Before I had kids I thought I had healthy living down. We tried to eat organic, we avoided high fructose corn syrup and we cooked health conscious meals that my in-laws rolled their eyes at. Our cabinets were stocked with items from Trader Joe’s and we did our best to be environmentally conscious.
Then I had kids and suddenly I had to worry about breastfeeding or in my case not breastfeeding and bottles that might contain BPA. I had to see if the formula I fed my son was non-gmo and organic, or both, I wasn’t completely sure. There was sunscreen to worry about and don’t get me started on baby bath products, I found myself worrying if the “baby” smell that I loved so much was actually a carcinogen.
And it didn’t stop after the baby phase. I had to worry about the plastics in toys, chemicals in cleaning products and flame retardants in clothes. If I wanted to (and I don’t) I could probably find possible toxins and causes for anxiety in every aspect of my life. It’s overwhelming and way too much to handle when you have a little baby to take care of. I know that with Jackson I tried my best in all things “green” and then at one point I just threw my hands up in the air, it was probably the same day that he told me he preferred the convenience store mac and cheese my mother-in-law buys to the homemade macaroni and cheese I had slaved over all day.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all of the ways you could possibly be failing as a parent.Spit that Out!: The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy Kids in the Age of Environmental Guilt by Paige Wolf, cuts through all the decisions and guilt and gives parents a guilt-free guide.
Spit That Out! breaks down all of the different healthy and environmental concerns that parents have and gets to the basics of what you can and need to do as a parent. Each chapter discusses a different concern from breastfeeding to cloth vs disposable diapers to green cleaners and helps parents make decisions that work for their families. Each chapter ends with a list of tips, which are a great resource if you want to quickly know what foods to buy organic or what cleaning products are the most friendly.
There is a great chapter on buying second-hand clothes, how to get smells out of them and where to look for free or nearly free clothing finds. I didn’t think about it but using hand-me-downs is one of the easiest ways to be environmentally friendly and one that most Moms are probably already doing.
I really enjoyed the chapter on breastfeeding. I fed my son formula and I’m now breastfeeding my daughter. I know how loud the cry of “breast is best” can be and that clearly it doesn’t work for everyone. Paige gets this and says so much in her book and talks about her breastfeeding struggles. I love that she doesn’t judge Moms who use formula and provides information on what formulas moms should consider using. When you are formula feeding there is so little information available to you. I wish I had read this chapter when I was pregnant with Jack, because there is so little infant feeding information that isn’t riddled with judgement.
Another highlight of the book for me was the personal accounts that are throughout the story. Spit That Out! has quotes not only from the author but also from other moms on how they deal with guilt and the parenting decisions they make. These moms share the same struggles and anxieties I felt when I first had kids. We all want to make the best decisions for our kids but life doesn’t always make it clear what they are. Spit that Out! Out gets that, gives Moms easy answers that aren’t one size fits all, and can be adapted for your life and kids.
I was provided with a copy of Spit That Out! The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy Kids in the Age of Environmental Guilt to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.