Mama to a baby boy born in early 2012.  In my new life as his mama, I have realized the amount of toxic chemicals that are used in baby products and I find it scary.  This blog is my journey in finding what I feel are the best, non-toxic products for my baby.

Outside of obsessively researching non-toxic baby items and spending time with my little pumpkin, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.  My husband & I live in Seattle.  We have 2 dogs that our little boy loves.  I’m sure the dogs love him too but at this point I think they are still in shock that they are no longer number 1.  In our life before baby we were avid runners and ran in multiple  half marathons, marathons, and triathlons including Ironman Coeur d’Alene in 2010.  We love traveling and exploring new places.  For now, my new obsession is this little baby of mine.


58 thoughts on “About

  1. Sarah

    First let me just tell you how helpful your website and blogs have been. I just stumbled on it tonight and I am so happy I did. I’ve been googling non-toxic baby items and feel that I’ve been reading in circles. I love the comparisons. And becoming a first time mom myself in September It’s VERY overwhelming trying to find the best products for your baby. Even though I have been in the childcare industry (nanny) for years, I have never seen some of the items you have posted about. One area in particular, the highchairs. Before I read your entry, I was registered for the space saver. NOT ANYMORE!!! I love the alternatives you posted. I have never seen some of these items and I am excited to change some things on my registry. I was curious to find out your methods and process of finding out the toxins in these materials?

    1. shannamll Post author

      Thank you so much! That is really nice to hear. The main reason I started this blog is because I felt like I was going around in circles too. It’s really hard to find and sort out all of this information. I felt like I needed to share this info instead of it all sitting in my head! Honestly, I research a lot, make phone calls and send emails to companies. It’s time consuming, especially in the beginning since every product was new to me. I spent a LOT of time on my computer when my son was little and sleeping all the time. For the high chairs, I was looking online for non toxic high chairs and came across the Stokke and the Sprout. Then I reached out to them. I had a friend ask me what I knew about the Keekaroo, which I hadn’t heard of before, but did my research and found the info I posted. Congrats on the baby on the way!

  2. Erika

    Hi, I have found your blog so incredibly helpful, as I can relate to everything you have said. I practice Elimination Communication, use cloth diapers, use as few products as I can around the home in terms of cleaning, etc. I feel like other people think I’m crazy and I’m on my own trying to find the best products for my family. I find it very frustrating (and scary) that companies choose to use potentially damaging and harmful materials, but ultimately they do it because (unfortunately) that is what “we (majority of society)” buy. People want cheap things and until the dollars we spend “vote” for safe and natural products, then things won’t change. I too just stumbled upon your website and I’m so glad I did. I appreciate so much that you have taken the time to post all the information you have learned through your research, because it is helpful to others (at least me!). I have spent much of my free time (while my now-six-month-old sleeps) emailing companies to find out more information. It just seems that I get very ambiguous responses. I suppose that is the answer to my question, right?! I find it so irritating if I ask a company if they use chemical X, and they respond with “our company meets this standard or that standard” and a lot of hullabaloo. Yes or no is all I’m after, and I have my own standards, thanks. How long did it take before there were even regulations on lead being in children’s toys?

    Do you use only organic clothing and materials? For your baby, and yourself? Have you done any research on whether regular cotton becomes essentially the same as organic cotton after so many washes (I’ve set aside the environmental problem of the amount of pesticides used while growing cotton un-organically)? I have bought most of my baby’s clothing second hand or borrowed from friends, but it is mostly not organic and just wondering if you had any information on that. Some information says it’s okay other info says differently (so hard to know what to even believe).

    I also must let this out, maybe you will appreciate it, as this has bothered me for weeks. I received a Carter’s bib as a gift. The tag says it’s 100% cotton. I thought great. But I could feel a stiffer material on the inside and thought “hmm, what could that be.” I looked on Carter’s website for this bib and it says it has a “protective water barrier”. So I thought that seemed contradictory because I have not been aware of any 100% cotton materials that could be considered water barriers. So I emailed Carter’s and asked what the protective water barrier material was. Their response: vinyl. I was (am) furious. How can they say it’s 100% cotton!?!! Surely there are laws that prevent that happening (or conversely, I’m sure there are laws that allow just that, because the vinyl doesn’t actually touch the baby or some other b.s.) I wrote back and expressed my concerns and the response was, “We do apologize about any confusion you may have had about the bibs.” That was truly an eye-opening event for me and makes my search for healthy products even more difficult because I can’t or don’t trust labels and packaging. I suppose this is along the same lines as your research with the organic crib mattresses!

    One last thing I must ask you…do you find it hard when you see family, friends, or other loved ones using or letting their children use products you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot stick? I cringe and try to get my child back when we’re visiting somewhere and people are laden with body lotions and perfumes and then would let my child suck on their arms. Urgh! Or give them a plastic toy to chew on. Socially it’s a bit tricky as I also don’t want to offend others that might not have the same viewpoint as me.

    I would love to correspond with you as a like-minded person searching for safe products. Is the best way just to do that via these comments? I have never left a comment on a website before and just not sure how it all works, but you compelled me to do it!

    Thanks again for all the information you have taken the time to post for others,

    P.S. If you use natural cleaning with vinegar, have you seen the research that white vinegar can be started from petroleum?

    P.P.S. I haven’t looked at this site thoroughly but thought it was worth looking at, and you might too.

