive in a safe and healthy environment. With this vision they created a baby-safe brand—an ecosystem of innovative, nontoxic, nourishing, hardworking cleaning and skin care products. They both live on Long Island, New York, with their families (wives, children, pets) in baby-safe homes of their own.

About Samantha Rose

 Samantha Rose - BabySafe in Seven Steps
Samantha Rose is the co-author of numerous health and wellness, lifestyle, and prescriptive how-to books, as well as the author (under a pseudonym) of The Package Deal, which was a national bestseller. She lives in Petaluma, California, with her family.

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