12 organic baby items worth splurging on

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 furniture.

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 baby.

 
 

1 Organic crib mattress

Why you should splurge

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.

Our favorite

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.

 
 

2, 3 Organic fruits and veggies

Why you should splurge

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.

Our favorite

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.

 
 

4 BPA-free food packaging

Why you should splurge

Studies have found that many chemicals, such as BPA, in some food containers can leech onto the food and be ingested, says Henderson.

Our favorite

The Thermos 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 safe.

 
 

5, 6, 7 BPA-free bottles, sippy cups and water bottles

Why you should splurge

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.

Our favorite

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.

 
 

8, 9 Hypo-allergenic shampoo and sunscreen

Why you should splurge

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.

Our favorite

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.

 
 

10 All natural cleaning supplies

Why you should splurge

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.

Our favorite

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 oil.

 
 

11, 12 Hormone-free meat and dairy

Why you should splurge

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.

Our favorite

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 organic requirements.

 
 
 







 
 
 
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