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      Hi again 🙂 Thanks for your note. I appreciate hearing that you like the blog. I spend a lot of the free time I have on it so it’s always good to hear that it is useful for other people… which is the reason I started it. It is hard, as you know, to spend a lot of your free time trying to find something safe. It’s crazy that it has to be that way. Now that my son sleeps less, and is more active, I find it even harder to have spare time but at the same time I find that there are more / different products that I need. So the research never ends. You are completely right, we vote with our dollars. At some point, I really believe, that there will be a change in the amount of chemicals and toxic products used not only in baby items but furniture, food, clothing, etc. The more I kept researching the scarier things became for me. Sometimes it’s a curse, I can look around a room and find toxic products in an instant, and sometimes that makes it hard to enjoy the moment when you have a baby going after something toxic.

      So, yes, if a company comes back and says that they meet whatever standards and doesn’t directly answer your question then that definitely answers your question. If they had nothing to hide they would write more than that. I’ve even written back and said so, do you products contain xyz and then never heard back. People think that the regulations are keeping them safe but it is far from true. If a company doesn’t specifically answer my question then I know they use something toxic and I don’t buy anything from them.

      So for clothing, I have about half of a blog post written on this. I started getting so deep into it that I decided to shelf it for awhile. When my son was first born up until I started doing more research I had mostly second hand clothes for him. When I went out and bought something I bought organic. Then I found out that you can buy organic clothes and they can use toxic dyes. When I learned that I became really upset. At that same time I found out that the organic sheets we purchased from Pottery Barn had some toxic chemical in them to keep them wrinkle free. I could never get a straight answer but I am thinking it was formaldehyde. You would think organic means organic but it doesn’t. Companies are trying to cash in on the organic craze (for lack of a better word) and making you think you are purchasing something organic when in fact toxic chemicals are still being used. So now I ONLY buy clothes that are organic, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) certified. It is the most stringent. Next in line I’ll buy orgaic, Oeko-Tek 100 certified clothes. I occasionally buy used clothes only because I don’t know if things like formaldehyde or toxic dyes (AZO dyes use heavy metals) really do wash out or not. I’ve read differing things too. I’ve heard that it could take 50 washes or more. I also have heard that using real soap, like Soap Flakes, is how to get chemicals out of clothes vs detergent. Real soap is very hard on your clothes though. When I get new, or used, clothes I always do the first wash or two with Soap Flakes. Ideally this is the order that I would buy clothes for my son – used organic, GOTS certified (or Oeko-Tek) clothes, new organic GOTS certified (or Oeko-Tek), used non-organic clothes, then new non-organic. I haven’t purchased anything new non-organic, non-certified for him and probably won’t as long as I have other alternatives. All of his clothes fit mostly into 1 drawer of his dresser and he has a 2nd drawer for PJs. That means he doesn’t have a ton of clothes. I choose to buy quality pieces and less of them. For me, whenever I do buy something new (which is almost never at this point) I do try and buy organic if I can. I don’t buy a ton for myself mostly because I’m working from home and don’t find the need to dress up anymore (which is kinda sad!).

      That is horrible about the Carter’s bib! I can’t believe that they are allowed to do that. Vinyl / PVC is horrible! I can’t believe they would be allowed to put that in a bib without telling the consumer. It’s stuff like this that caused me to only buy GOTS certified clothing. So aggravating.

      Yes, socially, it is very hard. Perfume, candles, lotions, plastic teethers and toys – I hated it and still do. I wouldn’t do much about it (besides trying to redirect), because like you said it’s tricky, but it bugged me for sure. Now that my son is older, and all over the place, I realized I can only control so much. I keep my house non-toxic and he spends most of his time here. When we are out and about or at other peoples house I still have a hard time with it but I realize that I can’t stop him from playing with those toys any more. I use to try and redirect like I mentioned. Now there is now redirecting! 🙂 The sad truth is that we live in a toxic world and as much as I would love to keep him away from anything harmful he also has the desire to explore the world. So I do the best I can but I do know that when we are outside of our house he will most likely come in contact with something with toxic chemicals. I only started feeling this way in the last few months when he has become super mobile. My family knows my view points and respects them. I don’t really tell people why I do what I do but people do ask questions or notice that he only has wooden toys. I think they get the idea. I haven’t shared my blog with very many friends just because of the reasons you mention – socially tricky. It’s on my list of things to do but a lot of other people view my blog so I’m know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

      I’m glad you took the time to comment on my blog. I would love to correspond and hear anything you find. Either leaving a comment or you can send me a message on my Facebook page. Again, I haven’t shared it with anyone really so I don’t have very many followers on facebook but if you send me a message there we can email back and forth and it won’t be public on the blog. I don’t know how to respond to you on the blog without making it public.

      Also – yes, distilled white vinegar can be a petroleum byproduct. I use Spectrum Organic Distilled White Vinegar and I called the company and it is derived from beets. No need to rub petroleum all over my house! I am also pretty sure Heinz is from corn, most likely GMO corn though. I have seen that site but haven’t been to it in awhile. I will check it out again.

      Thanks so much! Looking forward to chatting again!

  3. Jen

    Hi again, I posted a few other comments on other posts but just saw in your “About” section that you are here in Seattle and mommy to a boy born in early 2012, I’m also in Seattle with a boy born 2/29/12! Baby girl due 10/31/13. Thanks for all of the info! Let me know if you have any great organic-y items you want to sell, 😉 hehe!

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      Hey – we are neighbors! My son was born on 2/19/12. Congrats on the baby on the way! I’m not selling anything yet 🙂 What neighborhood are you in? Are you on any of the neighborhood mom’s groups? I always keep my eye out and have found some good, non toxic buys on there.

