By Hannah Schenker
Your new baby is one of the most incredible creations, and it’s your job to help give them the best start possible. Unfortunately, our beautiful earth’s resources are still being heavily polluted with chemicals, with many manufacturers and consumers unconcerned about the role these chemicals have to play on our delicate systems of health. A baby is even more sensitive than you are to the effects of these chemicals due to their delicate, thin skin, and internally through their brand new respiratory, endocrine and digestive systems – just as a start. So we encourage you to start thinking about more than just what they eat, but what they drink, wear, touch and breathe. That’s why choosing organic is vital.
When it comes to the toy and children’s product industries, plastic rules and has done for some time now. We are surrounded by brightly coloured, cheap plastic items that of course catch the eye and suit the bank balance. But the cost is far greater than to your wallet, because most plastics are made using gas or oil – both carcinogens (cancer-causing). The chemicals used in the processes are nasty and there can be trace amounts of toxic chemicals, such as lead, mercury, phthalates, and even arsenic in the item your pride and joy is putting in their mouth. Even more concerning are the possible nasties involved in the finishing touches, such as paint. These kinds of toxins are stored in the body and can lead to endocrine-disruptions and eventually health issues (read more about that here). Not all children’s products contain these chemicals, and you might not even be buying plastics – but even cotton-containing toys and products could have been created using cotton highly sprayed with pesticides and insecticides. Needless to say, it’s worth investigating and choosing wisely the kinds of things you surround your baby with.
So where do you start? Here are some key items where we recommend choosing organic is the best option.
Swaddle your wee one in organic cotton with Love to Dream. Swaddling arms UP has been shown to help improve your baby’s sleep as it allows them to be in a natural sleep position with access to their hands for self-soothing. This swaddle is 95% cotton and 5% elastane that is Global Organic Textile Certified – which means the cotton is processed without harmful chemicals.
You may not have thought about the fabric that goes into making your baby carrier but you really should. Your baby will be spending a lot of time wrapped in and chewing on this fabric. Thankfully we have an organic option for you, the Lille Baby COMPLETE Organic Baby Carrier. Not only is it made from 100% beautifully sustainable certified organic, but it is super soft and comfortable for you and bubs – another plus.
We suggest you choose wisely the products you use on your baby’s delicate skin and of course, go organic. Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs super easily, especially when we are new to the world. While you likely do not need many products, things like lotions and oils can be really useful, especially if your baby has any skin conditions. Little Innoscents have a great range of products that are all certified organic and made with naturally-derived ingredients, so you can feel safe using them on your baby’s skin. In fact, they are safe enough to eat.
This one really depends on the age of your child, as new babes do not really need toys to play with just yet. But as they get older you might find yourself wanting to find something special for them to play with, and as you know – pretty much everything that goes in their hand, goes in their mouth. Choose toys that are made with natural products and through chemical-free processes. Apple Park Toys pride themselves on creating environmentally responsible baby products which are not only safe for your baby but are safe for the earth as well. These are lovely and soft plush toys that you can feel comfortable being gummed by your wee one.
Baby First Ltd is an importer, manufacturer and distributer of hundreds of quality baby products. They specialise in products that help mothers put the needs of their baby/s first and give them the best start to life.
Hannah Schenker is a freelance writer, editor and regular contributor to The Natural Parent Magazine. She lives with a touch of magic in Golden Bay, New Zealand.