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Gluten-Free is Getting Easier

Thank goodness for allergy parents like me that allergy-free products are getting more and more popular and easier to find! My little guy has egg, peanut and tree nut allergies, but I know an awful lot of Moms who have to deal with the dreaded gluten allergy or celiac disease.

Gluten is so sneaky, and it really pops up in some unsuspected places. It’s in wheat, barley and rye as food sources, but gluten is also used in vitamins and herbal supplements, prescription meds, gum (that flour-like substance on the outside of a piece!), in paint, and even Play-Doh.  Even the adhesive on stamps and envelopes could be a culprit! Imagine a Mom (or Dad) combing the grocery and toy store aisles to find products that their kids can eat safely.

I certainly don’t have an extensive list, but here are a few gluten-free products that will help ease your shopping a little. I’d love to hear of more if you have some to submit. I can definitely update the list! A big thank you to Allergic Living Magazine for this great info. You can find them at www.allergicliving.com.

Toast-It Bags (help keep your gluten-free bread from getting contaminated while in the toaster) www.toastitbags.com
Afterglow Cosmetics www.afterglowcosmetics.com
Gluten-Free Savonnerie (Soap) www.gfsoap.com
Candy www.naturalcandystore.com
Play Dough and Paints www.bluedominoes.com
Sandylion Sticker Designs www.sandylion.com
Mrs. Grossman’s Stickers www.mrsgrossmans.com
Elmer’s Glue (all products are gluten-free except the finger paints!) www.elmers.com

Traveling with Baby

Every relative, no matter how far away they live, wants to see the new baby, right? So when you decide to take the leap into traveling long distance with baby, there’s a lot of planning to do (not to mention shopping, organizing, packing…whew!)

There are a few really ingenious web-based businesses that have popped up lately which will help tremendously when you have baby in one arm, luggage over the shoulder, Bottle Snuggler is holding the bottle and boarding passes are in the free hand. Now, if you forget something at home, you can have it delivered to your destination with the click of a mouse.

Speaking of forgetting things, www.seejanefly.com has downloadable checklists to help even the most frazzled Mommy keep it all together. I love check lists. They make my life work. Seriously.

Definitely visit www.jetsetbabies.com. They are a national service which will ship all of your baby supplies to your destination in a tidy little package. You just go to the website, click on what you want to buy (or rent), and your goodies will be there when you arrive. No more lugging everything through the airport or packing the car like the Clampett clan. I say take the help where you can get it!

I always take enough food, snacks, games, books, meds and wipes as I can comfortably fit in my carry-on, just in case of a delay or lost luggage. If we’re car traveling, we pack a cooler so that we don’t have to stop at a grocery store when we arrive (and we don’t have spoiled dairy in the fridge when we return.) And sometimes, though my husband doesn’t know it, I pack only my son’s bath supplies in a travel-sized bottle, and we all share. It’s just for a few days, and it’s easier than taking separate supplies for everyone. :)

I would love to hear your suggestions and tricks for traveling with baby. Heaven knows we can all use a good time- and sanity-saving tip these days.

Are your bottles BPA-free?

As parents, we do our best to keep our babies’ environments safe and clear of the things that we know can hurt them. We use non-toxic chemicals to clean our house (our tile floors now get mopped with vinegar and water, and our counters get wiped with alcohol and water!), and we buy organic food when possible.

It seems like we learn every day of some new danger that’s lurking around the corner. Today, I saw a mention of Bisphenol A, or BPA, so it’s on my mind. (As a seller of a baby bottle holder, bottles are on my mind a lot, actually.) BPA is a chemical that is used to make hard plastic products, like cups, food storage containers and baby bottles. In the past couple of years, we have been notified that BPA is very toxic to humans, and babies seem to be especially susceptible to harm. In my research, even low doses of exposure to BPA can contribute to several different cancers, impaired immune function, early onset of puberty, obesity, diabetes and hyperactivity, to name only a few.

Now to find out that this toxic chemical is in our babies’ bottles is horrifying. My son is now 4, and we didn’t know of BPA then, so I am pretty positive his bottles were affected. That is unsettling, to say the least. Many of the more established  bottle companies have started lines of BPA-Free bottles, and several newer bottle companies have popped up lately offering BPA-free bottles and accessories.

A few notable bottles that do not contain BPA are: Green to Grow, Adiri, Born Free, Thinkbaby, Medela and MAM by Sassy. If I buy bottles for baby shower gifts from now on, I will likely select from one of these new alternatives. Of course, glass bottles are naturally BPA-free, and they are a great choice. And remember to never microwave a plastic bottle, even if it is BPA-Free.

Just walk into a big box baby store now, and there are HUGE WALLS FULL of nothing but bottles! It’s overwhelming to a newbie, I know. So if you have a little experience, pass on the knowledge to a friend who is newly pregnant. She has many other things to stress about! 

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