Between the crib, the toys, the clothing and the diapers, it's
easy to spend thousands of dollars preparing for your little
bundle's arrival. And when that bundle arrives?
You'll need more diapers, more clothing, food, sunscreen,
shampoo. The list can go on for pages.
Unless you won that mega-million lottery, you may find it
difficult to afford the organic mattress, the organic clothing, the
chemical-free lotions and shampoos and the chemical-free
And just like the dirty dozen for fruits and veggies, we decided
that there should be a dirty dozen for baby products. These are the
items that pediatricians and other experts suggest you splurge on
if you can. The stuff not on this list? Not so bad for your
Your baby spends up to 70 percent of his time on his mattress.
Since traditional mattresses contain polyurethane foam, vinyl PVS,
phthalates, fire retardants and other chemicals that may seep
through your baby's skin, this is one of your most important
organic purchases, says Suzanne Price, owner and founder of Sprout
San Francisco, a chain of stores in Chicago and throughout the
country focusing solely on providing healthy baby products.
Naturepedic Quilted Organic Cotton Deluxe Crib Mattress. It's
filled with 100 percent organic unbleached cotton, it's
hypoallergenic and it's stuffed with a 252 coil orthopedic
innerspring that provides great support for your baby.
Dr. Scott Goldstein, a pediatrician at Northwestern Children's
Practice, tries to stick to the dirty dozen rule for his kids.
Fruits and vegetables with a thin skin-or no skin at all-are on the
list, and Goldstein limits the amount of pesticides his children
ingest by going organic on the following 12 items: apples, celery,
strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, peppers,
potatoes, blueberries, lettuce and kale.
Square One is an
organic baby food company created by Denise Henderson, a River
Forest mom of twins who wanted to give her children the healthiest
start possible. They come frozen in BPA-free packaging, and they
have no additives or preservatives. Our 7-month-old tester loved
everything except the quinoa and the broccoli.
Studies have found that many chemicals, such as BPA, in some
food containers can leech onto the food and be ingested, says
insulated food jars keep food cold for seven hours or hot for
five hours. Plus, they're BPA-free, they've got an unbreakable
stainless steel interior that inhibits bacteria growth and are cool
to the touch even with hot foods. Bonus: They're even dishwasher
BPA can get leeched out of the bottles and into the milk. This
happens especially at higher temperatures or when the bottle or cup
is getting older, says Anjali Rao, a pediatrician with Northwestern
Memorial Physician's Group.
We love Sigg's water
bottles for their fantastic kid-friendly designs added to their
BPA-free, phthalate-free, VOC-free interior. And we adore the Klean Kanteen line of
stainless steel baby bottles, sippy cups and water bottles. They're
also free of BPA, lead, phthalates and toxins.
Many of these are filled with chemicals and fragrances that can
irritate sensitive baby skin. Also, it comes in direct contact with
your children, so it's best to keep them as chemical-free as
possible, Rao says.
Blue Lizard sunscreen
is paraben-free, chemical-free and fragrance-free. Its main
ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide-and since they're
mineral-based, they're unlikely to irritate your baby. Our favorite
shampoo is the Earth
Mama Angel Baby shampoo & body wash, which is made from
organic Calendula, organic vanilla and organic orange essential
oils. It's tear-free, and it has no harsh chemicals.
Let's face it, all babies feel some strange urge to lick every
surface, including the floor. So it's best not to have any
potentially poisonous chemicals anywhere, Henderson says.
DIY. It's super easy. Dump out your bottle of chemicals, and
fill it up again with water, about a cup of white vinegar, a
tablespoon of baking powder and a few drops of any essential
More and more studies are showing that feeding children meat and
milk containing hormones may spur earlier onset puberty, among
other issues. So Dr. Scott Goldstein, a pediatrician at
Northwestern Children's Practice, says he tries to give his three
children hormone-free and antibiotic free milk, eggs and meat.
Trader Joe's organic
milk. It's usually at least $1 less expensive than organic brands
found at other Chicago-area supermarkets, and it meets the USDA's