I’ll be completely honest, when I planned out this blog post, I was 8 months pregnant with my now 5 month old, Cameron. I planned to share all of the natural baby items and organic baby kitchen products that I would be currently using for my baby and someday toddler.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that Cameron’s birth and his story so far have been far from normal. I’m a completely open book about his medical needs and what our day to day life looks like, and I’ll warn you, it’s not completely in line with what I teach.
A baby with special medical needs for the time being means that I have to be okay with some of the toxins being used in my home now. At first the thought of this truly frustrated me and left me with a pang of guilt every time I thought about it.
Without getting into a crazy amount of detail, the amount of plastic being used in my house during these first six months with Cameron is at an all time high. Between his temporary feeding tube (all flexible plastic of course), and the insane amounts of breast milk stored in plastic bags in our freezer (silicone bags just weren’t a feasible option for us with the amount we are storing) to adding formula to his milk; what I envisioned when I wrote this is far from reality. This Instagram post will give you an idea of what I’m talking about.
But the point of me sharing all of this with you is to give you some peace of mind. I KNOW there are some of you reading this who just can’t swing completely non-toxic for your babies. It could be due to financial restrictions, convenience issues or you just plain don’t have the means to do it. What I want you to know is that you don’t have to feel guilty. You don’t have to feel like you’re not giving your baby or your child the best that’s out there.
We all walk different paths and we all prioritize different things in our homes. And sometimes, sometimes we are forced to change those priorities, whether we want to or not. So what do you do when you’re stuck using a product, method or item that brings toxins into your home?
First give it the good old fashioned evaluation. Is it necessary? Does it have to be this way? If the answer is yes, then give yourself some grace. And remember that not everything is permanent forever. Things may change down the road. And if they don’t change, remind yourself of all the other improvements you’ve made to your life. Focus on those positives and just know you’re doing the best you can do.
With all that being said, I want to share with you my recommendations and trusted products when it comes to finding feeding items and organic baby items and natural kids mealtime favorites.
You know that I’m adamantly opposed to eating off of plastic or using plastic in the kitchen whenever possible. Plastic is one of those items in the kitchen that can really expose you to a plethora of toxins.
This article put out by Harvard outlines the main chemicals that make plastic so harmful to our health: phthalates and bisphenol. Both of these chemicals are harmful to the natural production of hormones. OUr hormones regulate so much within our bodies including supporting our immune system and childhood development. Once those natural systems are burdened or hindered, all sorts of other health issues start to pop up.
These problems can include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and abnormalities in liver enzymes. There is also concern for pre and postnatal development when exposure to BAP and plastics takes place. Phthalates also play a role in development of the reproductive system and trigger serious disorders. Another study linked bisphenol to affect brain development and the way it affects behaviors. (STUDY)
This list for plastic exposure issues is just the short list to be honest. And while exposure to plastics comes from MANY different sources, limiting the sources you can is the best way to avoid low-dose chronic exposures to plastic chemicals.
WHEN YOU CAN’T AVOID TOXIC MATERIALS
As I read the studies and findings in the articles I shared above, one of the problems that jumped out at me was the concern for infants being exposed to plastic if they have spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit. As a NICU mom to a baby who spent the first 48 days of his life in the NICU, it left me with a pang of guilt and worry.
Rationally, I know there’s no sense in worrying about his time in the NICU — it was necessary for him to survive. But part of me will probably always wonder what the exposure to plastics has done to his little body.
That being said, there are still things that I cannot avoid when it comes to plastics with both him and in our home. My only job is to try to limit it as best I can. This is a lesson in changing what is in your direct control and mentally letting go of what is not able to be changed.
For you, this may mean ditching plastic dishes or switching over to glass bottles. It might mean opting for silicone milk storage bags or buying baby food stored in glass jars instead. But maybe you can only change one or two of those things. THAT’S OKAY. Change what you can and remember that you can change other things down the road, or leave them.
Finally, a really effective way to limit plastic exposure when it comes to littles is to get on a routine schedule of dusting.
Dust holds SO many toxic chemicals and with kids’ this can easily end up on their bodies and in their mouths. Because kids play close to the ground and because their hand to mouth habits are different than adults, their exposure to dust through ingestion and inhalation is much higher.
Make it a point to vacuum and dust on a regular basis to remove as much dust as possible and protect those little bodies. So even if you can’t switch over to more organic baby products and items, you’re still protecting your children in other ways.
SAFE MATERIALS TO LOOK FOR IN ORGANIC BABY ITEMS AND KIDS DINNERWARE
So we know that avoiding plastic is the way to go. But let’s be honest, plastic is a convenient, shatterproof product that most of us have grown accustomed to. So what type of organic baby product could replace it? Nothing will be exactly the same, but if you can get used to some small changes, here are my top picks for safe materials when it comes to organic baby products.
Silicone: A while ago I did a rather lengthy post all about silicone and what to look for when you’re purchasing items made of this material. This is a great alternative to plastic as it is soft and moldable. It’s not a material that can break necessarily and it’s often a very safe product. Make sure you’re opting for food grade or platinum silicone when you’re on the hunt for organic baby items.
Glass: Glass is a tricky material when it comes to kids and babies. And while it’s a totally safe material health wise, it can pose other issues when put in the hands of our kiddos. Glass bottles are a great alternative to plastic and often times comes with a cloth or silicone sleeve to protect the glass if it were to fall.
Metal: Stainless steel is another great option for organic baby items, especially when it comes to baby utensils and kids dinnerware. Again, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a stainless steel product. Try to avoid products that contain aluminum as that can affect brain development (STUDY)
Bamboo: I love that so many disposable dishes are now made with bamboo instead of plastic. Bamboo is an incredible renewable resource that is being tapped into and can help replace quite a bit of plastic when you’re hunting for kids dinnerware. Be sure to get bamboo that doesn’t contain any sort of adhesive. Oftentimes pieces of bamboo are adhered together and they can contain formaldehyde and other solvents in the glue. Look for a third party certified organic baby product here.
Natural Rubber: Natural rubber has been our go-to for toys and some pacifiers. Make sure you’re getting a 100% natural rubber that has been third party certified if possible. It’s also best to find organic baby products made of rubber that don’t contain any dyes.
NATURAL AND ORGANIC BABY ITEMS:
Otterlove Natural Grip Silicone Baby/Toddler Cup – 100% Platinum Pure LFGB Silicone
Elk and Friends Glass Mason jars with Silicone Sleeves & Straws with Stoppers
Stainless Steel Cups for Kids and Toddlers 8 oz – Stainless Steel Sippy Cups
Non-Toxic Plant-Based Sippy Cup Without BPA, BPS, Bpf
Sippy Cup Lids – 100% BPA Free Leak Proof Silicone