Earlier this week the Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a public health advisory on the dangers of Bisphenol A (BPA) for pregnant women and children under the age of two. The warning is yet another reminder that "parenting" is constantly changing. And if I want to stay on top of the latest recommendations and trends, it's going to cost me some money.
What I've also learned over the past three years is that baby product companies will exploit any possible concern a parent may have to sell more merchandise. (For example, do crawling babies really need knee pads?) So moms and dads need to be careful and buy only the items they really need or risk wasting hundreds of dollars that they could have put toward Junior's college savings account.
Here's my take on two baby products expectant parents may be considering:
Buying It: BPA Free Baby Bottles
Scientists are mixed on the dangers of the chemical BPA. While the FDA says it's safe, California, Massachusetts and Canada think otherwise. So I've decided to throw out all of my old plastic bottles and purchase new, BPA free ones for the future baby. Fortunately, this shouldn't set me back too far -- just $11 for three 8 oz. plastic bottles -- especially if I'm willing to keep my inventory low and wash them more often.
Not Buying It: Organic Baby Clothes
Here's the pitch: If you want to keep your baby's skin irritation free, you'll clothe him in organic cotton. While I love the idea of avoiding rashes as much as the next mom, this is one trend I'm not buying into. What I've discovered is that just because an item is made from a pesticide free material that doesn't mean that the dyes used to color the clothing are also organic. So you could end up spending up to 50% more on an item and receive no or limited tangible health benefits. Instead, I'd rather wash my baby's layette in a gentle detergent before she wears it.
There are other reasons for buying items made from organic cotton. Even if it isn't necessarily healthier for your child, it is still considered better for the environment. (Fewer pesticides are introduced into the soil and drinking water.) So if I happen to see an organic t-shirt or baby blanket at a discount retailer, I'll consider buying it -- but only if it's cute and I need it anyway.
What new products will other second and third time moms buy? I'd love to see your list.
For More Nesting Blog Posts:
Nesting: Considering a Move to Save Money
Nesting: 10 Tasks for Second Time Parents
Nesting: My Pregnancy and Health Insurance Headaches
Lined Up Bottles image by timlewisnm, CC 2.0.