Phthalates in Teethers and Toys

21 11 2006

Received this in an email today…

Before 1998, children’s plastic toys and teethers were often made with a chemical called diisononyl phthalate, used as a softening agent. Although there has not been a comprehensive study performed to determine how much of the chemical leeches out of a baby’s toy when chewed, or how much of the chemical a baby must ingest to pose a health risk, the U.S. government asked manufacturers to voluntarily stop using phthalates in toys and teethers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also recommends that parents not give their children toys or teethers made with this chemical. Laboratory studies indicate that in high doses, phthalates damage the liver, kidneys and other organs in mice and rats. Other studies indicate that high doses may cause liver tumors in mice and rats.

Manufacturers who stopped using phthalates in teethers in early 1999 include ArcoToys, Chicco, Disney, Evenflo, The First Years, Gerber, Hasbro (Playskool), Little Tikes, Mattel (Fisher-Price), Safety 1st, Sassy, Shelcore Toys and Tyco Preschool.

Look for labels on packaging stating that the toy or teether is phthalate-free, and discard any if you are unsure whether they contain phthalates. You may also choose teethers made from other materials, such as latex or silicone, which are durable, easy to clean, and will soothe baby’s sore gums.

Note: None of the pacifiers or nipples currently sold are made with phthalates.

Your baby at 7 months

3 11 2006

My daughter will be 7 months old in a week, so I thought I would share with you a guideline on how she should be developing. Every baby is different so I do not rely on these but it is nice to see what she has mastered and should be learning. I got this article from

Physical Development
Sitting becomes a favorite pastime for babies in their seventh month. Most babies can now sit unsupported — although keep those cushions nearby in case she topples!

When your child sees an interesting object out of reach, she may try to get it. Lunging forward from a sitting position is a very important movement. In time, as she continues lunging, she may pivot up onto her knees for an extra long stretch. She’ll learn that she can hold herself up on all fours. She may rock back and forth with this new position, practicing for the next big movement: crawling.

Crawling in itself is not a milestone, seeing an out-of-reach object and figuring out how to get it is a milestone. Some babies creep on their bellies, some crawl, others scoot on their bottoms. Some babies skip this stage altogether and start pulling up to a stand and walking. But your baby is probably very content right now to sit and observe the interesting sights around her. Enjoy this time, because she will soon be in constant motion.


This is a good time for you to start thinking about safety. Look at your home carefully. Start covering electrical plugs, encasing cords for blinds and draperies, and removing breakable or sharp objects from coffee tables and other places where baby will be able to reach.

Consider spots in the home, which might require a gate — definitely at the top and bottom of stairs! It’s important that baby has a safe space to explore, because for the next months that will be her job: to check out and investigate every nook and cranny in your home.

There is a continuum for how active and inquisitive babies can be during this stage. Some parents have reported barely child proofing the home for one child and then doing a major child proofing overhaul for the next.

If you have a very active child who is almost crawling, you may consider having a safety expert come to your home and point out potential dangers. If your baby seems content sitting and not as interested in learning how to crawl, you may still have some time.

Bath Time
By now, baby is probably too big for the infant tub, but wet baby bodies are slippery, and placing baby directly in the tub may be frightening for parents. You may want to use a bath seat, a small seat with suction cups on the bottom that attaches to the floor of tub, especially now that baby enjoys sitting. Often these seats swivel and have seat belts and toy bars. They offer a helpful to introduce baby to the big tub.

Additionally, there are devices on the market designed to minimize drowning risks; these items help maintain shallower bathing depths while recirculating clean bath water at a temperature comfortable for baby.

Just remember, whether baby is in an infant tub, a seat, sitting on her own in the tub, or even in a tub with a shallow-water device, you should never turn away from your child in the tub — not even for a second. It takes very little time and very little water for disaster. Enough said.

Another fun way to handle bath time with your child is to join her in the tub. She will feel secure with you right there, and you can both relax and enjoy the water (and the bath toys!)

