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Will green be your baby’s favorite color? Your little one may not care so much, but parents might be surprised to know what a positive impact choosing green clothing and care can have on creating a healthier life. You might be surprised to know the hidden dangers lurking within some of the most common baby items. Parabens, phthalates, and even pesticides have been discovered in just about every type of baby product imaginable, from clothes to food to personal care products and more. Even worse? These atrocities aren’t just coming from a few select companies. It happens more often than you might think, which is why many parents are opting for a more eco-friendly lifestyle when it comes to choosing products for their babies.
The term “green” refers to any product that’s safe, all-natural and eco-friendly. Green baby products may include clothing made from organic cotton, teethers and bottles without BPA (bisphenol-A), disposable diapers made without harmful chemicals, cloth diapers or water-only wipes, soaps and shampoos without synthetic ingredients, and organic baby food. Going green with your baby doesn’t end with their personal products. Think about the soaps you use to wash their bottles or teethers, the cleaners that sanitize their toys, or the laundry detergent that cleans their clothes. These things come into contact with your baby, even if indirectly, and can ultimately affect their health.
Read the ingredient list for any baby shampoo or diaper cream and you’ll feel like you need a degree in chemistry to understand it. To complicate matters, there are plenty of baby brands that market their products as “safe” and “all-natural,” yet still contain harmful ingredients like synthetic fragrances and other chemcials that make them far from baby friendly. Here’s what to look for to ensure your baby gets the best possible care from head to little toes:
Who can resist a sweet-smelling baby? Hopefully you. Bath products and lotions frequently contain fragrances to give your baby a bath-fresh scent. However, fragrances often contain phthalates to prolong the scent. In addition, they can also induce allergies and irritate your baby’s skin. If you must choose a shampoo or soap that smells nice, opt for one that uses essential oils rather than a synthetic fragrance.
Green Seal, the Non-GMO Project, and other third parties often endorse cleaners, foods, and other products that live up to their high quality standards. Any product with this endorsement has already been vetted by the organization, and can be considered safe to use.
Contrary to logic, “natural” doesn’t mean “organic.” Many companies have noted consumer obsession with organic products, but unless they’ve achieved the stringent requirements, they cannot label their products as such. However, they can use the term “natural” if their product contains no artificial ingredients or preservatives. Don’t automatically assume that natural products are safe.
EWG.org is committed to informing consumers about the safety of their products, which is why it created a free database detailing a product’s risk factor and exposing any harmful components. You can download the app and scan your baby product’s barcode to get more information on the ingredients.
Choosing green products is about limiting your baby’s exposure to toxins and other harmful ingredients that could present health risks. Choosing green products won’t guarantee good health, but it does give your baby their best chance at a healthy life.