  4. Mama Z.


    I discovered your website last night. Thank you for putting in such time and work and sharing this information. Most importantly, I wanted to thank you and Erika (one of the reader’s who commented here) for making me not feel alone and crazy. I, too, have the same concerns and feelings about sharing my sentiments with friends. I explain and share when asked or when I see an opening to share because I don’t want them using toxic things either! I feel alarmed when I see what people are purchasing in the grocery store for example. (We try to eat as organically as possible.) My family is respectful of our family’s choices. 🙂 I, too, have a website – http://www.mostlyorganicmama.com. I started writing a post as you did on clothing. I have broken my post in to several different topics – so far. There is a lot of information. I felt overwhelmed as you did and shelved it for now, but I hope to complete it soon. It’s wonderful that you are sharing all of your research and helping all of us. I hope that our little community of mamas for a non toxic world grows! I would love to keep in contact with you, and I would be happy to share any information/researchI have found/read.

    Keep up the fabulous work! Thank you!

    Best wishes!


    Mama Z.

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      Thanks for your notes 🙂 Yes, there is so much to explore. I have started a post on clothing too but there is so much to it that I had to shelf it for awhile. It started to feel like a college research paper! I’ve been thinking lately I just need to do a quick post about my favorite organic kid’s clothing companies though. Feel free to email me or message me on FB. We will definitely be in touch I’m sure!

  5. Corie

    I’m so glad I stumbled across this blog. I have a four month old baby boy, and like you didn’t really do a ton of homework before he was born. Thanks to you I just ordered the Baby Bjorn Babysitter and will be getting rid of his old bouncer ASAP! Thankfully my little guy never liked all of the contraptions and spends 95 percent of his time in my arms or in the Organic Ergo while I wear him (thanks to your blog I ordered the teethers for the straps).

    I am freaking out a bit because, while I did buy an organic crib mattress (Naturpedic) and a sustainable crib (Oeuf Sparrow) I took a look at what the crib is made of and it does include plywood! Eek!!! I had no no no no no idea that composite and particle woods contained formaldehyde. I take some comfort that the crib does say no VOCs and that my guy has rarely slept in it (we co sleep for the most part) but still..not ideal.

    What’s worse are the three Ikea Billy book cases and the Ikea Malm dresser I purchased to complete his nursery. They were assembled two weeks before he was born in his nursery (absolutely no time outside to offgas). I. COULD. CRY.

    I’m ordering a formaldeyhde and VOC test kit for my home, but I don’t think I will ever be comfortable with that furniture in my baby’s nursery.

    I just started sleeping with him in my bed in my room (instead of the double bed I keep in his nursery where we typically co sleep). But now I am worried because I know conventional mattresses are toxic. My mattresses are 7 and 11 years old so at least they’ve had some time to offgas. Still, I worry it is a toxic place for him to sleep. Last night I moved his organic mattress to the floor in my bedroom (his nursery door now remains shut with windows open at all times to ventilate) and made a bed for myself beside his mattress so that we can still co sleep but he is sleeping on an organic mattress. It’s not even close to a permanent solution.

    My questions for you are:

    1. When co sleeping with your son do you have an organic mattress? Or do you sleep on a conventional mattress with him?

    2. Do you have any idea how long it takes for a conventional mattress to offgas?

    Thanks for your blog! I look forward to your future posts!

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      Hi! I hope your son loves the Baby Bjorn Babysitter as much as mine did! For the crib, there are a few crib companies that will use glue that doesn’t have formaldehyde. Since Oeuf adheres to the European standards there is a good chance that they used glue that doesn’t have formaldehyde. I would call or email them and ask where they plywood is on the crib and if the glue that they use in the plywood (or anywhere else on the crib) is formaldehyde free. If they are not sure, have them reach out to whoever they need to so you can get an answer.

      IKEA is a mixed bag. A lot of their items are actually ok because they are meeting European standards too (which are much, much higher than ours). I did a quick search and this is what I found on their site “Improvement #42

      …Next, we removed formaldehyde from glue systems used to glue veneer surfaces on furniture….”

      They don’t talk about the particleboard though just gluing on the veneer. You could email them and ask? However, if it was me I would want real wood and I probably would sell the pieces I bought and buy something else – but I’m kinda crazy about that stuff :). I bought a small antique, cute oak dresser off of craigslist for my son’s nursery and I love it.

      After reading your sleeping arrangements I just want to say what a good mama you are! So sweet! I love that you brought in his organic mattress to your room to co-sleep. So we started co-sleeping with him at around 5 or 6 months and it was on our conventional mattress. It was bothering me too thinking about all the chemicals. Ours was about 10 years old but even though it had plenty of time to off gas the mattress breaks down over time. As it breaks down more chemicals are released into the air. So after several months of co-sleeping we did buy a new, organic, no chemical mattress. While we were at it we decided to go up to a King size :). We bought ours at Soaring Heart http://soaringheart.com/ which is a local company (to me) but they ship anywhere in the US. I got to know them really well and they are very commitment to making the best natural, organic mattresses. The products they use (organic cotton, organic wool, organic latex) to make their mattresses are really great quality. I really love them and would buy from them again in an instant!

      1. Corie

        Thank you so much! I took your advice and called Oeuf. Such helpful customer service. They assured me that the glue they use in the three plywood pieces, or any other part of the crib, contains no harmful chemicals including formaldehyde. They said that since solid wood (which is what most if the crib is made of) naturally contains formaldehyde that they cannot say that the crib is formaldehyde free since no solid wood is. I did a quick search to verify this and from what I can tell that is true. I feel so much better about the crib. I still need to contact Ikea.

        Thanks for the info on your organic mattress. I’m going to check it out. Ideally I would like to test any mattress I buy, especially given the cost of organic mattresses, but I don’t think I’ll be in Seattle anytime soon 🙂

      2. naturalbabymama Post author

        Good, I’m glad that they don’t use formaldehyde in their glue. I had a feeling that they wouldn’t. Most higher end or European companies don’t. Wood does contain naturally occurring formaldehyde in low levels. It’s the pressed wood and glue that uses a chemical, non naturally occurring, formaldehyde that gets concerning. The levels of formaldehyde are significantly higher in non natural. Anyways, I’m glad that they don’t use it.

