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.

There’s a long shopping list when baby arrives, but what’s worth splurging on?

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 seepthrough your baby’s skin, this is one of your most importantorganic purchases, says Suzanne Price, owner and founder of SproutSan Francisco, a chain of stores in Chicago and throughout thecountry 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’sPractice, 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 thelist, and Goldstein limits the amount of pesticides his childreningest 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 somefood containers can leech onto the food and be ingested, saysHenderson.

Our favorite

The Thermosinsulated 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. Thishappens especially at higher temperatures or when the bottle or cupis getting older, says Anjali Rao, a pediatrician with NorthwesternMemorial Physician’s Group.

Our favorite

We love Sigg’s waterbottles 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 canirritate sensitive baby skin. Also, it comes in direct contact withyour children, so it’s best to keep them as chemical-free aspossible, 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 EarthMama 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 everysurface, including the floor. So it’s best not to have anypotentially poisonous chemicals anywhere, Henderson says.

Our favorite

DIY. It’s super easy. Dump out your bottle of chemicals, andfill it up again with water, about a cup of white vinegar, atablespoon of baking powder and a few drops of any essentialoil.


11, 12 Hormone-free meat and dairy

Why you should splurge

More and more studies are showing that feeding children meat andmilk containing hormones may spur earlier onset puberty, amongother issues. So Dr. Scott Goldstein, a pediatrician atNorthwestern Children’s Practice, says he tries to give his threechildren 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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