Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Recall: Mommy’s Bliss Nipple Cream

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning to consumers not to use or purchase Mommy's Bliss Nipple Cream, marketed by MOM Enterprises, Inc. The problem is that while the label states that there is no need for mothers to remove the cream prior to nursing, the ingredients contained in the product may be harmful to infants.

Potentially harmful ingredients in Mommy's Bliss Nipple Cream are chlorphenesin and phenoxyethanol. Chlorphenesin relaxes skeletal muscle and can depress the central nervous system and cause respiratory depression (slow or shallow breathing) in infants. Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that is primarily used in cosmetics and medications. It also can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration in infants. Chlorphenesin can also harm the mother by causing dermatitis, a skin condition that can worsen the drying and cracking of nipple skin.

Mothers and caregivers should watch for a decrease in an infant's appetite. More serious signs would be difficulty in awakening the child, limpness of extremities or a decrease in an infant's strength of grip and a change in skin color. Please seek immediate medical attention if your child is showing these signs and symptoms.

The FDA asks consumers to report any adverse events related to this product or any FDA approved product to MedWatch, the agency's voluntary reporting program, by e-mail at, or by phone at 800-332-1088.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Genuis! Sun Sensor Stickers

Memorial Day weekend is here, and in my book it is the official start of the summer season. Pools open and people really start enjoying the outdoors. Today I discovered something that will definitely help with one of summer's pesky problems- the looming possibility of sunburns.

Check out Huggies Little Swimmers Suncare Sun Sensors!

Huggies Little Swimmers UV sensors are self-adhesive and water-resistant. Apply to your child's skin, hat or clothing. Sensor will first change to light orange with moderate exposure and the sun designs will slightly fade. When the sensors change to deep orange and when the sun designs disappear, it is time to reapply sunscreen, dispose of sensor and/or limit exposure.

It seems like a much better way of determining when to reapply sunscreen, and if anything, it can serve as a visual reminder to do so, whether you wait until the sticker changes completely or not.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cane Sugar for Infants?

Similac Organic formula has captured 36 percent of the organic formula market since being on the market since 2007, but did you know that doctors are not fans? It turns out that Similac's Organic formula is sweetened with cane sugar- a much sweeter sugar than used in most formulas.

Babies need sugar in order to digest the proteins that are present in soy and or cow's milk, so adding the sugar is not the issue. The type of sugar is for some people. Other organic formulas use organic lactose, which extracted from organic milk. The problems seen with cane sugar is that it tends can damage tooth enamel faster and may cause babies to resist foods that aren't as sweet in comparison and possibly also cause babies to gain too much weight in their first year.

The other possible negative consequence of cane sugar (sucrose) is that consuming sucrose generates future cravings for sucrose- while consuming sugar such as fructose or glucose, do not have the same long-term effect.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Craft Time!

Approaching summertime for some reason reminds me of arts and crafts. Maybe its all those camp activies, maybe its being outside more having flowers to press and warm weather to tie-dye outside. Whatever the reason, here are some great ideas for summer projects for you, not just the kids.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Plastics Guide Part II

Here is a great list of some everyday food storage containers and baby products to avoid.

#3 Gerber Clear and Soft Baby Bottle Nipples
#3 Evenflo Soft Bite Spoon
#3 Reynolds Wrap

#7 Avent Baby Bottles
#7 Avent Soft Spout Training Cups
#7 Evenflo Baby Bottles (clear, untinted)
#7 Gerber Baby Bottles (clear only)
#7 Gerber Looney Toons spill-proof cups
#7 Gerber Suzy’s Zoo spill-proof cups
#7 Playtex Cherub, Juice and Trainer Cups
#7 Playtex Baby Bottles
#7 Sassy MAM 3-Step Baby Bottles
#7 The First Years Baby Bottles
#7 The First Years Peek-a-Boo Cups
#7 Tuppercare Baby Bottles
#7 Rubbermaid Clear Classics container bases*
#7 Tupperware Rock N’ Serve containers
#7 Tupperware Meals-in-Minutes Microsteamer base

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Plastics Guide Part I

It seems like a vast majority of products made for infants and toddlers are made from plastic. How are parents to know which ones are safe and which ones should be avoided? We've been using Nalgenes for years only to recently find out that it may not be the smartest idea. Here's a good list to get you started:

#1 PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate)
Generally found in soft drink bottles, medicine containers. Bottom line: because this plastic which is not usually designed for re-use and very commonly recycled it is not ideal for extended use. Overuse will increase risk of leaching, and their design lends itself to harboring of bacterial growth. Recycle after its intended use.

#2 HDPE (high density polyethylene)
Used in toys and bottles for milk, water, detergent, shampoo, juice and thankfully safe for use and re-use.

#3 PPVC or UPVC (polyvinyl chloride –plasticized and un-plasticized)
Found in shampoo & detergent bottles, pipe & tubing, meat wrap, blood bags. Found in some clear food packaging, it is the second most commonly used plastic in the world. Unfortunately it often contains lead, and toxic plasticizers such as phthalates that can migrate into food, water, air and our mouths. Avoid when possible!

#4 LDPE (low density polyethylene)
This soft, flexible plastic is used in garbage bags, wrapping films, grocery bags and is safe for use. Of course, plastic bags pose a suffocation risk for small children, so while the material is chemically safe, the bags should not be left for small children to play with.

#5 PP (polypropylene)
Hard, but flexible. Used in ice-cream & yogurt containers, potato crisp bags, drinking straws, syrup bottles, diapers. Considered safe for use.

#6 PS or UPS (polystyrene and expanded polystyrene)
Rigid, brittle plastic often used in coffee cups, take-out food containers, meat trays, and plastic cutlery. Polystyrene may leach styrene, which is considered a possible human carcinogen, and may disrupt hormones or affect reproduction. Avoid when possible.

#7 Other (including polycarbonate, nylon and acrylic)
Many of these 'other' plastics are suspected of leaching chemicals disrupting hormone functions. Avoid if possible. 95% of all baby bottles are currently made of polycarbonate. Switch to polycarbonate-free baby bottles, like those manufactured from #5 PP, or consider using glass bottles or metal containers when old enough.

As a general tips for reducing toxic plastic exposure- store your food and water in glass or stainless steel if possible. When you do need wrap- choose non-PVC cling wrap (such as Glad and handiWrap).

For more information try, and

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Breastmilk good, Iron Supplements bad?

In headlines this week we learn something that many of us already knew- breastmilk boosts intelligence, and something that we have not known: iron Supplements might harm infants who already get enough.

The breastmilk study, while not the first of its kind, claims to be "the most blatant evidence to date that prolonged and exclusive breast-feeding makes children more intelligent,". The study came out of Canada's McGill Univeristy and is the largest study ever conducted on a random sample- looking at 14,000 children over six and a half years.

The studies author notes that they can't guaruntee its the breastmilk itself, as oppose to the physical nature of breastfeeding, "As for me, I prefer to think that the physical or emotional contact between the mother and the child is what counts, because it takes more time to nurse a baby than to offer him a bottle of milk".

Meanwhile, at the University of Michigan, researchers found that extra iron for infants who don't need it might delay development. This has a huge impact on those who use formula with extra iron added. The study looked at nearly 500 infants. Those that were adversely affected by the extra iron scored 11 points lower in IQ and 12 points lower in visual-motor integration, as well as lower on spatial memory and other visual-motor measures.