        Yes, testing a mattress is always nice. Maybe someone in your area does organic mattresses. We purchased a latex mattress and there is only 1 type of mattress. Where you get your extra support is from the topper. We slept just on the latex mattress for a really long time because I wanted it super firm with our son sleeping with us. A couple of months ago we went an bought a topper that is still firm but just not as firm as the mattress is by itself. I thought I was going to get a wool topper but after trying them out I got a latex topper too. I love our bed 🙂

  6. Mama Z.


    Thank you for responding. I am not on FB, but I would like to keep in touch, so please feel free to email me.

    I understand your sentiments about the clothing topic. Just yesterday I posted my first piece on clothing, and I mostly focused on a clothing company. I have three more pieces in the works, but it’ll take some time before I post those.

    I’d love to know from which companies you buy clothes. My girls are 8, 3, and 1 1/2, and I have found securing clothes for my oldest daughter proves more difficult. After about sizes 5 and/or 6, there aren’t many organic options. We don’t have tons of money to spend, and I don’t want to spend a lot for shipping either (i.e. buying from outside of the US). We buy from Hanna Andersson and find sales on Zulily too. I have bought from Sage Creek Organics as well. I found socks online at wwww.kidssocks.com and shoes that seem less toxic from iPlay and Native Shoes (for summer water shoes) and other shoes from Umi and Livie and Luca. I wrote a post about shoes too. From where do you buy shoes and clothes?

    Best wishes!

  7. Corie

    Regarding the natural baby teethers you purchased, did you purchase them from Amazon? Or directly from Maple Landmark? And did you have to request the, to be unfinished? Or did the come that way? And finally, did you finish them with something yourself?

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      I’m pretty sure I bought them off of amazon unfinished. I didn’t finish them with anything. Wood is naturally very resistant to bacteria so I felt unfinished was best. I did buy a few teethers off of Etsy from the shops listed on my toy post and they finished them with a beeswax and organic oil. If you wanted to finish them yourself I would buy the beewax and organic jojoba oil that I listed in my toy post under Camden Rose. It’s a great oil and a little goes a long way!

  8. Corie

    I feel like I need to pay you a consultation fee! 🙂

    I heard back from Ikea regarding their furniture. According to their email:

    “For many years, IKEA has required all lacquers used on our products to be formaldehyde-free.”

    “IKEA requires formaldehyde free surface coatings (lacquers, paints); this means that the final product will have an even lower emission level than the individual materials.”

    “Half of the European E1-limit corresponds to the strictest level (Phase 2) of the California (CARB) regulations. The IKEA boards, particleboards and fibreboards correspond to the CARB phase 2 requirements. The same applies for plywood, and the CARB level 2 in this case is even stricter than half of the European legal limit, it corresponds to about 1/3 of the European limit.”

    It’s tough for me to make sense of it all, but from what I can tell it sounds like they do indeed use formaldehyde in their glue, but it adheres to the strictest standards in Europe and the U.S.

    Still, I’d like to get the furniture out of the house and sell it.

    My husband is going to kill me with my new “needs” list: an organic king size mattress, a baby bjorn travel light crib with organic mattress, and orbit g2 baby car seat and base! It’s such a shame that it has to be so darn expensive to try and be healthy.

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      Haha, thanks for the compliment! That’s a good enough consultation fee for me 🙂 Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I’ve had a sick little kid and haven’t spent much time on the computer.

      It does sound like they use formaldehyde in their glue. It is good that they adhere to the CA limits because they are the lowest levels in the country but that means that there is still some in there. I agree, if it were me I would look for something that is made of solid wood.

      I know, it can be expensive but the other side of it is your products get limited down. I don’t ever just go out and buy toys or clothes for my son. Every purchase is thought out and most I buy online so no impulse purchasing. The big items are expensive. We just went without a travel crib and we travel he just sleeps in the bed with us. I know it’s a toxic mess of a mattress but it’s so few and far between I’ve come to peace with that part – plus I’m sure he has out grown a travel crib by now anyways.

  9. Corie

    Oh no! I hope your little guy is okay!!

    I ended up returning the Fisher Price Space Saver high chair and a ton of other lotions, toys, etc. to Babies R Us that I received for my Baby Shower, but never used (we use Earth Mama lotions, washes, etc. but I received TONS of Johnson & Johnson which I don’t use). With all of the credit I had enough to purchase the Baby Bjorn travel crib. I’m not thrilled about the mattress (I think it’s 100% polyester?) but I called and they insisted it is 100% Oeko Tek certified – including the mattress. I will say that the crib is awesome in terms of set-up. SO easy and SO light. I had borrowed my sister’s 4-year old Chicco play yard (hopefully off-gassed somewhat by the time I used it) and that thing is a nightmare. So heavy and complicated to use. Thankfully my little guy never wanted to be in it. I doubt he’ll want to be in the Bjorn crib much either but sometimes I need a place to just put him down for a second while I take something out of the oven or let the dog out, etc. The other nice thing about the Bjorn crib is that Naturpedic will make a custom organic mattress for it. I called and they said that they get requests for that size mattress for that specific crib pretty regularly.

    I’ve ordered so many of the products you’ve recommended and have been noting your web site when you get the “how did you hear about us” question. After reading your blog we’ve purchased:

    – Ergo Organic teething straps (we already have the Ergo Organic carrier I just wish it wasn’t made in China)
    – Plan Toys play yard (returned our Skip Hop)
    – Plan Toys wooden toys (about five of them)
    – Wooden Maple teether
    – Baby Bjorn travel crib
    – Baby Bjorn babysitter bouncer
    – Organic Caboose wool covers
    – Willow Sprouts inserts
    – We’ve already been purchasing organic bedding, clothing, baby crib mattress, pajamas WITHOUT flame retardants, etc. but I am now paying closer attention to trying to buy GOTS certified clothing. Unfortunately I can’t find much that’s reasonably priced. I did just order a few things off Amazon from a company called Maple something or other and the prices there weren’t bad at all.

