The New Mom's Guide to Organic Baby Clothing

The New Mom's Guide to Organic Baby Clothing

Reading The New Mom's Guide to Organic Baby Clothing 5 minutes Next Building a Healthy Foundation: Essential Tips for a Safe First Trimester

Toxins in Synthetic or Conventional Baby Clothing

There are many chemicals found in conventional baby clothing including BPA, Phthalates, Formaldehyde, PFAS, Azo Dyes, Quinoline, NPEs, and a variety of others.  Below is a very brief overview of some of the reasons why these chemicals are used:

  • BPA: used in stretchy fabrics to make them soft and malleable.
  • Phthalates:  used to soften the ink printed on clothes in the form of lotos or character prints
  • Formaldehyde: used in anti-wrinkle treatments
  • NPEs: used as wetting agents, emulsifiers, and detergents in the processing of conventional fabrics
  • PFAS: used in waterproofing, stain-resistant, moisture-wicking treatments
  • Azo Dyes: there are a couple thousand dyes used that give off carcinogenic aromas
  • Quinoline: chemical used in the manufacturing of dyes

Health Concerns

BPA, Phthalates, Formaldehyde and other VOCs, NPEs, PFAS, Azo Dyes, and Quinoline, amongst others, have been proven to be related to many health issues due to their carcinogenic, endocrine disrupting, or allergen-inducing properties.  Without going in-depth, we will save that for another article, these chemicals have been linked to infertility, hormonal imbalances, various cancers (prostate, testicular, breast, etc.), kidney & thyroid disease, fetal & child neurological, behavioral, and developmental issues,  weakened immunity, allergies and rashes, obesity and respiratory illness like asthma.

Conventional Synthetic Fabrics to Stay Away From

Polyester, Rayon, Nylon, Lycra, Spandex, Acrylic, and anything with micro plastics.

Natural Fiber Fabrics to Purchase

Cotton, Hemp, Wool, Silk, Bamboo (although sometimes the processing chemicals to make a bamboo viscose aren’t great)

Prioritizing Organic

When shopping for a baby, it is essential to look for a certified GOTS Organic label on clothing. This will ensure that pesticides and other harmful chemicals are not used. Another good certification to look for is Oeko-Tex Standard 100. Still, if you had to choose between buying a polyester garment, for example, or a conventional cotton garment, I would recommend purchasing the conventional cotton garment, even if it isn’t organic. 

Why Babies are Particularly Vulnerable

For many new mothers, it may intuitively make sense to dress your baby in nontoxic organic clothing; however, when your pseudo-well-meaning mother-in-law asks you why, here are a few facts you can bring to the discussion:

Chemical Absorption
  • Baby Skin Barrier: Baby’s skin absorbs everything, including chemicals and toxins, more than adult skin because a baby’s skin is significantly thinner.  The baby’s epidermis is 3-5 times thinner than an adult's.  This means that any topical or residual chemicals that the baby comes in contact with will be absorbed into the bloodstream significantly faster.  As a result, babies are more prone to skin sensitivities and allergic reactions like eczema, dermatitis, dermographia, hives and rashes.  They don’t have a thick protective barrier.
  • Mouthing: babies are at a developmental stage where everything goes in their mouths. They then ingest toxins and chemicals, which make their way through.
  • Body Burden: Babies are wrapped in clothing, diapers, blankets, and swaddles 24/7. Their skin rarely get a chance to breathe because of materials and fabrics are constantly touching them.  Babies have underdeveloped detox pathways and therefore a higher risk of toxic body burden which leads to disease and health issues faster than an adult.

According to Dr. Shanna Swan, there are three points in time during the development of a child that impacts the endocrine system, hormones, fertility, sex organs, and sexual and hormonal wellness, including plotting a point on the spectrum between masculinity and femininity.  The first hormonal programming window of sensitivity is while the baby is in utero.  The second hormonal programming window is from 2 to 4 months old. The third is during puberty.   During these programming windows, it is advised to refrain from wearing synthetic fabrics, including polyester, nylon, and acrylics as the phthalates and bisphenols in these materials can absorb into the bloodstream and negatively impact the endocrine system.

Below are some nontoxic and organic brands we love:

The Best Coming Home Outfit with personalization option
Affordable Every-Day Jammies
Burts Bees Baby Organic Pajamas | Oscea
Quality Basics
Carter's Little Planet Organic Bodysuits for Baby | Oscea | Nontoxic and Organic Baby Clothing
Special Occasion
Jacadi Organic Baby Dress | Oscea | Nontoxic Baby Clothing
More Brands We Love
Pehr Organic Baby Clothes | Oscea | Nontoxic Baby Clothing

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