Trading in my digital video monitor for a safer analog audio monitor

When I came across a conversation on Facebook on the Nourishing Our Children page about baby monitors and their safety concerns, I was absolutely shocked.

I had no idea that my baby monitor emitted microwave radiation to my precious baby’s brain. I am absolutely appalled — how could these be legal?!  (Some cell phone towers built too close to schools are becoming illegal.)  I am especially sensitive, as I did not have an ultrasound scan during either of my pregnancies and I don’t own a microwave because I have read about their dangers. How could I not have known about this?!
monitor

Out with the “old” and in with the “new”

When I found all of this out, at about 11pm one night, I couldn’t sleep — my baby was already asleep, so I could not go in to turn the monitor off.  The next day, I decided to stop living in the guilt and just move forward. I went to Target and bought an analog audio monitor that has only 40mHz. This is compared to the 2.4 GHz digital video monitor that we were using (can you imagine, 2400 mHz?!) I could be so, so upset about it, but I am trying to remain calm. I am trying to live and learn and move on.

According to The Healthy Home Economist’s informative article: “The long term effects of microwave radiation on children’s developing brains is completely unknown” and parents are “increasingly taking precautions to minimize their children’s exposure to any sort of microwave technology.”

Also, an article from the Wired Child explains the level of radiation of certain technologies through a chart — from cell phones to microwaves to lap tops to baby monitors.  This has really been an eye-opener.

In addition to getting a new analog monitor, and keeping it as far away from her sweet, growing brain as possible, I have made other changes, not only for my children with their still-developing brains, but also for my and my husband’s safety:

  • I try to use a hands-free device for my cell phone
  • Keep my cell phone (which is not a smart phone) as far from the kids as possible
  • Turn off cell phone at night (and never leave it next to your bedside!)
  • When using lap top, use a hard surface so it isn’t on my lap (especially if pregnant!)
  • Turn off Wi-Fi at night

Do I really need a baby monitor?

My two and a half  year old son doesn’t need a monitor. I was continuing to use his from babyhood (another digital video monitor, but thankfully, this one was less exposure at 900mHz.) I enjoyed watching him on it, while he read his books at night, and in the morning when he first woke up. But this was not necessary. If he needs us at night, he knows he can knock loudly on his door and we will come running. (We have a child safety lock on his door because he would not stay in his room at night.)

My daughter doesn’t need a video monitor. As much as I would love to see that little snuggle-bug all the time, it is not necessary and CERTAINLY it is not worth risking her health. I am absolutely sick that I sacrificed her little brain. My only saving grace is that I only started using the monitor about two months ago because, before that, I would sleep in the twin bed with her in her room.

(I have since moved upstairs with my husband because he missed me — and I missed him — and because our king bed is so much more comfortable! I still fall asleep with her a lot — either at night or in the middle of the night, but for my sanity, I need to sleep apart from her so I can actually be comfy and get some good rest.)

She is a pretty sound sleeper, only getting up once a night, but sometimes twice. However, her little cries are so little and quaint that they are impossible to hear — this is the complete opposite from my son’s robust and huge scream. She will fuss, but it is hardly audible and you come running and she has tears streaming down her cheeks! It breaks my heart when I don’t hear her for a couple of minutes. Of course, co-sleeping would be safest, in terms of radiation exposure, but as I said earlier, I need my rest and that is just not the way I can get it.

So we have settled on the much safer analog audio monitor.  And I make sure to turn it off when she is not sleeping.  (And the price was right at $19.99 compared with $189.99 for our second video monitor!)

Some may call my outrage crazy. Just another “Amy loon episode.” I don’t care. We must make these things known. In a world of smart phones and cell phones and microwaves and brain cancer — nothing is sacred — not even the little baby monitor we use to hear our baby’s sweet cries at night, but we must continue to learn!

Let me know what you think!  Is this news to you?  What are your gut reactions?

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I am making my own toothpaste…. and my teeth actually feel clean!

I found a wonderful recipe for making your own toothpaste!  My teeth have become way too sensitive after my last pregnancy, and even though we have always used Tom’s toothpaste (the version without the killer fluoride!) and I use a soft-bristled brush, they still tingled horribly. Tom’s brand is a great alternative to commercial toothpastes (ingredients below), but it still contains glycerin, which prevents your teeth from remineralizing because it covers the surface with a hard-to-remove substance. Since using my below toothpaste recipe, my teeth have never looked so shiny and sparkly — I am letting my teeth remineralize naturally!