    We’re also going to purchase the Orbit toddler car seat (like you we have the Chicco cubes infant car seat and I wish I’d known about Orbit before) and we’re going to get the Stokke high chair.

    I can’t thank you enough for posting all of the research you’ve done! It’s so incredibly helpful and I feel so much better knowing that we’re taking steps to expose our baby to less toxic chemicals.

    I would love to hear your take on Vitamin D drops (I stopped giving them after learning that Trivisol had a bunch of preservatives and other yucky things, but am looking at the brand Carlson Labs) for exclusively breastfed babies and what your thoughts are on vaccinations, but I know that’s an extremely controversial subject and could be a whole other blog 🙂

    Thank you again! You have really helped me to learn how to clean up my baby’s environment!!!

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      That’s great that you were able to exchange things for the travel crib! I’m so glad that you have found my site so helpful and it has helped you make all of those purchases! That makes me happy!

      For clothing, I am working on a post and will get it done soon 🙂 That Maple company you mentioned from Amazon looked great. By the time I found them my son was too big but their prices did seem reasonable and they are GOTS certified. I also look on Zulily for brands that I like (Kite Kids – out of the UK and Kate Quinn are on there). Another couple of places I really like for PJs are Under the Nile and they sometimes have sales and Sage Creek Organics – never buy anything full price there, they have sales ALL the time, just sign up for their newsletter.

      If you are up for buying used you might be able to find the Stokke on craigslist? We use ours 3 times a day so it was definitely worth the price for us.

      I do give my son Vitamin D but I also live in a cloudy place where we don’t see sun every day :). Carlson has kids drops that are 400iu’s and they are great. I have no reservations about that brand. My pediatrician was having me up my dosage so it would pass through my breastmilk to my son. I was taking a large quantity, like 6 to 8,000 iu daily but you have to monitor your levels to make sure they don’t get too high. So now I mostly just give my son the Carlson. Some days I forget though. I also give him a probiotic daily too. I currently give him Garden of Life RAW kids probiotic. I was using HCL neonate for him at first but it has lactose and we are staying away from dairy. Now that he is older I am also giving him fermented food as another way to get probiotics in him.

    2. naturalbabymama Post author

      Also, about vaccines… I’ve decided to not talk about them on my blog since they are so controversial but I am happy to talk to you privately. Can you send me a message on my facebook page then I will respond to you there.

  10. Corie

    Fantastic! I actually had done some homework and ordered the Carlson brand after talking to my doctor about it yesterday. So glad that’s what you’re using and like. Thanks for the tip on the Garden of Life RAW kids probiotic, too. I will take a look and see if that makes sense for us. Do you take a prenatal? I know mine is full of tons of synthetic crap, but I don’t know how to go about finding one that’s right for me. There’s so much information out there so I don’t really take it anymore and try to get as much of the nutrients as I can from diet. I’m a vegetarian though, so I worry about getting adequate B12 and DHA/EPA. I posted the question on the Organic Baby University facebook page so I’m hoping to get some good feedback from other moms.

    Uh, I could kick myself for going through my pregnancy and not paying better attention to my diet. Instead I gave in to all of my cravings. Hopefully you can actually cleanse your body of all that toxic crap (and thereby the breast milk baby gets).

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      So I do still take a prenatal – I alternate between New Chapter Organics and Garden of Life RAW. I’m glad you like the OBU page. She is the one that turned me on to Garden of Life vitamins. New Chapter was bought out by Procter & Gamble but I have been assured that nothing in their formula has changed. I basically buy one bottle one month then the other the next – for no reason just that’s the habit I’ve gotten into 🙂

      I’m vegetarian too and I lean heavily vegan. Actually I haven’t had dairy or eggs in a really long time mainly because of allergies on my part. The prenatals will cover you for B12. I did some research and found that approx. 75% of B12 passes through your breast milk to your baby. So for now I haven’t been supplementing my son with B12. I don’t have a good answer on DHA / EPA and it’s something I struggle with. I broke down and started taking Nordic Naturals fish oil after my son was born because I thought it was so important (and I have been vegetarian for 20 years!). There are algae forms you can get. I just don’t know the safety of those either. Barleen’s makes a vegetarian DHA but it has soy and I try and avoid that too. So, the best bet is to eat Chia seeds a few times a week. That’s what I am doing now and hoping that is good enough. I stopped taking the fish oil because of everything that is going on with Fukushima plus I really didn’t like taking it anyways. If you find out anything good let me know! 🙂

      1. Corie

        Out of curiosity, is there any reason you take Chia seeds instead of flaxseeds?

        Oh, wow. Now I’m freaking out about the fish oil I took while pregnant plus the fish oil that’s in my prescription prenatal. Sighhhhh. I feel like I just can’t win. It feels like I’ve done everything wrong so far 😦

      2. naturalbabymama Post author

        No big reason, I took flaxseeds when I was pregnant then my dr or nd or someone told me that your body doesn’t digest whole flaxseeds but only if ground (or the oil). I started taking Chia seeds around that time because they are a “super food” according to foodies 🙂 They have protein and calcium too. I just felt like I was getting a little more bang for my buck.

