Monthly Archives: January 2012
Celebrity-created or endorsed product lines are often vanity projects, even when it comes to babies. That’s not always the case, however, and Jessica Alba is a recent example of a star with a genuine vision. Not out to build her brand with handbags, clothing, or fragrances, Alba, who has been absent from films for the past few years, debuted Honest.com, a website for eco-friendly diapers, last week. Profiled by the New York Daily News, the Machete actress described her intentions and motivations for her first entrepreneurial endeavor.
Honest.com, the website for Alba’s The Honest Co., offers a line of nontoxic, environmentally friendly diapers, biodegradable wipes, and organic bath and skin care products. Unlike many eco baby products, which frequently are colored beige or green, The Honest Co.’s adds patterns.
Alba explained that, after receiving a rash from a baby-safe detergent, she researched the chemicals in it, only to find that many were, in fact, not organic. Further finding out that flame retardants are added to breast pillows, she sought out truly green baby products, which were difficult to come across. She said:
“It was exhausting. I had a baby, I was working. I didn’t have time to go everywhere. And I get it. Everything has a green leaf on it or brown or beige. I’m like, just because it’s eco why does it have to be brown, beige, or have a green leaf on it?”
The actress developed the brand of eco-diapers in response, determined to offer truly environmentally-friendly baby products that are both affordable and attractive. At the moment, the diapers and other baby products appear to only be available for purchase online.
Finding eco-friendly baby products is a difficult task, but more options can be found on the internet. DadaBabyBoutique.com has a large selection of green baby toys, supplies, and diaper bags, and Rattlecake’s eco diaper cakes are perfect as baby shower gifts.
You likely know a parent or two that ardently sticks up for cosleeping, regardless of CPSC warnings. Much like the bonding approach through baby-wearing, cosleeping makes breastfeeding easier for the mother, the mother gets closer to her baby, the parent and child gradually assume the same sleep cycle, and the baby falls asleep quicker. Yet, even with these supposed benefits, CPSC advises against cosleeping.
Simple standards and guidelines don’t quite hit as close to home as stories and experiences. A piece in South Carolina newspaper The State goes into detail about the hazards of cosleeping, particularly the innate ease at which a parent or older child can suffocate a baby.
How unsafe is a baby when surrounded by heavier people in an adult bed? Essentially, an arm or a leg becomes a suffocation hazard, extending over the baby and staying in place. Because infants have limited motor skills, pushing off a heavier person is impossible.
At the same time, co-sleeping, or use of a family bed, may be a greater cause of sudden infant death than previously believed. A baby who dies in a family bed is labeled with condition “Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome – Unsafe Sleeping Conditions,” which can also include letting a child sleep on a couch or armchair, in a crib with comforters or pillows, or in the same space with a dog.
In the past, at least in this area of South Carolina, infant deaths resulting from sleeping were labeled SIDS, but this condition indicates that the child was placed in a safe area. In order to now determine the cause of death, a coroner goes to the caregiver’s house and asks the individual to reenact the sleeping situation with a doll.
Cosleeping, however, isn’t a radical parenting approach, like baby-wearing; rather, it has been in practice with families for many years, going under other names. That doesn’t mean that it’s safe. Just like the playgrounds of metal equipment and blacktop of many adults’ childhoods, not all past situations and practices are safe for children; what was once the norm is now a hazard. Gary Watts, the Richland coroner quoted in the State, piece explained:
“My grandmother did it, my mother did it, and I know I did it. But it’s unsafe. At some point, you have to realize it’s a danger to the infant. If you want to have a child in the room – put him in a bassinet beside your bed.”
It’s one of the most awaited celebrity births of the past year, if not decade: Beyonce Knowles delivered her and Jay-Z’s baby, Blue Ivy Carter, on Saturday. Yet, by Monday, reports of their seemingly extravagant demands surfaced in gossip rags. But, how much accuracy can you trust to an anonymous source in Us Weekly?
Us, like other magazines of its sort, described the extreme security around Beyonce’s birth at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. One witness, again anonymous, called their approach “insane,” but can you blame the couple and their families? Considering the cost of celebrity photos, the paparazzi would have been swarming the hospital if some security measures hadn’t been put into place. Supposedly, Jay-Z paid $1.3 million to reserve a full floor of the building, but a hospital spokesperson stated that such reports are exaggerated; rather, they only had reserved a sixth floor suite.
Nevertheless, one parent sharing the space said about the security: “They just used the hospital like it was their own and nobody else mattered. […] They locked us into the NICU and would say, ‘You can’t come out to the hallway for the next 20 minutes.’ When I finally was able to go back out, I went to the waiting room and they’d ushered my family downstairs!”
Most babies get birth announcements, sent out to friends and family. Blue Ivy, on the other hand, gets a statement from Beyonce and Jay-Z’s publicist and a song. Called “Glory,” the track is already released and features samples of the baby’s first cries. The couple’s publicist also put out the following statement:
Hello Hello Baby Blue!
We are happy to announce the arrival of our beautiful daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, born on Saturday, January 7, 2012. Her birth was emotional and extremely peaceful, we are in heaven. She was delivered naturally at a healthy 7 lbs and it was the best experience of both of our lives. We are thankful to everyone for all your prayers, well wishes, love and support. Beyoncé & JAY Z
When it comes to having babies, there’s no going back to a child-free lifestyle. Yet, while women’s magazines generally focus on tips for getting a pre-baby body back, a new mother’s life is going to be significantly different from her old one – especially when it comes to finances. Published early in December by Citibank’s Women & Co., BabyCenter conducted a national survey of new mothers’ post-baby habits and thoughts.
What did they find? First and foremost, mothers generally have money and parenting on the mind, in that order. Additionally, her role in family financial decisions is greater, with 60 percent stating they make daily financial decisions and 30 percent split it equally with a spouse.
Although cash might not have been bountiful in a pre-child life, a mother’s financial responsibilities increase after having children; the survey, however, didn’t indicate if fathers experienced a similar pattern. As far as making financial decisions go, new mothers find themselves deciding on new products more, budgeting, spending, saving, and financial planning. Additionally, most mothers end up spending less on themselves after having a baby.
Saving, particularly, becomes a greater part of a mother’s life, as well as her spouse’s. Deals and coupons are more sought after, finances are reconsidered, and both partners discuss spending and saving strategies. But, while a pre-child couple may have focused on paying off debt, they now factor their child and future into the picture, saving for a child’s education and retirement and lowering expenses.
About the survey conducted, Linda Descano, CFA(R), President and CEO of Women & Co., stated in a release:
“As every parent knows, having a baby changes everything – and finances are not an exception. The life change of a baby brings about new and substantial financial needs and questions. After having children, moms are increasingly taking charge of not just day-to-day spending, but also the longer-term planning of the financial future of their family.”