Raising vegan babies is incredibly simple because breastfed babies are vegans by nature. As with any nursing mother, it's crucial that you take care of your body and ensure you're getting the full spectrum of nutrients.
Most people start out by raising vegan babies and then either start introducing cow's milk baby formula or eventually add in meats and cheeses to their diets. But those babies didn't eat meat to begin with, and one of the first foods most people will recommend to infants is a plain rice or smashed fruits and vegetables; naturally vegan food!
Where Do Babies Sleep?
Many parents nowadays are conscious of the toxins in our everyday environment, and even in products made for infants. I know so many moms who start their babies out in bassinets or in co-sleepers in their room, and there are some amazing benefits to that style of sleeping.
You should always look for cribs and furniture made with non-toxic paints and materials, but don't forget the stuff closest to your baby's actual body... the mattress and bedding. You can find many different organic baby mattress pads, sheets, and blankets, and even though they might cost more up front, consider it like you're buying peace of mind.
Once you're ready to take your newborn out of the house, you'll probably be looking for the best way to transport him or her. So many people today are interested in baby wearing, which is the practice of holding your baby in a sling around your body. There are so many different types of slings and baby carriers that it takes some research to figure out which one is right for you.
What To Feed Your Vegan Babies
Breastfeeding is internationally accepted as the best method of feeding your newborn, but for some people it's just not possible. If you have to make the choice between a cow's milk baby formula and a soy baby formula, I would go with the soy infant formula. While your milk is always going to be best, a plant-based infant milk (NEVER soy milk) would be my choice.
As your baby grows and you are starting to think about introducing baby food to baby, there can be quite a few discrepancies in the nutrition information you receive from a variety of sources. As with most things related to parentings, there's no one exactly right way to do everything, but there are a few obviously wrong ways.
Making homemade baby food can be as simple as pureeing whatever you're eating, as long as it avoids the normal allergens. Some people buy dedicated baby food making devices, and there are some amazing cookbooks out there right now for homemade baby food.
Since we've just talked about eating, the next logical topic is… pooping. And it's going to happen a lot. Many natural moms are now opting for either organic disposable diapers or cloth diapers to ensure toxins stay away from their baby's body. There's also a new wave of interesting ways of understanding what your baby needs through elimination communication.
Is Raising Vegan Babies Dangerous?
It's incredibly sad to hear the individual stories of negligent parents who happen to be vegan and harm their children, and then incredibly frustrating to hear people rant about how vegan diets are fundamentally unhealthy for months afterwards.
Most vegans who have been around for awhile have had to answer questions about these negligent parents two times; first when the child's death makes the news and then second when the trial and sentence occurs. The example in 2011 is the French parents Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou who in 2008 refused to take their sick infant to a doctor when she had bronchitis and ended up killing her. These parents are obviously at fault here, but their diet alone is not.
Learn more about the documented stories of vegan baby death here.