        You haven’t done everything wrong. I was in the exact same boat you are in. You are trying your best with the information you have. I am actually reaching out to Nordic Naturals to see where their fish is from. If it’s from northern Europe it would be fine. If it’s from the Pacific Ocean then I’m going to continue to stay away for the time being. Here is the motto I told myself last year when I was freaking out about all the toxic stuff that was in our house – when you know better you do better. You are doing a great job and he is lucky that you care so much to take the time to make sure his environment is safe and toxin free. It really isn’t our faults that this industry is so toxic. There has to be a reform at some point. It shouldn’t be that most baby products are toxic and are sold to us making us believe that they are good for our babies. This industry is mind boggling.

  11. Corie

    It’s crazy. Everywhere I look I wonder if the thing I’m looking at is toxic. I’m so afraid to let him play on the floor. How do you get around all of that? Do you have carpet in your home? Does your little guy play on it? What about your food? Do you eat strictly organic/non-GMO verified foods? What about your furniture (couch, chairs, anything else with foam and therefore fire retardants), do you let him sit/play on it? Do you only use products (like make-up, moisturizer, shampoo, soap, etc.) that are free of toxic chemicals? The chemicals are everywhere!!! 😦

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      I know, I can walk into a room and see everything that is toxic. It kinda sucks. We have hardwood floors and pulled up the area rugs in the living room because I was pretty sure the rugs were toxic. We do have an area rug in him room but we have had it for such a long time I feel like it has off-gasses but it’s on my list of things to replace.

      Yes, we do eat organic / non-GMO. I shop at our local farmer’s market too and get to know the farmers. The rest of our shopping is done at a local Co-op. I’ve eaten mostly organic for awhile but since he has been eating with us it’s 100% organic and no GMOs. There are a couple restuartns near us that are certified organic so when we occasionally eat out we eat there.

      Our couch and chairs were freaking me out. I felt like it was research all this non-toxic stuff for him but meanwhile he was sitting on a toxic couch. I ended having our couch re-done, 100% non-toxic now. I’ll get a couple of resources together for you and post them. It’s expensive but for me it was worth it. We were going to have our chairs re-done but it got too expensive so we just pulled them out of the room and added some wood furniture pieces.

      For my make-up I switched over to Jane Iredale awhile back. It’s not 100% the most non-toxic but it is pretty good. I feel comfortable with it. Much better than MAC which I was using (which is horrible!). For moisturizer I started just using coconut oil about a year ago and it works great for me. For my hair I tired the no poo method and it didn’t work out for me. I tried it for about 3 months and my hair looked horrible. I just bought a bar of organic soap shampoo off of Etsy that I am going to try. In the interium I was using a product called Acure which rates a 2 or 3 on Skin Deep. I’m hoping the shampoo bar works out well. For soaps, I either only use Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild or Earth Mama Angel Baby. Earth Mama rates better, a zero, on Skin Deep. Dr. Bronner’s is a 1. We tend to buy the concentrate of Dr. Bronner’s a little more often just because it lasts longer. For face wash I’ve been doing the oil cleansing method and it works great for me. I use a mix of organic castor oil and organic olive oil.

      For cleaning supplies I use a water / vinegar mix on everything. I haven’t found a dishwasher detergent that I love yet so for now we keep using Seventh Generation. I am hoping to move away from that soon.
      Chemicals really are everywhere. There is sadly no avoiding them all together but I do my best to avoid them at home 🙂

  12. Corie

    Wow! That’s awesome. All hardwood flooring and non-toxic furniture. Sadly, I have 20 year old wall-to-wall carpet and vinyl flooring in addition to my old upholstered furniture that I’ve slept on many times with my little man 😦 We had planned to replace all flooring while I was pregnant, but something told me to wait. I’m so glad I did. I would have been devastated if we’d replaced our flooring with new carpet (which was our plan).

    You’re lucky that you have organic restaurants options. I’m eating 100% organic now, but I didn’t while I was pregnant. Makes me so sad.

    Thanks for the makeup tips, too. I wore makeup my entire pregnancy (and before that, of course), but haven’t since he was born. And I’ve only used his baby products to shower – all of which rate a zero or one on the skin-deep database.

    I wish I could get my husband to warm up to the vinegar solution for cleaning. He hates it because he can’t stand the smell. So, I’ve been using Honest cleaning products. Still, I’d much rather use plain vinegar.

    You’re lucky your husband is so on board with everything. Mine is understanding of everything but feels like I’m overreacting a bit. I just stopped our lawn service after a lightbulb went off that my dog walks around in that yard and then tracks everything in the house. I’m pretty sure my husband thinks I’ve lost it a little.

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      Well I’m not sure my husband is so on board but he goes along with it 🙂 I think if I stopped doing all of this he would be fine with that too. Good call on the lawn service! We have pesticide free and pesticide reduced parks and I seek those out. You can tell your husband that so he thinks I’m crazier than you :). For the record, we aren’t crazy, it’s crazy not to pay attention to all these chemicals that are getting into our kid’s little bodies (and our bodies too).

      So my husband hates vinegar smell too. A couple of things, you can soak orange or lemon rinds in the vinegar/water solution and it will make it have a lemon or orange scent. I’ve found the white distilled vinegar smells like vinegar when you spray it but doesn’t linger around very long. If you use apple cider vinegar it is really strong. Maybe try soaking some rinds to see if that helps. It is way cheaper to make your own too!

      I didn’t eat 100% organic when I was pregnant either. I tried my best but wasn’t really strict about it. I too wish I was more strict about it.

      Actually I’m pretty sure our kitchen is vinyl or some fake crappy linoleum stuff. I’ve thought about changing it but I feel like it might be more toxic to rip the kitchen floor apart than to just let it be. I also am hoping not be in our house for not much longer – just waiting for the perfect house to come along. Yes, good thing you didn’t replace your carpets. New carpets are really toxic.

