Organic, although well-meaning has become a marketing slogan in recent days, much like ”Eco-friendly”, “Green”, “Sustainable”, “Non-GMO” – with no real set of standards to manage how the term is used for retail products. This is particularly frustrating for parents who find artificial and processed products all the more concerning for the fragile bodies of kids who have not yet fully developed immunity or are able to fight the impact of artificial products such as hormones and plastics.
But as with everything else, parents can tend to go to extremes, and I can understand that – but does everything have to be “Organic” for kids? Obviously the more the better, but organic products tend to charge a premium for that label and if you’re on a budget you’ll need to be selective on which products are a an “Organic” must! Each child is different of course and if they have other conditions or allergens this can skew what you buy for them, but based on my experience here are the musts for organic products related to young kids.
- Food and snacks – I wouldn’t include formula in this category because I found organic formula actually constipates my baby. So opt for gentle formula and looking at the ingredients carefully ensure processed and artificial additives are a no-no. Organic maybe not so much. But for food like meltable biscuits, jar food, or the new squeezable pouch food – those should be organic. The alternative are horrifically harmful and unlike formula the industry hasn’t paid attention to providing a good alternative for Organic baby foods that aren’t full of harmful chemicals and preservatives.
- Bottles – maybe not so much organic as BPA free, but there are bottles made of organic and sustainable materials such as collapsible fabric bottles. This goes into cutlery and pacifiers which are traditionally made of plastics. Opt for BPS free (ALWAYS!) and if available those with organically sourced materials. I would also extend this to bottle cleaners and soaps that are plant based organically sourced rather than the alternative chemical ones, at least for the baby’s first year or so.
- Clothes – This is to avoid rashes or other allergens, increasingly these are sourced by the clothing materials themselves rather than the detergents (baby safe detergents are a must, and they smell beautiful even for your clothes). Clothes made of polyester and fleece although durable and warm create micro plastics and can be an irritant especially if you see your baby shimmying uncomfortably due to an itchy back. Cotton clothes made of combination or hybrid material can also be an irritant, your best is organically sourced cotton, and wool for those cold days.
- Bedding – much like clothes this is another often neglected aspect which makes a big difference. Also recent studies have linked some SIDS fatalities to some questionable baby mattresses releasing certain chemicals. Opt for hypoallergenic organically sourced materials for your bedding.
- Toys – I wouldn’t go overboard with this as long as they are lead free and BPA free. However if there is a favourite towel or stuffed toy, if they are made of organic material, and since they use them a lot, that would be a wise investment. So I would focus on some toys and keep those toys close to the baby as comfort trinkets.
What would you consider as an “organic-must” for babies or toddlers?