I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now, so I am very glad I finally have the time and the resources to put this in writing, and have 2 baby related giveaways.
A few months ago after doing some research, my husband and I decided that it was important to us to somewhat continue the natural approach we’ve been using in this pregnancy further into Alexis’s life.
We committed to making sure that we buy organic clothes and bedding for her for as long as we can. The initial goal for clothes being six months, bedding-indefinitely.
It’s well known how incredibly sensitive an infant’s skin and system are and that her lungs, digestive system and brain are still developing outside the womb, so using items that are softer, more pleasant to her skin and most importantly are free of harmful dyes and chemicals was something that we considered of value.
I remember thinking a while ago: It’s just clothing/bedding . How harmful can it be? Well, it turns out a normal 100% cotton top is usually far from being just cotton.
With the advance in manufacturing (and subsequently the amount of money to be made on mass produced cheap clothing), companies are doing all they can to cut costs and make things cheaper and more efficient. That results in clothing that is full of pesticides, chemicals, flame retardants, ammonia, metals, formaldehyde and artificial dyes. Aside from all these harmful substances leeching into the baby’s system, there’s also a big possibility of them being a big allergen for small babies, especially those born to parents with sensitivities. The skin of a baby is much thinner and less oily than an adult’s, which makes it more porous and their immune system isn’t strong enough yet to handle the toxins, even in small amounts. And unfortunately, washing clothes doesn’t remove all the chemicals and pesticides ( though it does help somewhat).
The problem with cotton is that it’s very susceptible to pests and insects, so in order to increase production and profits, companies have to spray the crops with an unreal amount of pesticides and insecticides. According to Organic Consumers Association, “just 2.4% of the world’s arable land is planted with cotton, yet it accounts for 24% of the world’s insecticide market and 11% of sale of global pesticides, making it the most pesticide-intensive crop grown on the planet.” And think about this: five out of top 9 pesticides being used on cotton are known cancer causing chemicals. 1/3 Pound of chemicals are typically used in the production of one cotton T-shirt. And this is the stuff that sits on your baby for days, your baby sleeps on it, breathes it, touches it – quite disconcerting.
Now we both realize that at this point, it is impossible to get away from all or even the majority of dangers in our environment, but just like in pregnancy we’d like to try to do as much as we can handle. At least until her body is not as sensitive to things as it will be in the beginning. And anyone with allergies would probably benefit even more from switching to organic.
So I’ll leave the clothing for the next post, but here’s what I found out about bedding. Buying organic bedding and sleepwear is just a no-brainer, as a newborn she will be spending MOST of her time sleeping on her sheets and mattress, breathing whatever they have to offer. Organic mattresses are really expensive, sheets are much more affordable, so are mattress pads, changing pads and protectors. But after reading some information about SIDS and it’s very possible link to the chemicals in our baby mattresses ( thanks to a blog reader). Here’s a shorter simple explanation behind the theory and science. After reading a bit, it blew my mind to find out what the baby mattresses are made of : petroleum, vinyl, pesticides, cancer causing substances, and then to comply with stupid government fire safety regulations, they’re sprayed with horrible flame retardants.
So after a lot of procrastination and looking around and after we tried out a Naturepedic changing pad (see below), we just purchased a Naturepedic organic mattress. We also have organic sheets from different brands ( those are really cheap), as well as organic changing pad covers. Anything that I know my baby will be spending a lot of time on/in, I want it in organic if possible. I’ll try to write a post about my Black Friday purchases (I know I promised), a lot of which were organic since I had just read about it all, mentioning where I got them and how much they cost, in case anyone is looking to switch to organic as well. But here are a few popular baby related things that actually come in natural and/or organic option.
NATUREPEDIC ORGANIC CHANGING PAD (giveaway below)
One thing that hit me right away was “NO SMELL!”. You know how you get things, you unpack them from that vinyl wrapping and you get a good whiff of glue-like, plastic-y smell. None of that here. This one didn’t smell like ANYTHING! That was a very reassuring thing for me. It’s waterproof and easy to clean, but not made out of vinyl and other toxic chemicals. They use a clear non-allergenic 100% polyethylene food-grade waterproof coating. The filling is 100% organic cotton without pesticides and chemicals. There’s no latex which can be an issue in allergic people.
