Sunday, May 24, 2009

Baby Allergies?

Spring is in the air, and so are allergens.  Since moving to Germany, my husband has been popping Claratin daily and since spring has arrived, I've had to take a Sudafed or two.  And with the May showers came coughs and sneezes for our baby girl.  But with all of the coughing and sneezing that she has been doing, it hasn't effected her mood.  She still has a pleasant disposition, smiles and coos, naps well and her appetite is just fine so I was going with the assumption that this wasn't a cold that is ailing her but rather allergies.  I went to Google to try to find out a little more about allergens, allergies and how they effect babies.  There is a great amount of information out there but the article I found the most helpful is from  Here is their checklist of questions for you to answer if you are wondering if your little one is suffering from allergies:

Because the symptoms of nasal allergies are much like cold symptoms — runny nose, watery eyes, cough, nasal congestion, sneezing — it can be tough to tell the difference. There are some telltale signs of allergies, though.

Ask yourself the following questions:

• Does it seem like your baby always has a cold? Colds usually wind down in a week to ten days; allergies don't.
• Is your baby's nose continually stuffy or running?
• Is she constantly wiggling, wiping, or pushing her nose up in what doctors call the allergic salute?
• Is the mucus that drains from her nose clear and thin (as opposed to yellow or greenish and thick)?
• Does she seem to sneeze a lot?
• Are her eyes itchy, red, and watery?
• Does the skin under her eyes look dark or purple or blue — what doctors call allergic shiners?
• Does she breathe through her mouth?
• Does she have a dry cough?
• Is her skin irritated or broken out in an itchy red rash?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, there's a good chance your baby is allergic to something in her environment. 

(Click here for the entire article)  Since I answered "yes" for almost every question it's time for me to get going on de-allergifying (huh? Did I just invent a word?) her environment. All of her blankets and bedding are going into the wash in hot water, the bathroom attached to our bedroom is getting scrubbed with Soft Scrub with bleach (mold is a huge trigger) and that mountain of clothing on hubby's side of the bed? Well, that needs to be sorted through and put away. In the meantime I'll continue putting saline drops in her little nose (I totally recommend Little Noses Saline drops, you can find them here at and reclining her head slightly when I lay her down so she can breathe a little easier. 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Plastic facts

This information is taken from 

Top Facts - Consumption
  • Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year.
  • According to the EPA, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year. 
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers is $4 billion) 
  • According to the industry publication Modern Plastics, Taiwan consumes 20 billion bags a year - 900 per person. 
  • According to Australia's Department of Environment, Australians consume 6.9 billion plastic bags each year - 326 per person. An estimated 0.7% or 49,600,000 end up as litter each year.

Top Facts - Environmental Impact

  • Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.
  • Plastic bags don't biodegrade, they photodegrade - breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest.
  • As part of Clean Up Australia Day, in one day nearly 500,000 plastic bags were collected. 
  • Windblown plastic bags are so prevalent in Africa that a cottage industry has sprung up harvesting bags and using them to weave hats, and even bags. According to the BBC, one group harvests 30,000 per month.
  • According to David Barnes, a marine scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, plastic bags have gone "from being rare in the late 80s and early 90s to being almost everywhere from Spitsbergen 78 degrees North [latitude] to Falklands 51 degrees South [latitude]." 
  • Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit Center for Marine Conservation.
All the more reason for you to go green and help protect our environment with reusable sandwich and snack bags, market bags and totes.  To purchase these bags, check out my Etsy shop or contact me at to place an order.