Category Archives: Baby products

Closed Facebook Group

I’ve just created a closed Facebook group as a way the Natural Baby Mama community can discuss non-toxic items.  Whether you are wanting to know what car seat to buy, questioning non-toxic baby items or items for you or your home, this is will be a great resource and open line of communication.  Please like the Natural Baby Mama Facebook page and join the closed group at

I’m looking forward to interacting with you more in the closed group!



Organic clothing for kids

After reading my previous blog post (if you haven’t read it you can do so here) you now know why GOTS certified organic clothing is so important.  I feel this is especially true for babies and kids.  The chemical load our children are exposed too is too much in my opinion.  Babies skin is so much thinner than ours and their bodies are so much smaller (in addition to our skin being our largest organ).   Most organic clothing is made in India where most organic cotton is grown (some is now be produced in China as well).  Having organic clothing isn’t enough.  The GOTS certification insures that the dyes and finished are non-toxic too.  You will see the green GOTS logo on clothing that is GOTS certified.  Do no be fooled by GOTS certified cotton.  That means that the cotton is certified but the dyes are not.  Here is the list of companies that I love that the final product has the GOTS certification:

Frugi – This is now my all time favorite GOTS certified company.  Their clothing is high quality and lasts for a long time for my kids.  I love their styles.  Now that my son is older I do a majority of my shopping here for him.  Shipping to the US is reasonable as well.  Age range is newborn up to age 10 for both boys and girls.  They have a small selection of maternity and women’s pajama’s as well (I am currently lounging in one of their pajama bottoms right now ;)).

Kite Kids – This was one my favorite clothing companies for my son when he was younger.  They are based out of the UK but shipping is reasonable and quick to the US.  They occasionally have deals on Zulily and I always try and stock up when they are featured.  Not everything is organic, GOTS certified cotton.  The fleece is not.  Most everything else is.  They have a few organic clothing items that are not GOTS certified because the factory that makes it follows the standards but isn’t certified.  With that being said, you will see the green GOTS logo under the product description if it is GOTS (or not).  Age range is newborn up to age 11 for both boys and girls.

Colored Organics – They offer a good selection of basic clothing (t-shrits, long sleeves, sweatsuits) that are all GOTS certified.  I have to admit when I opened my first order I was disappointed at how thin the clothing was.  I actually almost returned it all.  I was use to thicker sweatshirts especially living in the Pacific Northwest.  However, we kept some things and I ended up really loving them.  The quality is really good.  After I do laundry, my oldest picks out his Colored Organics sweats first every time.  I also love having some basics that don’t have any designs on the front.  Age range is newborn up to age 6.  Their sizing runs pretty small.  My big 4 year old has almost outgrown the size 6.  I emailed them to find out if they have considered making bigger sizes since their clothing runs small and to my delight they told me that their spring / summer of 2017 collection will go up to size 12!

Living Crafts – GOTS certified baby, kids and adults clothes.  This is a great company with quality clothing.  We have several of their pieces for both kids and adults.  They ship from Europe.  Some of their clothing is also sold at Little Spruce Organics which is here in the USA.

Under the Nile – This was one of my favorite companies when my son was younger.  They are 100% organic, GOTS certified.  Most of their clothes are for newborn to 2 years old.  They do offer clothing up to age 6 but it is just their long john pajamas and some underwear.  They have great stuffed animals, rugs and play mats that are made up from the scraps of their clothing.  We are big fans of Under the Nile in this house!

Broken Tricycle – They are out of Australia and are mostly newborn to age 2.  They are featured on Zulily from time to time and that is where I have picked up a few pieces.  All of their clothing is 100% organic cotton, GOTS certified.

L’ovedbaby – Organic, GOTS clothing age newborn to 2 years old.  I have one piece from them.  I didn’t discover them until my oldest was out of their sizes.  Amazon has a good selection of their clothing.

Hanna Andersson – They have a small selction of Oeko-Tek certified organic cotton clothing.  In their line of organic cotton is their pajamas, underwear, basic t-shirts, most of their polo shirts, and a few other pieces.  They have clothing newborn up to age 12.