Commercial Toothpaste ingredients: Sodium Fluoride 0.15% w/v fluoride ion, Baking Soda, Glycerin, Hydrated Silica, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Silica, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Saccharin, Titanium Dioxide, Water.

I also tried the “sensitive brand” which contains 5% potassium nitrate, scary, and that really shouldn’t be going into the human body.  I was willing to try anything, but it hurt my teeth even worse than regular toothpaste.  Fail.  (And I returned it!  I’ll return anything at a store if I don’t need it.) So when I found out from the Healthy Extremist that I could make my own with my beloved coconut oil, I was so excited to try it.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 tbs coconut oil
  2. 2 tbs baking soda
  3. Peppermint essential oil — at least 10 drops

Directions:

  1. Soften your coconut oil on the stove top.
  2. Pour into a little glass container — a baby food jar works great!
  3. Add the baking soda and peppermint oil and stir.
  4. Stir every 5-10 minutes or so until the coconut oil hardens again –otherwise the baking soda will fall to the bottom: this is the tricky part.

Coconut oil is anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial.  It is also full of nutrients such as lauric acid and saturated fat! and vitamin K and E that your body needs!  And baking soda is a very low abrasive to get your teeth clean!  I checked out this chart made from a dentist at Save your Smile and baking soda is a “7” on the abrasive scale on a scale from 1 – 250. DSC02817 It is difficult to get the paste onto my tooth brush because the coconut oil is 90% saturated fat  — this means it is solid below about 75 degrees.  I use my finger to put it on my tooth brush and then it melts on my mouth.  I have heard of people using a hair dryer to soften it right before use.  That seems time-consuming.  However, in the summer months, the coconut oil will melt, so you’ll have more of a liquid to deal with.  This may become too obnoxious, but I’ll see. But…. my teeth feel so so so clean.  I have been doing this for a week now, and they feel smooth (not grimy!) and they look sparkly…. I’m not making this up!  I know they are clean because of how they feel and I have always been a “my teeth have to feel clean” type of person!  I have found my perfect toothpaste (minus the minor hassle of getting it on my tooth brush) and I will continue to use it. DSC02818 Thanks for visiting Wildflower Ramblings, if you’d like to receive post updates, please Like my Facebook Page!

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Happy brushing,

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Just let the kid eat butter!

I just read an awesome post from Nourishing Our Children about cravings and food and … nutrition! It explained that if your child is begging for the butter or that salt at the table, just let them eat it.  Butter, for example, provides wonderfully good saturated fats that your child’s brain needs to develop.  And sea salt provides much-needed minerals too.

I always let John take the paper off our butter when I need a fresh stick (which is usually every day around here — I’m a nursing mom and I know that my baby needs saturated fat from my breast milk!)  Well, I just read the above-linked post, and thought, “why haven’t I been letting him chew on the butter?!”  (In other words, no, butter and whole milk don’t cause obesity.)  So I told him he could eat it — he was beyond excited — as you can see from his face, and he ate a quarter of the stick! …. I think this will become a regular tradition.

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Check out Sandrine’s guest post by The Mommypotamus: Cravings: Follow Your Child’s Lead for some amazing parenting and nutritional advice (namely, don’t follow the traditional food pyramid!)

Thank you for taking the time to visit Wildflower Ramblings!

Blessings,
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The best cream for my son’s eczema: Ode to Vanicream

My son has eczema. And not just “oh a little dry skin and I’ll call it eczema”. His skin made me cry it was so bad. When he was a baby, my doctor told me it was the worst case she’d ever seen. We had tried every organic lotion and oil known to man, as well as most over the counter creams. Nothing helped his red, cracked, itchy skin.

And our referral to the dermatologist ended with prescriptions for steroid cream and antihistamine medicine. These are just bandaids on a gaping wound. I didn’t want to give my son something that wasn’t going to heal him, and only block some symptoms. So, I never filled these prescriptions, but took her advice to try plain ol’ Vaseline, especially on damp skin to “seal in the moisture”. This did help immensely, and was the best product we’d tried. Who knew that my mom and grandma were right? Petroleum jelly, say what you will about its “un-naturalness”, but it saved my baby’s face and legs, for a while. His skin didn’t look or feel smooth, but it was no longer cracking and it was a lot less itchy. I was annoyed when it stopped being as effective, because using it had taken a toll on his clothes, sheets, my clothes, due to the greasy nature of Vaseline; this stuff does not soak in, it just sits there.