The pad is also really really sturdy and of good quality. I can see us using it for 2-3 years without having to replace it versus a cheap $25 pad that is flimsy and toxic. It also has the standard straps and clips to attach them to a dresser in the back, as well as safety belt. It’s also deeper and curvier than other changing pads I’ve seen which I can imagine will be a big bonus. It is more expensive than other pads on the market ($99) but from what I can see, along with other people’s feedback and reviews, the money is well spent, just from the longevity standpoint. And aside from that, you can’t put a price on your baby’s health. You can buy it here (Naturepedic) or here (Amazon). You can also enter our giveaway for a chance to get one for free ( please see the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of the post for the giveaway)
Everyone I talked to recommended that I get a Brestfriend as a breastfeeding pillow. I loved that they had an organic option. Unfortunately, it’s only the cover that’s organic, not the actual pillow, but I realize that they’re not in the business of making organic breastfeeding pillow, so I really appreciate at least having the option to purchase an organic cover, since I’ll be spending many many hours breastfeeding Alexis. The cover can be bought separately for $17 if you already own a BrestFriend, or you can buy the pillow with the cover for $48 right now on Amazon (down from $60). I will write more about my experience with the pillow once I get to try it out, but I wanted to mention it here, since it fits in the whole organic theme.
This is a good website to bookmark. It basically stocks all kind of natural and organic products, as well as allergy related supplies. You can buy safe non-toxic laundry detergents, asthma care, air cleaners, pet allergy products, organic and hypoallergenic bedding. I used two items from the website: an organic crib blanket (sale $26.95) and a waterproof wool mattress pad ($89.95).
The crib blanket reminds me of being a kid and spending summers with grandma in the country: natural, comfy, hand knitted blankets that were spread all over the country cottage. The waterproof wool pad was a little bit of surprise for me. I didn’t know that wool is a natural flame retardant and is waterproof. If you don’t want to use toxic waterproof padding for your crib mattress, you could opt for wool. Check out the picture below of water droplets just sitting on the wool pad- they don’t soak in. Pretty cool!
Also, baby’s bedding and clothing need to be washed in a different detergent than our adult clothes, one that’s hypoallergenic and safe. Allergystore.com stocks the best one: OxyPrime and Oxy Clean, which I am a fan of. And if you have allergies, try the Allersearch.
I am also finding out that a lot of brand name baby items now come in an organic option. Like…
A well known original wearable blanket comes in an organic option seen below ($32.95 or $28.95 on Amazon). It’s only 6 dollars cheaper than the non-organic option and I consider it $6 well spent. I’ll write more about how it works on an actual baby when Alexis arrives, but I thought that it was definitely worth including into the post. Halo also has the swaddle version of this blanket which is perfect for newborn babies.
SHI SHU BABY (giveaway below)
Have you noticed how difficult it is to find soft comfy cozy baby blankets that aren’t made out of polyester, fake fur or other synthetic fabrics?
Meet Shi Shu Baby!
Made of bamboo and cotton – super soft and pleasant to skin without the use of synthetics. It’s a REALLY BIG blanket- perfect as a stroller blanket or a crib blanket. It’s awesome for cold weather babies plus toddlers will love the feel of it, too.
Tamre, the founder, actually came up with the idea for the blanket when all her gifted blankets made her little baby hot and rashy. Bamboo is perfect for babies because it regulates their temperature and is naturally antibacterial. It comes in adorable sweet colors – perfect to match any nursery. I can’t wait to finish Alexis’s room and hang this very blanket on the crib as a design piece until I can use it with her when she’s a little bit older.
You can enter our giveaway below for a chance to win this blanket or you can visit Shi Shu Baby website to purchase one ($88)
I am actually going to put the SHI SHU HOME throw on my wish list, because I want to have a matching throw and will strongly hint to my husband that I want it for Christmas ( what a perfect cozy gift)
Disclosure: I received no compensation for my reviews other than free samples of the products. All opinions are 100% my own.