It's Organic September! #chooseorganic
Going organic is growing in importance for so many families these days... but...
- Why buy organic for your baby?
- Why go organic AND plastic-free for your baby and family?
- And what are the best organic products for babies?
Here's my plastic-free organic baby guide, which I hope helps you to navigate the world of raising an organic baby ;-). I am a massive advocate of, whenever possible within your family budget, buying organic alternatives to baby products. There are benefits to the health of our families and the environment by choosing organic.
Searching for baby products which are plastic-free AND organic can sometimes be tricky (not to mention vegan baby products, sustainably sourced, ethnically derived, and so on!); I hope that Plastic Free Baby offers some good options for you and your family, which have been tried and tested by my son and I, and are firm family favourites!
Organic baby toys:
Because babies put so many things in their mouths to explore and play, it is so important that toys given to babies and infants are as free from toxic chemicals as possible. Organic and plastic-free toys are best for babies, as babies are not like little adults; their systems react differently to toxins than adult systems, and in many cases can suffer more adverse affects as a result.
Many plastics used for baby toys contain potentially toxic chemicals, such as BPA, which can impact babies negatively, such as having neurobehavioral effects for example.
These Fabelab Fruit Rattle toys are plastic-free and are made from a recycled organic cotton offcut, which means they are really safe for your little ones to play with and mouth, but also have minimal impact on our environment - a win, win!
Organic baby food & weaning:
The shift toward organic started with organic food, and remains the main focus and thrust of the Soil Associations 'Organic September' campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the organic system, from food to farming, which result in benefits to biodiversity, to wildlife, assisting with combating climate change, and helps with reducing the exposure to pesticides and toxic chemicals.
Eating organic unprocessed food as far as possible is now recognised to be the most beneficial for babies, toddlers, children and in fact all the family, as it avoids the potentially harmful chemicals in some processed foods and especially those foods derived from crops that have been treated with chemical pesticides.
A report in the 90's reported that up to 16 pesticides were found in 8 types of commercially available baby food, which "cause cancer, mutations, nervous system disorders, or hormonal disruptions in laboratory studies" which was a contributing factor for organic baby food development.
Organic baby clothes:
Choosing natural organic fibres over synthetic fibres is a must when it comes to choosing your baby's clothing. It can be tricky to find 100% organic natural fibre clothing, but it is worth the search.
When synthetic fabrics are put in the washing machine, micro plastics can be released and find their way into our waterways which is causing devastating effects to marine life on our planet, and consequently, our food chains too.
Additionally, natural organic fibres are best because they don't shed toxic chemicals in the way that synthetic (plastic-based) fibres do; they also biodegrade and don't release toxins into the environment at the end of their lives.
With organic cotton, the farmers often grow a range of different 'companion' crops with the organic cotton crops, to act as a form of natural insecticide; this approach assists with increasing biodiversity and increases yields, but avoids using harsh chemicals. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) sets a worldwide standard for textiles made from certified organic materials.
Organic baby toiletries:
Natural is best, yet again, when it comes to baby toiletries. By using plastic-free toiletries with natural, organic, and biodegradable ingredients, it ensures that no nasties are absorbed by your baby's sensitive skin.
Baby toiletries with organic ingredients often mean that they are full of natural ingredients, but do make sure you check as this isn't always the case. There are some key ingredients to avoid on your baby, as some preservatives in baby toiletries such as parabens and phthalates are Hormone Disrupting Chemicals (HDC's), and imitate oestrogen when absorbed into the human body. To be avoided!
The firm favourites in our house are the baby toiletries range by The Solid Bar Company, who offer a series of organic skin care products with totally natural ingredients, perfect for vegetarian and vegan users, and perfect for baby and the whole family. They are totally safe, organic, biodegradable, vegan AND THEY REALLY WORK! Their Nappy Rash Balm has just won a Gold Award at The Green Parents Awards 2021.
It's a good plan to think through what items are in your baby's bedroom or nursery, and do a bit of checklist to see if they are the healthiest of options for your little one.
Black out blinds are a good example - they tend to furnish most baby and toddler rooms, but most are made with PVC. Try to find alternatives that are made with 100% organic cotton fabric with safe and non-toxic dyes, so that they don't leach unhealthy toxic chemicals into the air, in the way the the traditional PVC material can.
Bedding is really important because your baby is so close and snuggled up with their blankies, covers, swaddles or bags. As mentioned, organic natural fibres are the best option here. My son sucks on his 'blanky' to get to sleep as he weans himself off breastfeeding - it's really important to me, therefore, that the blanket that he's chewing was not putting him at any risk, and is made of 100% natural, organic fibres, so that he doesn't ingest any nasty chemicals or microplastics. Before that he used to suck on a muslin tied up in a knot, when he was lying on me trying to sleep as a baby; again, I used an organic cotton muslin for this.
And here's more about Organic September if you're interested to find out more and get involved!
Do you use organic products for your baby or family? What are your organic baby product best buys and hot tips?
All the best,
Founder, Plastic Free Baby