Bath time is a great time to connect with baby after a long day. Test the water with your elbow, a part of your anatomy that is more sensitive to temperature than your hands. Have your supplies ready: towel, washcloth, cleanser, shampoo, and anything else you need. Take baby out of the water carefully, but quickly cover her in a fluffy towel and dry off. Often, it is not the water that bothers babies who don’t seem to like the bath, but being wet and cold.

There are, of course, great toys for the bath, ones that squirt water or soft sponges in the shapes of animals. Plastic cups for baby to stack, fill with water and pour are winners. And no baby’s bath is complete without a rubber ducky.

Stranger Anxiety
Sometime between six and twelve months, your baby may show the first signs of being wary of strangers. She can now clearly distinguish between people she knows and people she doesn’t. It is a normal phase and affects children in varying degrees.

You play a very important role in helping her deal with strangers. First, you never have to apologize to anyone for her reactions. Her response is not an indicator of insecurity or a reflection of your parenting skills. Instead, talk to your baby about the stranger. “This is your uncle Peter. He has heard a lot about you. He looks very happy to meet you.” Your baby will accept the stranger must faster if she can feel your own acceptance. If you like this person, then maybe he is okay.

From the safety of your arms, baby will watch the stranger’s face and listen to the tone of the conversation between you and the mysterious, new person. Give her the space to become more comfortable. If your baby is more sensitive to strangers, it may not be a good idea to hand her over to the new person to be held. In time, she will warm up and engage the stranger in her own individual way.

Separation Anxiety

Also, around this time, baby may seem to have a harder time separating from you. Separation anxiety can appear anytime after six months, but usually peaks closer to twelve months.

Separating from baby is a huge milestone for parents, too. If baby is upset or clinging, it can be heart breaking. This raises questions for parents such as “Is my baby insecure?” “Is she too dependent?” “Why can’t she trust others?” “Am I a bad parent for leaving her?” Hard as it may be, try not to worry. This is a normal stage in her development, and there are specific strategies that you can use to help you and baby separate more easily.

Leave her with a caregiver that you and she know and trust. Stranger and separation anxiety often go hand in hand. Spend some time with this caregiver together, so she can feel your own trust in this person.
Communicate to the caregiver about the specific ways to support your baby. Does she have a special blanket? Does she use a pacifier? What is her napping schedule? How does she like to be held? Does she have special words to signify special objects?
If you are separating from her regularly, try to establish a routine. Children thrive in predictable, responsive environments. If they know what comes next, they feel safe.
Always, even if baby is happily playing, say goodbye. Tell her that you will be back and you want her to have a good time with _____ (name of caregiver). Drawn out goodbyes are hard on everyone. Be confident! Your baby will have a much easier time if she knows you feel good about leaving with the caregiver.

Here is the link just in case you want to find out more on the month of your child

Another FREE finding

24 10 2006

Here is a baby tooth chart that you can record when your child gets his/her teeth…

Click here for chart

Is your baby teething? Find out here…..

29 09 2006

When a baby begins teething, there is no set pattern on when it will begin, how long it will take and how painful it will be.  For one baby cutting a tooth might happen overnight without pain, while another child might have to go through a long, drawn out and painful experience.  You may sometimes visibly see a rise or lump in the gum for several weeks, while sometimes there may be no visible clue at all until the tooth actually appears. The process of teething often follows hereditary patterns, so if the mother and father teethed early or late, your baby may follow the same pattern.  On average the first tooth comes in during the seventh month, although it can arrive as early as three months, as late as a year, or in rare cases even earlier or later.

Which teeth come in first and how many with there be. In total there are twenty primary (first) teeth, which is twelve less than the full set of thirty-two permanent teeth adults have.  Most children have a full set of primary teeth by the time they are around two or three years old.  These teeth usually last until about the age of six, when the teeth that were first to appear become loose and fall out as the second teeth begin to push through the gums.  The primary teeth continue falling out until roughly the age of twelve.  Again, these ages mentioned above are only averages and your child may follow an earlier or later pattern.  The following is the most common pattern in which your baby’s teeth will usually appear.