      For furniture, if you want to re-do your existing pieces look at Organic Baby University’s guide to getting all the material yourself. I didn’t do this but from all the research I did it probably is the cheapest option http://organicbabyuniversity.com/blog/2012/07/how-to-get-flame-retardant-free-nearly-non-toxic-furniture-made/. There are several eco / non toxic furniture makers out there. If you need some names let me know. I wasn’t sure if this was something you were going to do or not so I didn’t want to bombard you with info if you don’t need it 🙂

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      So I just made my own soap flakes the other day. I just grated up Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild soap (or if you have a bar soap you prefer you can use that). I take a tablespoon and mix in it approx. 1 cup of warm to hot water, stir the flakes around until they dissolve then put in the washer. I was buying another brand but I like this better and it’s cheaper 🙂

  13. Alla

    Dear naturalbabymama,
    I am another happy and at the same time worried expecting mom who came across your site a couple of days ago and I just can’t stop reading your blogs. I am so grateful for all the information that you have put out here! I am due in April and just started my research of the baby items a few weeks ago. I know that your website is going to save me tons of time! I also live in Seattle and will be definitely checking out the local stores that you’ve mentioned.
    I have a 10-years old son and even though I was pretty crazy about his safety, especially during that early baby time, I mainly focused on healthy nutrition (super baby foods, etc.) and choosing natural fabric (cotton, wool) for his clothing and other stuff. I somehow did not think much about all this other dangerous toxic stuff around us and specifically in baby products. Also, my son was born in Germany (we lived there for several years and moved to US when he was just a few months old) – so I was doing my initial research there and maybe because of pretty high standards there assumed it would be similar here as well. I am glad that I became aware of the danger before my other child is born and will be better equipped with the knowledge now. Luckily, I have not bought much stuff yet – just starting it now. I ordered a Chicco Key fit car seat a few days ago, after doing the initial research and reviewing the ratings, before I came across http://watoxics.org/ and your site. I am going to return it now without even unpacking and will get Orbit. Also, I just bought the new “improved” design Boppy nursing pillow (one firm and one soft side) and after checking the label found that it contains polyurethane foam. I will be of course returning it too.
    I have a couple of questions for you and other moms posting here. First one is about the cribs. I’ve seen your notes and know that you haven’t done much research on those and also did not use your crib much so far. I am planning to use the crib from the very beginning and keeping it in my bedroom for at least a year. I did the same with my older son. So far my decision was to go with Da Vinci Kalani crib. I like the design, it has very good reviews and according to the safety info on the company’s website it does seem to be a pretty safe non-toxic choice to me but I am not quite sure anymore. I am wondering if you or other moms were considering it as a choice.
    My other question is about the napping solution during the day when I am planning to let my baby sleep outside whenever the weather permits. I’ve recently got Uppababy Vista from craigslist, mainly for its bassinet, and I was planning to let my baby sleep in it during the day either when taking him out for walks and just keeping it outdoors on the terrace. Now after finding the comments that Uppababy does use FRs in their bassinets, I am not so sure about it anymore. Maybe the toxic danger would not be so high when using it outdoors but still… So I wanted to ask you and other moms what solution do you use to let your baby get more outdoor sleeping time during the day?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      I’m glad you like the blog! I love the watoxins.org site too. They have a list of pesticide free and pesticide reduced parks in the area – I love it! You should check it out if you haven’t already.

      I would buy the Holy Lamb Organics nursing pillow. It’s the one I wish I had.

      For the crib, I don’t much about the Da Vinci. Their site was interesting. They had very, very low levels of lead in the finish and paint. That level should have been zero though. I think the safest finish is beeswax and an organic oil. Pacific Rim makes a truly non-toxic crib. It is pricy though but it truly the least toxic crib on the market. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00858YGU4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00858YGU4&linkCode=as2&tag=natbabmam-20

      Good question about outdoor sleeping. I feel like people don’t do that as much here as they do in Europe. It’s a great idea though. What about doing a wooden bassinet and organic mattress? It might not last as long as you would like since he would probably outgrow it in 6ish month. Again, Holy Lamb Organics has some options. http://holylamborganics.com/baby.html. Maybe a reader will have other ideas for you.

      Good luck!

    2. naturalbabymama Post author

      Also, as far as cribs go we bought an El Graco from Land of Nod, it’s made in the US, have zero lead, and a non-toxic finish. Not as crunchy as the Pacific Rim finish but I still think a good choice.

  14. Lauren

    Hi! Thank you for this outstanding blog. It’s been extremely helpful in preparing for our first baby. I’m not sure if this has been mentioned before, but for car seats/strollers/playpen options that do not have nasty chemicals, have you seen the Nuna brand? Their products look like a less expensive (but still pricey) competitor for Orbit, in that they use Oeko-Tex certified materials. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this brand.
    Thanks again for the fantastic and thorough blog/research!

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      I had the Nuna swing on my blog for awhile but I later found out that the fabric was Oeko-Tek certified but not the foam. They use FR in their swing (non-Oeko-Tek approved FRs too). If they use it in their swing I’m sure they use it in their other products. I was really sad to hear this because I thought it could be a great company.

  15. Jessica

    Hi, I also want thank you so very much for your posts on this topic. You have made the hunt for healthier products 100 times easier, and I really cannot tell you how much I appreciate this. I’ve shared your blog with many of my friends who are also concerned about these things, and anytime I have a question about a product, or a clothing line, I go to your blog first, and then continue researching. It means a great deal to me, as a very new mom (baby girl born 2/8/14) that you have taken the time to research and share this with others. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  16. Kandy

    Hi! I’m so thankful to have found your website! I am stressing over which car seat to buy for my one year old who just outgrew her infant carrier. Orbit has a very high price tag, but if I knew it remained chemical free it’s a no brainer! Any advice? I also want to replace my 3 yr old sons seat.
    Thank you!

