Non-toxic and Eco-Friendly Products for Baby
Jun 30, 2017 07:37PM
by Rebekah Greer
When my spouse and I found out we were expecting our first child, and we started to look for baby products, we were shocked at how many of the items that we ran across contained toxic chemicals, specifically chemical flame retardants. Coming from a background of selling natural and organic mattresses and bedding, we recognize how important it is to avoid toxins in products.
Unfortunately, from strollers, swings and car seats to crib and bassinet mattresses, most are manufactured with at least some flame retardants. In numerous studies, these chemicals have been found to be endocrine disruptors linked to numerous health issues including neurological disorders, infertility and even carcinogens.
In additional to flame retardant chemicals, other toxins such as phthalates, lead and other heavy metals can be lurking in baby products. What’s an expectant parent (or grandparent) to do? Here are our top finds for the least toxic baby products available:
Uppababy just released their newest model of car seat––the Mesa Henry. According to the manufacturer, it is the first ever car seat to use Merino wool as a natural fire retardant barrier, without any chemicals. For convertible car seats, HealthyStuff.org has done extensive chemical testing and their recommendation is the Britax Marathon ClickTight or the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70.
Our choice was the organic cotton baby carrier by LILLEBaby. Other great brands are Ergobaby, BabyBjorn and Moby. Baby Bjorn states that all of their products are Oeko-Tex certified which guarantees there are no harmful chemicals used in the fabric production. Ergobaby and Moby state their products are not treated with chemicals or flame retardants.
Bassinets and Bouncers
In searching for bassinets, we found the best option to be a wood bassinet that is unfinished or has a non-toxic paint or wood finish applied. The best bouncer option goes to BabyBjorn which states that all of their products are free of toxic chemicals.
We did extensive research in this area, and there are a variety of great different options in solid wood, ecofriendly cribs with GreenGuard certified finishes. We found that many of the cribs available, even the higher end “natural/eco-friendly” options, came with a mattress base made of particle board or MDF.
This type of wood uses glues, and most of the time, those glues contain toxic chemicals. The best option we found, which didn’t have a particle board or MDF mattress base, was the Sniglar crib from Ikea. Although I generally don’t like furniture from Ikea, this crib is made of solid, unfinished beech wood and meets all our criteria––plus, the low price was a bonus.
Crib and Bassinet Mattresses/Bedding
This area is a specialty of ours, so it was an easy choice. Naturepedic and Lullaby Earth make a full line of non-toxic and even organic crib mattresses. Naturepedic also makes a few bassinet mattress options, along with a range of products such as changing table pads, waterproof protectors and crib sheets––all made with organic cotton. Other completely organic, non-toxic crib mattress options include the Savvy Baby by Savvy Rest and several choices available from OMI/Organicpedic.
Clothing, Diapers and Toys
With clothing and cloth diapers, it’s best to stick with organic cotton when possible. If using disposable diapers, look for options that are free of chlorine and other chemicals. Bamboo diapers are well rated in this category. Toys tend to vary, but the most important features to look for are phthalate- and BPA-free options, and wood toys are ideal when available.
Bottles and Pacifiers
Generally, look for bottles and pacifiers that are BPA- and phthalate-free or glass (for bottles). Babies can be picky about these, so you might have to test out a few before you get it right.
There are numerous baby products out there, it sometimes feels like it takes a degree to figure it all out. We hope that by sharing some of the research we’ve done, other expectant parents can make better choices and have more piece of mind when their bundle of joy arrives.
Rebekah Greer is the owner of Sleep Organics in Sarasota. For more information about non-toxic sleep and bedding products, call 941-312-5906 or visit Sleep-Organics.com.