4 ways to make your home safe and natural for your child – The pandemic and the resultant lockdown made us realise the significance of the safety and security we find in our homes. If anything, the lockdown almost made it synonymous for us, as staying home was the primary way to remain safe from contracting the virus! And for infants and children, home is also where life begins.
From the first understanding of the environment around to the noises, smell, touch, texture of the world, the home is an incubated space where children breathe the ambience and learn and acclimatise.
However, in the recent decades, our homes, much like the rest of our lives, have been taken over by plastic and are a hotbed of chemicals and toxic substances that pass by as daily use items, without as much as a second thought.
When it comes to raising children, while most parents try to keep the home clean and safe, they tend to overlook the plastic and the toxic chemicals around the house, which are not only harmful for the child but also become a slow habit for the body, ensuring the slow damage to health starts at a very young age.
In this article, we will speak about how parents can ensure their home, the immediate environment for their children, can be kept as natural and free of toxins, as possible, and how one can make it safer for them by replacing plastic and synthetic items, with natural and safer alternatives.
There is no alternative to breast-feeding. However, the situation is not always the same for everyone and thus were invented bottle-feeders. While food grade, certified safe plastic feeding bottles have become a norm, it is still plastic, and there are ways in which micro plastics, over time, leech into the milk and enter the baby’s system. Further, with consistent use, the quality of plastics bottles tends to decrease, making it hazardous for the child.
Replacing this with natural options like glass and metal feeding bottles, helps to eliminate any toxic or synthetic substances while also being durable and easier to clean and disinfect. Steel bottles also help to maintain the temperature. Further, the natural bottles provide the child a safe and natural feed experience.
As one of the most widely used baby products across the globe, diapers are a boon to parents and claim to provide babies with a clean and dry feel, helping them sleep and play, with ease. However, the regular synthetic fibres, which combine bits of micro plastic and synthetic fabric, are known to cause irritation and allergic reactions to the already sensitive baby skin.
Regular use of synthetic diapers can cause rashes, toxicity and grow more chances of infections. Apart from the harsh impact on the skin, diapers also contribute to a lot of non-degradable waste. Replacing this with sustainable options like cloth diapers, help children get a natural, non-allergic and safe diaper experience while being economical and sustainable.
Playtime for children is an essential part of developing motor, cognitive, and sensory skills, and later on, aids in developing interpersonal and social skills as well. And the functions of any toy, for children, are multifaceted as they tend to use them to enquire and know more about their immediate surroundings.
Thus, the function of a toy always goes beyond its intended build! From touching, chewing on, tasting, cuddling, and throwing around, quite often landing at some of the most unreachable nooks and corners of a home, a toy is an object that is thoroughly explored by a child.
The material of a toy is thus of significance as toys made of plastic and synthetic material can often cause damage irritation, allergies and reactions, apart from the damages caused due to continuous exposure. Natural toys, made of wood, fabric, stuffed toys etc., offer a much safer and more enriching experience to children. They are also easier to clean and mend and children can be taught to also make them at home.
While it is understood that a home acts as the first experience of the world, for a child, all of its contents – space, smell, light and a sense of safety and belonging that a child feels when growing up, contribute to moulding his future self. The kitchen, which is also one of the most active parts of the home throughout the day, can naturally become an organic laboratory of sorts, where a child can experience myriad tastes and aromas.
Introducing your child to the elements in the kitchen – from food grains, flour, lentils, and fruits to steel vessels and containers, etc., the kitchen can become a child’s playground! Introducing them to food, in a fun way, also helps them build healthier eating habits, makes them more attuned to their own needs and can be the stepping stone to learning the most important life skill – cooking their own food!
Apart from the above, using sustainable and chemical-free cleaning agents, introducing them to gardening and taking care of plants, replacing screen time with actual physical engagement with family members and friends, etc. can all help build a natural and safe childhood.