Parenting

Why I Choose Organic for My Baby

Suzanne Murray
13
raising baby green

Photo from Zoe & Sprout

I'm a green mama. Most of the moms I know are not. So being green is not something I ever talk to them about. I just do my thing and let them do theirs. I figure everyone is doing what they think is best. For me, choosing eco-friendly and organic things is best for my baby. Here's why.

When my daughter was born, she was so gorgeous and innocent and pure, I couldn't imagine putting anything potentially harmful in or on her body.

I had already created an eco-friendly nursery for her. I used no-VOC non-toxic paint on her dresser/changing table and the book case for her books and toys; and I bought her organic cotton toys and blankets. But most importantly (according to David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany), I bought a cradle made from sustainable wood and an organic cotton mattress. Conventional crib mattresses can contain products that emit petrochemical fumes, which can cause serious allergies; toluene disocynate and formaldehyde, both of which are possibly carcinogenic and can irritate eyes and skin; and flame retardants containing compounds that could affect a baby's nervous system and brain development.

I also chose a baby skincare line (shampoo, body wash, diaper cream, baby lotion) that was free of chemicals like parabens, phthalates, and petrolatum. Why? Parabens are preservatives that have been linked with breast cancer; phthalates (usually found in a product's scent) have been linked with reproductive abnormalities in babies; and petrolatum is a non-renewable resource that actually dries skin out.

When it was time for her to start on solid foods, I made her food myself. I was worried about all the pesticides sprayed on conventional produce (pesticides can cause cancer and other illnesses, plus they leach into the earth and our water supply) so I used all organic fruits and vegetables.

I also clean my home using natural or organic cleaning products so that my daughter isn't breathing any seriously harmful chemicals into her little lungs.

If my daughter ate non-organic food or used a body wash with parabens in it, would she keel over and die? Of course not, and I know that. But it's the accumulation of harmful ingredients in the different types of products that we use all day, every day that adds up and starts to do its damaging work.

I know that someday my daughter might eat some non-organic processed food (and think it's yummy) or maybe she'll wear a fabulous shade of lipstick containing dyes and preservatives ((though I have hope that the most egregious ingredients will be banned in the U.S. by then just as they currently are in the E.U.), but right now she's just a baby and as her mom, I want to get her off to a good, clean, healthy start.

Are you a green mama? What kinds of things do you choose to do in an eco-friendly way—food, diapers, baby bottles, baby lotions?

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