Incredibly. Babies are far more susceptible to toxic and chemical substances than adults. Water is a big one as is materials the baby sleeps in or wears.
More than that, the mother is a primary sourvce of body toxins to a small baby. She will need tobe vigilant on what she eats and drinks, especially while nursing.
Their have been studies that show what is in the bloodstream of the mother, is in the child.
This is just the surface and deserves more atention than I can give it right now. If you want- we have several articles on keeping children healthy and “green”…including making your nursery green.
I’m not sure in which way to interpret this question. I can think of unending categories that effect babies (humans, I assume you mean). The environment of the womb—what is taken into the mother’s system like drugs, alcohol, coffee; the environment they are born into—water quality, air quality, nutrition availability; the environment of the area s/he is raised, are there molds, pesticides, lead paint to consider? Et cetera, et cetera. Perhaps you can be more specific?
I think as your question is phrased the possible ways are endless. If you mean the natural environment, then everything from temperature to pollen to air pollution to water quality all can have possible impacts on babies (just as they do on adults). If you mean the baby’s home environment, then again everything from the way in which you interact with the baby, how many times the baby is picked up and handled, whether the baby is given tactile things to stimulate them, the baby’s diet, all these things are possible affectors.
One interesting thing I personally learned about recently was the effects of certain ingredients in nail polish on pregnant women’s unborn children. Dr. Shanna Swan, whose research specialty at the Center for Reproductive Epidemiology is the impact of environmental agents on fetuses, led an EPA-funded study that determined a link between phthalates, present in many nail polish brands, and decreased fertility of male babies.
For a thorough listing of various environmental agents and their potential impacts both on fetuses and fertility rates in the parents, please see here.
Even the amount of noise and light in the area the parents live can affect a baby. And of course where the child is born (Seattle, Hong Kong, Dallas, Butte, Paris etc) will affect who the baby becomes and what the child thinks and believes.
If you’re referring to a natural outdoor environment, it can have a positive impact on babies. Studies have shown that nice, mild weather and sunshine are invigorating for both babies and new moms (although one should be careful about exposing infants to direct sunlight—be sure to use sun protection and shading to prevent damaging sensitive newborn skin). Many mothers also claim that babies sleep more soundly after spending time outside in fresh air. Fresh air is also healthier for infants than indoors with poor ventilation. At some hospitals in European countries, babies are even taken outside for short amounts of time.
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