How to minimize your baby's exposure to synthetic chemicals and other toxins.
Chemical exposure is a concern for both babies and adults alike, but for children under the age of two, exposure to synthetic chemicals, pesticides, solvents, household cleaners, and other toxins can cause serious health problems and developmental damage. A baby’s fragile immune system is easily disrupted by the chemicals in her environment. So it’s a good idea to limit her exposure to toxins whenever you can. Fortunately, there are a number of organic baby products on the market that can help you ensure that your baby’s environment is as safe, healthy, and toxin-free as possible.
Of course, one of the most important choices you can make for your child is what food he will eat, especially as a baby. Babies are unable to process food laden with preservatives and pesticides. Breast milk is best for the baby’s first year. And when it’s time to introduce solid foods, look for organic selections that are free of pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, growth hormones, and irradiation. These foods also have a high vitamin and mineral content and may even be more flavorful than their conventional counterparts.
Cotton is one of the most abundant crops in the world. It also uses the most chemicals in its production. In the U. S., harmful pesticides such as DDT and chlordane have been banned for decades. But in other countries, where the majority of cotton is grown, these chemicals are still in use. The same holds true for the production of other natural fibers, such as wool. Conventionally produced wool has been subjected to the conventional chemical processes of dipping, drenching and scouring. Synthetic fibers, such as polyester do not offer any relief from chemical exposure. These fibers are produced using a cocktail of chemicals and toxins that do not necessarily “wash away.” In addition, many fiber products are treated with finishing products such as bleaches and fire-retardants which contain dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde
Organic baby clothing helps to reduce your baby’s exposure to these toxins by using only organically grown fibers in its production. Natural fibers, such as organic cotton and wool are grown and processed without the use of harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Dressing your baby in organic baby clothing is a good way to significantly reduce the number of chemicals she comes in contact with each day.
Organic cotton diapers are another popular choice among environmentally concerned and health conscious parents. Your baby’s genital area is one of the most sensitive areas of his body. Toxins that come into localized contact with this area have the potential to alter a baby’s reproductive and neurological development. Most disposable diapers contain a slew of chemical absorbents such as sodium-polycrate and tributyl tin. There are also chemical additives contained within the diaper’s plastic and perfumes. Your baby will likely wear diapers 24 hours a day for the first 2 to 3 years of his life. Choosing organic diapers can have a huge impact on your baby’s health, your finances, and your peace of mind.
Most babies need nothing more than warm water and a wash cloth to get them clean from head to toe. But for days when your baby gets strained peas in her hair or spit-up on her belly, you may want to use a gentle cleanser to make sure she’s good and clean. Look for organic baby skin care products that use only all-natural, chemical-free ingredients in their formulas.
A new baby will spend a good deal of her time sleeping, so it is important to ensure that her sleeping environment is healthy and free from synthetics and chemicals. Most conventional mattresses are produced using a dangerous cocktail of chemicals in their materials and finishing agents. Current labeling standards do not require that these chemicals be listed or disclosed to the consumer in any way. Organic mattresses, on the other hand, contain anywhere from 75 to 95 percent fewer chemicals than their conventionally produced counterparts.