Disagreeing with Adoptive Families Magazine

We take a break from Robyn’s Adoption Land to disagree with a few items in the January/February 2013 issue of Adoptive Families magazine…

In the article “Healthy from Their Skin In,” Dr. Brooke Johnson recommends Cetaphil Restoraderm and CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. The EWG gives Restoraderm a 3, but there is limited data about a lot of the ingredients. Some of these ingredients are fine at low exposure levels, but the more exposure you get, the worse it is – disodium EDTA for example. The EWG gives CeraVe a 4, but here’s where I just don’t understand how the EWG comes up with its scores. CeraVe contains parabens – hormone disruptors. I don’t use anything with parabens in it. It also contains petrolatum, a petroleum byproduct. Once again, there is limited information about many of the ingredients. It also contains phenoxyethanol, which I avoid in any product that I’m not immediately washing off. Sure, phenoxyethanol may be safer than preservatives that release formaldehyde, but that doesn’t mean it is safe.

Ironically, the sidebar for this article states, “In general, select products that are as natural as possible, and free of potentially irritating or otherwise harmful chemicals and ingredients,* including parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, artificial colors, petrochemicals, and phthalates.”

In “Destination: Baby,” Adoptive Families includes advice from Adoptive Families Circle in the sidebar. The first piece of advice is “The hospital will provide you with plenty of formula, diapers, and receiving blankets.” Not necessarily. Jackson’s birthmom had private insurance, and the hospital at which she delivered did give us a lot of formula, a cute little shirt, a couple of hats, and a few diapers. Cassie’s birthmom had Medicaid, and the hospital gave us nothing. The social worker cleaned out the diapers and wipes hidden under the bassinet, but that was it. Cassie didn’t even have a proper shirt or onesie. It was a paper gown. Don’t count on the hospital being nice to you. They may not be adoption friendly, they may not give perks to people with Medicaid, or they may just not care.

The third piece of advice is “Most hotels have cribs, or your infant can sleep nicely in his car seat.” This information is potentially dangerous. Babies should not sleep in car seats for extended periods of time. The position he/she must be in when in a car seat decreases the baby’s oxygen levels. Before Jackson could leave the hospital, he had to pass a “car seat test” to make sure he could maintain his oxygen level for a certain amount of time while in a car seat. I want to say it was about an hour, but I could be wrong. Oh, and not all hotels have an unlimited supply of cribs. Some hotels only have one or two, and if you’re there the same week that my family is having a wedding, you’re screwed.

The seventh piece of advice is unnecessary. “We took packets of powdered formula with us and bought water after the security checkpoint. You can also get bottled water on the plane. This will let you avoid TSA’s liquid restrictions.” Actually, if you’re traveling with an infant, you can forget the silly liquid restrictions. You can bring as much liquid as you need to make enough bottles to make it to your destination. So, you can get your spring water from Costco and pack it in your carryon, instead of paying $3 for filtered tap water on the other side of security.

* Why yes, that is redundant.

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10 thoughts on “Disagreeing with Adoptive Families Magazine

  1. I also avoid parabens in all products. I prefer to use shea butter & honey instead. I liked it so much, I use it myself (white people can get ashy too). I have a few friends of color who have helped me choose hair products and I’m finally using one that I like a lot. I also trade products with a co-worker so I don’t have a huge supply of products that don’t work as well as others. I also make my own oatmeal/milk bath. We don’t bathe every day as it dries out the skin (especially in high altutide).

    While I couldn’t find the second article, we adopted through foster care so our daughter came to the first foster family with nothing more than a car seat without a base, we had tons of items they bought for her that she came with when she came home.

    I can’t believe they suggested the baby sleep in the car seat. Might as well put it on top of the dresser while you’re at it (sarcastic). I’ve ordered a crib before and have never been able to get one. We travelled with a pack and play and used it once. We never had a baby-baby so it worked for us for a few nights.

    While we never had issues flying with milk, the blanket had to go through the metal detector. And oh yeah, cute bows have metal clips. Wait till you’re through the metal detector before putting those on. That includes the courthouse when the adoption is finalized (doh!)

    • I’d love to know which products you use for hair. We have skin products that we’re pretty happy with, but I’m not satisfied with our hair products.

      Good point about the metal clips! I have a ring sling that I use to carry the kids through the airport when they’re not in the stroller, and sometimes I have to take it off because of the rings, but sometimes they’ll just wave me through because they can see the rings. Weird.

      • I’ve used Mixed Chicks and K Pak and didn’t like either of them. Now I have Mixed Silk (sa.lly’s generic of mixed chicks) that I mix with water in a spray bottle for detangling since you can’t use straight water, then I used Kinky Curly Knot Today. I love the Kinky Curly shampoo too since it gets all the junk out of the hair. I use a wide tooth comb after working out tangles with my fingers. I have seen it a ‘targhay’ and ‘half plus half’ foods. I’ve tried the custard but don’t like it since it makes the hair feel “crispy.” The Kinky Curly is paraben and alcohol free. For the record, my daughter has 3b curls.

  2. I use shea butter for Cadet’s skin (or a homemade lotion bar of cocoa butter, shea, and coconut butter). It works really well. I tend to avoid parabens and sulfates in our products.

    And the crib thing? Oh, yeah, that just irks me.

    Great post!

  3. I know hospitals are banning giving out formula at discharge to encourage breast feeding which was the case at our hospital. When we were getting ready to go I was asking one of the nurses where I could buy formula near by (the hospital was downtown). She told me she would be our d/c nurse and not to worry about any shopping for the trip home. She loved baby girl and took a liking to me so when we left she “cleared out the bassenet” which is standard practice (w enough formula, diapers and nuks to get us home and thru our first night- not standard practice). It was definitely against protocol. Make friends w the nurses! (Many were stand offish w me but by the end if the month they were my best allies.)

    • That’s a good point. I hate that some hospitals are banning formula. I think it goes too far in the other direction.
      Making friends with the nurses is a good idea. The NICU nurses at North Kansas City Hospital were pretty awful, but there were a couple of “regular” nurses who were all right. We weren’t at the hospital with Cassie, but when she was discharged, the nurses delivered the “newborn care spiel” to Laine instead of to us. One of them was downright nasty to us, the other just ignored us.

  4. When we went to get J, we brought a pack-n-play. I did not want to take a chance that a formerly ill (as in a cold or flu virus, not something non-contagious) child had slept in a hotel crib that we would receive. He was a newborn, it wasn’t worth it. Now, we were able to drive to his location, and maybe we would’ve been more lenient if we had to fly.

    As far as formula/diapers, both times, we received enough for their hospital stays, however, the hospital in Western PA was MUCH more adoption friendly than the hospital in New Jersey. Our New Jersey experience was awful, often ending with me crying when we were forced to leave J there (I was terrified they’d not let us back, they had tried to convince the birthmother to abandon her adoption plan with us and they’d only let us stay with him while the Social Worker was in the building and on the floor.). But, they did provide enough formula and diapers for the days he was there and a day or two post-discharge (although I had to beg for them). L’s hospital provided us with a virtual smorgasbord of diapers, formula, hand-made blankets, disposable bottles/nipples, and pacifiers and her birthmom was uninsured. They wanted us there desperately (she was in NICU for 12 days and we were invited to come and stay 24 hours if we wanted (we covered from about 5 am to 2 am most days).

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