Better Options for Baby Clothes
08.04.09 Better Options for Baby Clothes
For many moms, finding adorable children’s clothing is one of the fun parts of parenting. Hard to believe but that cute little pink onesie might have been made using pesticides, plastics, heavy metals, flame retardants, and chlorine bleach. What effect, if any, does this have on the health of the child wearing it?
This is an area we still don’t know much about. What we do know is that children’s skin is more porous and, pound for pound, they breathe more air than adults. Thus flame retardants and other chemicals added to certain clothing can have a greater effect on children. Many children’s products, including sleepware, are treated with flame retardants, such as Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs). These chemicals have been linked to everything from allergies and asthma to cancer and reproductive disorders.
Recently, there have been recalls for lead found in snaps and zippers on clothing as well as PVC on tagless labels and printed designs.
The good news is there are many new baby clothing companies offering beautiful organic clothes with colorful patterns and durable construction to stand up to your rough and tumble little ones. Other companies have incorporated new and interesting ways to reduce the impact of the cloth manufacturing process by making use of recycled plastic or by using organic cotton or wool or by using natural, non-toxic dyes.
• Avoid fabrics that contain flame retardants, especially for clothing worn next to a child’s skin for long periods of time, like sleepwear. Instead look for natural clothing options, like organic cotton. Always make sure when buying sleepware that it is snug fitting.
• If you must have those cute rainjacket and rainboots made of PVC (vinyl) try to find hand-me-downs that have potentially off-gassed some of the chemicals over time. Or, better yet, look for non-PVC alternatives.
• Look for organic clothing labels and clothes labeled Fairtrade, Low Impact Dyes, or Recycled which also present healthier options.
• Wash your clothes with gentle detergents that don’t include fragrance or chlorine bleach which can irritate babies sensitive skin.
At MightyNest, we love choosing baby clothes for your little one that are beautiful, bold, and made of the safest possible materials. And we're happy to share that many of these companies manufacture their clothes here in the US and provide healthy workplaces to their employees.