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Moms push for alternatives




In these times when pretty much everything you put in, around or on your body could potentially harm you due to all those toxins and pesticides that are practically in everything we use, eat or inhale, we should all be hard-pressed to search for products that are gentler, use less chemicals or artificial ingredients or none at all.

Swaddling is a traditional practice of carefully wrapping a baby in a soft blanket which provides a sense of security for babies and also helps them sleep

And females in the household usually bear the brunt of responsibility of choosing the products that would do the job, like keeping the house spic and span and protecting their newborns from toxins and effects from these cleaning agents while taking care of their overall well-being.

Brand ambassadors Gretchen Choa-Uy, Cristina Gomez-Ong and Christine Dychiao emphasized the need to be extra careful in choosing products for the family during the launch of baby products aden + anais and household cleaning products Seventh Generation.

Choa-Uy, the official distributor of the two global brands in the Philippines, personally vouches for the benefits of these products.

The brand aden + anais features the swaddle blanket. Swaddling is a traditional practice of carefully wrapping a baby in a soft blanket which provides a sense of security for babies and also helps them sleep. Swaddles can also be used as stroller covers, tummy time blankets, nursing covers and burp cloths.

For the last 30 years, Seventh Generation has been at the forefront of caring for both the current population and the generations ahead. The brand derives ingredients from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine and forestry materials and uses recycled materials for the packaging. Its laundry and dish products have a 95 percent or higher bio-based percentage, while diapers, wipes and Free & Clear detergent are hypoallergenic.

“I believe in these products so much and I know they are going to work. I myself use it at home. During the holidays, when my helpers went home, I used the products to clean the house, the floor, the toilet and I also asked my kids to help me. We didn’t get any allergies from using these products,” says Choa-Uy. ”I think it’s the little things that you do consistently. You have to change your lifestyle and you will see the difference in the rest of your life.”

“I’ve been carrying aden + anais and Seventh Generation for more than five years and I’ve struggled trying to promote it to people and stores because they feel like it’s so expensive, there’s no use. I persevered and eventually, the awareness for the environment and for adding value to your home is gaining importance. We can’t afford to have too many things in our home; we can only provide products that are not only aesthetically nice but also functional and in the long run hopefully sustainable not only for our generation but for the next seven generations.”

Cristina Gomez-Ong, Gretchen Choa Uy and Christine Dychiao are moms who swear by the effectivity of swaddling.

Gomez-Ong, a magazine editor-turned-designer who was two weeks shy of giving birth at the time of the launch event, also talked about the stringent process she had to go through in researching and looking for the right items to use in her home, with emphasis on the swaddle blankets and soothing lavender scent of the laundry products.

“When you hear the magical words from your doctor that you’re pregnant, you get overly excited. I thought I wanted to be overly prepared for this baby. So as soon as I heard, I started dragging my husband to all these mommy and baby fairs, and (for me it was) fun.

For him, it was a completely different experience. It was not only overwhelming but it was also very, very confusing. There were so many of these complicated products that I didn’t even hear of before,” Gomez-Ong relates.

Preparations, for her, include making the house baby-friendly. ”My immediate concerns happen to delve on having our home pass my personal home exam, not just being clean but secure — edges to be covered with foam because babies become mobile overnight.

Secondly, it’s targeting what I call the red zones which would be the faucets, the cabinet holders, the doorknobs and the kitchen table since all of these gather dirt so easily. And lastly, another concern for me to manage is the daily dirt.”

Dychiao, a blogger who is a wife and mom as well, used these brands from when she was living in New York and in Manila. She’s happy that these products are available in the country as she used to ask friends to bring some from the US.

Swaddles can also be used as stroller covers, tummy time blankets, nursing covers and burp cloths.

“So luckily when I gave birth to my first child, we were then living in the States, so there was this array of baby stuff and one of that was aden + anais, and I loved it because it reminded me of lampin, the one used when we were kids. It was very thin and airy and light and then they have cute prints so I gravitated towards it — it reminded me of my childhood and the lampin that my siblings and I all grew up wearing. I still keep the old blankets my kids used. I remember it was my breastfeeding cover. I would use it to cover the stroller when they were sleeping. It’s very thin that you don’t have to worry about the baby getting smothered or not getting enough air,” she narrates.

Dychiao swears by the benefits of swaddling. ”With my first baby, I wasn’t familiar with swaddling so she kept on waking up every 30 minutes and we looked like a zombie the following day. So I learned, from the second and third, I swaddled them. I researched all these things, the benefits also, of swaddling. You think about how your baby stayed inside your womb for about nine months and it was very snug. So in the first few days of their lives, you suddenly put them in an environment that’s very open, it kind of scares them. So by putting them in a swaddle, it kind of comforts them and calms them.”

Choa-Uy says there are things that we used to disregard before that we now put emphasis on. “I remember when I was growing up, when our helper would clean the room, she would ask me to leave the room and open the windows. At that time, of course, I’ll be honest, when I was younger, I didn’t care.

“But when you have a baby, when you realize you have a life beyond your own that you have to think of somebody else and somebody’s watching your every move. You realize that they watch and they follow, and I believe that my kids can grow up seeing that cleaning is not toxic, it’s not harmful, it’s something that you can use, and at the same time you realize also that you can introduce chores to your children and help out in the home because you’re not afraid that they’re inhaling or touching toxic chemicals,” she added.

The brand aden + anais is available at Rustan’s Department Store, The Parenting Emporium, The Nest Parenting Hub, Mothercare, Baby & Beyond, Modern Mama Baby Shop, BaoBao Babies and Urban Mom Store. For more info, visit Like and follow @adenandanais on Facebook and Instagram.

Seventh Generation is available at Ace Hardware, Robinsons Supermarket, Rustans Department Store, The Parenting Emporium, Modern Mama Baby Shop, My Baby Planet, The Nest Parenting Hub, Baby & Beyond, The Green Company, Earth Origins and Ultra Supergreen. For more info, visit Like and follow @seventhgeneration on Facebook and Instagram.