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      Sadly, I have no advice. My seat came back testing positive for FR TDCPP. The Diono someone else came back testing positive for TDCPP also. The Nuna had FR but seemed better FR’s than TDCPP. I don’t think any FR are good but TDCPP is really bad.

      TDCPP, or tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate, is an organophosphate flame retardant that is being used to replace PentaBDE. TDCPP, which is used as an additive flame retardant in resins, polymers, latexes, and foams, is most widely used in the US (annual estimations are 4,500-22,700 metric tons).1 There is evidence that TDCPP is a probable carcinogen and a developmental neurotoxicant2, as well as an endocrine disruptor in fish.

  17. Bela

    Hello Natural Baby Mama.

    My little son was born in 2013 and I also have always used glass bottles/containers and even bought a $500 dollar coconut mattress to avoid flame retardants. I also prefer BPA free stuff or wooden straight up. Though after reading some of your posts I realized I will go home today and trash all his plastic toys due to lead/China issue.

    Thank you for amazing blog. I feel just like you and it breaks my heart that babies, and especially American babies (who are born with highest levels of flame retardants anywhere in the world) are exposed to poisons and toxic chemicals and pretty much no one cares.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      I don’t and I don’t plan on having one. The subject is to controversial. If you want to message me on facebook I’m more than happy to talk to you about it.

  18. Angela

    What do you think about the Clek Foonf? It’s Greenguard Certified. Haven’t done much research, but I’m down to the wire to buy a convertible car seat and I just don’t know what to do.

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      I really need to update my post on car seats 🙂 Maybe I’ll do that tonight, there is so much info in the comments section here. I think that Clek is the best option at this point. There is still quite a few unknowns but it is made in Canada and they don’t use the really bad FRs. That is what I would choose at this point.

  19. Ryan

    This is a great blog, thanks for sharing your thoughts! Do you happen to know if Kate Quinn is GOTS certified cotton? I came across http://www.spencebaby.com/ and they only use GOTS and after learning about it, I realized that Organic does not always mean what int implies. Just was wondering if you knew.

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      Thanks! I will add that link to my clothing blog. Kate Quinn is GOTS certified. I talked about them in my post. They are certified but don’t have the GOTS tag in their clothing because they feel it is wasteful to have an extra tag. They sent me the link to their GOTS certification though. Here is my post where I talk about Kate Quinn.

  20. Kelly

    Hi – I’m really enjoying your blog, especially as I’m currently mired in car seat information and trying to find my way to an answer (clearly there’s no clean cut one!). Quick question for you about your post about travel cribs. There’s a link for an organic travel crib mattress, but it seems to be broken. Do you recall the brand you were linking to? I noticed that Naturepedic has a “portacrib” mattress, but it doesn’t seem to be the right dimensions for the travel cribs out there (Baby Bjorn, Nuna Sena, Lotus…aka, the ones that don’t have flame retardants). Thanks!

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      I’ll check that link, sorry I’m sure you already have figured out which way you want to go at this point. If you haven’t when I looked last I liked Lotus and Nuna 🙂

  21. Andrea

    *so* happy to have found your blog!!! this is my first pregnancy and trying to plan for the healthiest start for my little one. you’ve provided so much useful info! wondering if you have any updates on car seats and strollers. this seams to be the category where there just aren’t any nontoxic choices! being in canada, i’m even more limited. thanks so much!!

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      Sadly there are no updates and you are right there aren’t really any non toxic options for car seats. I feel that my used Mountain Buggy urban stroller is the best non toxic option 🙂

  22. Jenny

    Hi, I have referenced your blog many times and I love it! I realize you haven’t posted in quite a while so I’m not sure if you’ll get this but thought I’d try anyways. 🙂 I know that you have used wood toys and have mentioned beeswax polish before. My question is this…I had my husband make some wood toys for my daughter and I ended up finishing them with the Three Bees Beeautiful Beeswax polish. Unfortunately it didn’t seem to work for me. Everything almost immediately got dirty smudges and fingerprints (granted we have an indoor dog which doesn’t help matters). I was wondering two things-how did/do you clean your wood toys? And do you have any idea if I did something wrong with the beeswax? I’ve searched the internet but for some reason cannot find any information on it and I’m at a loss as to who to ask. Thanks for any input you can provide!

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      Your right I haven’t been as active on this blog :). Pregnant, then new baby and now moving. So much going on but i plan on blogging again once things settle down.

      Interesting about the beeswax. Was it still oily or did you wipe it down? We have a dog and a now 3 year old. We never got fingerprints of smudged. I rubbed it on our toys then took a second dry cloth and rubbed over it again to take off anything that didn’t soak in.

  23. Ashley

    I’m looking for natural Muslin crib sheets and I like the prints on bambinoland.com better than Aden + Anais but I can’t find any information of it’s authenticity. Does anyone have any experience with baninoland.com?

  24. Sami

    Hi – just found your blog – love it! Your post about ‘is organic clothing worth it?’ is Fabulous! Thank you; do you know if organic clothing shipped to the US is fumigated in the shipping containers? I’ve read that most products are – what can we do about this? Doesn’t this negate the benefits of organic clothing, etc. from places like India (Coyuchi) and China? Would truly appreciate your feedback.

    1. naturalbabymama Post author

      Yes, so I’ve looked into this. It’s not that clothing needs to be fumigated is that wooden crates to (and whatever is in those crates). I talked to customs and they said most of the time they use heat but they do fumigate sometimes too. I asked why they didn’t just use plastic crates so they didn’t have to worry about the wooden ones and they said it wasn’t as eco-friendly (LOL, I had a big discussion that neither is spraying everything with chemicals) and it’s cheaper to use wood. I’ve contacted places like Frugi and they are sending it here via plastic bins – so it’s not in a wooden crate.


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