I’ve always been a health conscious consumer, but never to the extent I am now that I have a toddler running around. Trying to find non-toxic, BPA-free, phthalate free, PVC free, formaldehyde free, organic anything for your child takes a lot of work. Some may say I’m a little obsessive about it, but after reading about all the effects of these chemicals, I can’t with good conscious not take it seriously. I haven’t gone completely chemical free, I’ll admit it, and I realize that there are still chemicals in our cars, our furniture, our clothing, etc… I can’t afford to turn over everything of course, but I can avoid as much as possible. So right from the beginning, I made sure anything touching my daughter’s skin, lotions, soaps, diapers, clothing, blankets and bedding were chemical free and organic if possible.
In the hospital
I was THAT mom who brought all her own baby blankets, hats, lotion and soap. I did for me too. I’ve worked in hospitals and I know they aren’t buying organic baby blankets and hats. I didn’t end up using the soap, as it’s advised not to wash your baby for at least a week to let all the good bacteria sink in. For lotion for mom and baby, coconut oil was all I allowed. I used Aden and Anais swaddle blankets, which double as burp clothes later on. For hats, I used one that my aunt knit herself as well as some infant skull caps from Under the Nile.
Next thing they touch is the car seat! I didn’t do my research on this one until after she was already almost out of the infant car seat. If I’d done my research I would have gone with the Orbit Baby, which I did for her toddler car seat. Yes it’s expensive! But when I looked into it, this was the least toxic I could find. It seems the Chicco Keyfit for infants and the Diano Radian in Storm or Rugby fabric for toddlers are the next best choices if you just can’t stomach the price of the Orbit Baby.
After a lot of research we went with a full Stokke nursery, bought locally at Simply Scandinavian in Portland. I got the crib, dresser and changing table. All have been great and are super stylish. They are convertible to chairs and desk so that she can use the set for a long time. Instead of the mattress that comes with the crib, I opted for the Naturepedic Organic Cotton mattress which is made of food-grade polyethylene foam. I also bought organic cotton sheets of course. Before she was in the crib, she was in either the Rock n’ Play or Hushamock Hammock. The hammock is the organic and non-toxic option of the two, but the Rock n’Play traveled better and she slept so well in it that I just went with it. I just washed it a ton before putting her in it. For travel we opted for the BabyBjorn Travel Crib which is Oeko-Tex Certified, meaning it has been tested and does not contain hazardous chemicals.
Of course the best option for non-toxic would be all organic cloth diapers. Although I thought I was cool with all cloth, I wasn’t. It’s lots of work. When we do use cloth, I think the gDiapers are the best fit and easy to use. So we use either Seventh Generation or Naty disposables, both available at Whole Foods.
When Mads was an infant, we had her in the SpaBaby tub (which appears to be out of business). Here is one that looks similar. Not only was the bucket really easy to use, even for an 8 pound newborn, it’s free of nasty chemicals hiding in many of the other baby tubs. Once in the big tub I made sure to get a bath mat made out of pure rubber.
If you haven’t guessed already, I make all of my own baby food. As luck would have it, someone gave me this great food freezer tray at my shower. It’s made of silicone instead of plastic, making it healthier and easier to use. The same company makes some super cute silicone spoons too. For containers, I’ve been using BPA free Sistema, but plan to also get some of the new Lifefactory containers too. For cups and bottles, the best option is glass, Dr. Browns and Lifefactory make baby bottles that can then be used as sippy bottles. They also have a great bottle with a straw that my one-year -old now loves.
Toys and Accessories
In the beginning, you can more easily avoid all the crappy toys. However, people give you all kinds of plastic shit for gifts and while you said you wouldn’t let it in, your kid loves it. So pick your battles here. If it’s something they are likely to chew on, then make sure it’s non-toxic as possible. If not, then maybe just make sure it’s hard plastic at least. So here is a starter list of non toxic accessories and toys.
- Teething Ring (Maine company!)
- Anything from Green Toys (yes plastic, but a cleaner one and 100% recycled). Maddie loves all the stackers
- Organic cotton stuffed animals – easy to find online.
- Wooden blocks by Uncle Goose
There are lots of great organic clothing brands out there. I order one outfit every time an organic brand shows up on Zulilly to see what I like. So far my favorites are Nosilla and Kate Quinn Organics for style and fit reasons. If you can’t buy organic, at least be sure you’re kiddo’s clothes don’t have flame retardants in them! I was shocked to learn that a lot of sleep sacks and jammies made for babies must have these chemicals in them by law! WHAT! So for sleeping there are options out there, but make sure you read labels. One item I’ve loved from the beginning is the Castleware Sleep Sack. Expensive, but very nice, cozy and if you get it big enough, will last awhile. My 13-month old has been in the same size (large) since about 6 months old.
Splash time/Beach Time
Maddie loves her Boon bath toys, which also double as pool and beach toys. They make a bunch of other great products too. We also got some beach toys from Zoe b Organic. They are corn-based and biodegradable! Finding a hard plastic (less toxic) pool was tough. This was the only one I could find online.
So my list is not exhaustive by any means, but it’s at least one more blog to help you in your search for your non-toxic baby. Any products you’d like to add to the list?