Well, I dumped the Vaseline, and tried a few more over the counters: CeraVe, Aveeno, Aquaphor, Eucerin, Egyptian Magic, Tate’s Miracle Conditioner, coconut oil, calendula oil, etc, you name it. I have tried at least 20+ different remedies. We were using Eucerin for a while (also a petroleum based cream), but then my son’s gluten allergy was diagnosed…. and in about all the lotions you see at a pharmacy are that evil “wheat product”. That’s why his skin is red every time after I apply. Doh.

Another trip to the dermatologist, with more lies that I used the creams and drugs they prescribed, claiming some relief, but not long term (which I knew would be the case even if I had used them). And she suggested (Ah, angels singing!) Vanicream. I ordered it, reluctantly. Another $15 down the drain. Amazon carries it; pharmacies do not. And I can proudly say that, after one month of using it on my son’s scaly, red, cracked, itchy legs, he is not red and he is even smooth! This is a miracle. Not only does it work, but it is a nice consistency, soaks in, a nice thick cream that lathers on him after his baths and before bed. He does not itch at it. And in his sweet two year old voice says, “soothing,” as I moisturize him up.  (I have to add, too, that the SUN has probably assisted Vanicream’s miracle-ness, but no other lotion has helped him, even with all the sun in the world.)

I hope and pray that its effects won’t wear off. I hope this is all we will ever need. I have even begun using it and am happy with the results in my face and body. This is a wonderful, hidden secret, and every mom whose child has skin ailments must try it! I hope you get the same results as we did.

$11 for a wonderful cream, free of dyes, fragrance, masking fragrance, lanolin, parabens, and formaldehyde (16 oz).  Well worth it.

**I was not compensated for this review.  I just love Vanicream and I know you will too.

Low iron in pregnancy: Ode to Floradix

I am now 7 1/2 months pregnant with my second child.  I had been feeling so worn down — I couldn’t climb up the stairs without stopping to catch my breath, I couldn’t pick up my 2 year old son, I couldn’t stand for very long at all.  My midwife guessed that I had low iron (and my blood work came back a week later to confirm this).

She recommended a whole food supplement called Floradix.  This product comes in a dark glass bottle and the adult recommended dose is 10 ml two times a day.  I have been taking about 15 ml in the mornings — simply because I am running around so much that it would be hard to remember to take two doses.  Floradix is made by a German company and it tastes great going down (fruit juices are added to make it more palatable).

My midwife told me that I would be able to tell within 24 hours if the Floradix was helping my anemia.  And it worked!  I began feeling light on my toes again (yes, even with an extra 35 lbs on me), I could (gasp!) walk up the stairs without thinking I was going to die, and I could, most importantly, pick up my little boy again.  I can’t believe it, but for about four weeks now, this has been the best of my pregnancy and I feel great!

If you have been struggling with energy, lethargic-ness, always feeling tired, etc., than you may benefit from trying Floradix.

One more tip:  I take my other supplements in the morning when I gulp down my Floradix.  I take a cod lover oil, a fish oil, and a vitamin D (5000 iu).  I ran out of vitamin D about three days ago, and I have started to get that feeling back — worn down and tired, and I did a bit of research and see that vitamin D aids in the absorption of iron, so I’m assuming that once I can get to the store (tomorrow?) and pick up more vitamin D, I will be in tip top shape again.

**I am in no way affiliated with Floradix and have not received compensation for this review of the product.  I just want to help other pregnant mamas out there who may be struggling with low-iron symptoms and would like to try a low-risk, whole food, natural supplement.

Spraying insecticide on your home is safe

The aerial spraying of insecticide in Dallas may cause more harm than the West Nile virus itself.  And yet the Texas Department of State Health Services deems it necessary to do so.  Texans are protesting this insecticide spraying, and yet, this decision has not been put to a vote.   This illness, which creates flu-like symptoms, has been fatal for only a handful of elderly citizens, but has only been contracted by 400 people in all of Texas. Don’t people think of long term side effects for these things?  …. But our government would never spray anything really harmful its citizens.  Right?

Forgive my sarcasm but Agent Orange, Tuskegee, SV40, and Zyklon B come to mind, not to mention the spraying of DDT on our shores.