Safe, healthy baby products

By Nikki, Pure Matters

Just having a baby is overwhelming enough, but before they come along you have to figure out all the best "stuff" to buy them. I remember feeling completely confused. What car seat is the safest? Which crib is the sturdiest but not the most expensive? Is everything BPA free? My brain was spinning.

Thankfully, my cousin uttered two magic words, "Baby Bargains." It is the most wonderful book an expecting mother could ever receive. I spent hours leafing through the pages, picking out items for my registry and it made the entire process much less painful!

Baby Bargains covers all of the big, basic stuff such as high chairs, monitors, clothing, car seats, cribs and so on, but it doesn’t really go into a lot of detail when it comes to products containing ingredients -- food, baby wipes, lotions or shampoos. Ah, ingredients, all those weird names we see listed on the back of our everyday products that we put in and on our bodies without a second thought. Did you know a lot of those ingredients are not safe for your baby? This is something most people probably don’t think about until it’s time to decide what diaper cream they want to use on their precious baby’s bottom.

Our family decided to go organic the moment we found out I was pregnant. I know not everyone can afford to eat organically, but we pinch pennies in other areas of our life (buh-bye name-brand clothes) in order to eat as cleanly as possible.

Here are my favorite baby products:

  • Shampoo – California Baby Shampoo & Bodywash Super Sensitive
  • Sunscreen – BabyGanics Cover-Up Baby Sunscreen SPF 50
  • Lotion – California Baby Super Sensitive Everyday Lotion, No Fragrance
  • Diaper Cream – Boudreaux’s Natural Butt Paste
  • Bottles – Dr. Brown’s
  • Food Brands – Earth’s Best and Happy Tot
  • Formula – Enfamil Premium Infant Formula (or generic – read below)
  • Baby Wipes – Pampers Sensitive Unscented Baby Wipes

Just a little tip: If you can’t afford the name-brand product, try looking at the generic versions and comparing the ingredients. A lot of generics are the SAME exact product. It might take a little bit of extra time in the store but it will save you a few bucks. For example, my husband compared the ingredients and found that Sam’s Club formula is the same as the Enfamil formula we use and almost half the price. Score!

A Closer Look at Ingredients … What to Avoid

If you often worry about the safety and toxicity of the products in your home, you can go to EWG’s Skin Deep website and type in any product. There they rate the health concerns of the product on an easy 1-10 scale and give you a breakdown of all the potential concerns such as high/medium/low percentage of causing cancer/allergies/hormonal disruptions. I have found it extremely helpful in my search for products to use in our household.

Here are some helpful things to remember when it comes to ingredients; you can print out these lists and keep them in your wallet!

Ingredients to Always Avoid:

  • 2-BROMO-2-NITROPROPANE-1,2-DIOL (or Bronopol)
  • BHA
  • DMDM HYDANTOIN
  • OXYBENZONE
  • TRICLOSAN
  • BORIC ACID and SODIUM BORATE
  • DIBUTYL PHTHALATE, TOLUENE

Ingredients to Avoid When Possible:

  • FRAGRANCE
  • FLUORIDE
  • CETEARETH and PEG compounds
  • PARABENS
  • TRIETHANOLAMINE
  • DYES
  • METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE & METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE
  • IODOPROPYNYL BUTYLCARBAMATE
  • BENZYL ALCOHOL and ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL

*EWG has further details on why you should avoid these ingredients: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/top-tips-for-safer-products/

A Quick Primer on Shopping Organic

Last but not least, I always keep this cute cheat sheet in my wallet so whenever I’m at the grocery store I can be sure I’m making the right selection when it comes to buying organic!

The Dirty Dozen: Always Buy Organic

  • grapes
  • cherries
  • apples
  • potatoes
  • peaches
  • nectarines
  • pears
  • raspberries
  • celery
  • bell peppers
  • spinach
  • strawberries

The Clean 15: Low-Pesticide Foods


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