Kate Quinn Organics – They are 100% organic cotton and all is GOTS certified.  You will not see the GOTS label on the inside of their clothing though.  They have decided against adding an extra label from a waste standpoint.  I have received verification from the company in writing that they are GOTS certified.  Age range is newborn up to age 8 for both boys and girls.  Sign up for their newsletters to get notified of flash sales that they do fairly often.  UPDATE:  I ordered from them in 2015 and my clothes were stinky as in chemical stinky.  I’ve heard other readers say this was the case too.  Some others have not had any issues.  Kate Quinn maintains that they are GOTS.  I now proceed with caution with Kate Quinn.

I also really love wool.  There are several GOTS certified organic wool clothing companies which are based out of Germany.  My favorite site to by wool is Little Spruce Organics.  I actually love most everything about her site but it is my go to place to buy wool for my son.  Engle and Disana are the brands that I buy from her.  If you haven’t purchased from her before she offers a 20% discount on your first order (see the info on the right side of her website).  The one note I’ll make is that I don’t love NUI organics.  They are not certified and the one time I ordered clothing from their company off of Zulily is had a strong chemical smell.

Other GOTS certified clothing companies that I have not ordered from:

Maple Clothing – They are on amazon and sell organic cotton, GOTS certified onsies, t-shirts and pants for newborn up to 2 years old.  I have never personally purchased from them but only because I found them once my son was too big.

Burts Bees Clothing – Affordable line of GOTS clothing.  They are owned by Clorox but do have the GOTS certification.  I do not own any of their clothing but from what I have heard the quality might not be the greatest.  For clothes that get outgrown quickly it might not be an issue.  Age range newborn up to age 7.

Piccalilly – They are organic, GOTS certified clothing from newborn up to age 10.  I haven’t ordered from them yet but have been meaning too.  It looks like they have a good selection of clothing for kids.

Finn & Emma – Mostly newborn to 18months.  They have pajamas that go up to 4 years old.  They are GOTS certified but do not have the GOTS logo on their clothing.

Are their other GOTS clothing brands you love?  Please let me know and I may add them to this list!

*This list was updated October of 2016


Is organic clothing worth it? Organic versus non organic cotton (and other fibers).

I have a lot of people ask me if it is worth it to buy organic baby clothes.  What about used baby clothes that aren’t organic.  Then there is hemp, bamboo, soy, and wool.  There are so many options it can get confusing.  Then throw in there the types of dyes, and other toxic chemicals, that are used that potentially can make your organic clothing toxic and it gets really confusing.  I’ve been doing a lot of research on this, talking to fabric manufacturers, emailing with companies and reading up on things online.  I know about certifications of raw cotton, fabrics, and final pieces that clothing can have.  Unfortunately, I now know more than I wish I did!  I will never look at clothing the same.  First I’ll go over the environmental (and social) aspect for each of the types of fabrics, then some information on dyes, then the certifications, and finally my opinion if buying organic is worth it.  The reason this is so important is that your skin is your largest organ.  Everything you put on it gets absorbed into your blood stream.   If you don’t want to read all of this you can skip to the bottom for the link to the list of recommended clothing companies (but I do recommend reading this so you are an educated consumer!).

Conventional cotton (non-organic): 

  • For every 1 pound of cotton produced, about 1/3 of a pound of chemical pesticides and fertilizers are used.   Just to give you an idea of how much cotton that is, it takes just under 1 pound of raw cotton to make t-shirt.
  • 25% of the world insecticides are used on cotton crops where only 2.5% of the world’s land are cotton fields.  Cotton is  the most pesticide intensive crop grown on the planet. $2.6 billion worth of pesticides are used on cotton worldwide each year.  That is a huge percentage of toxic chemicals used to grow conventional cotton!  Think of the overspray, which can travel up to 2 miles, that is in the air (that you breath) and getting on other crops (your food) just from cotton.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency considers 7 of the 15 pesticides used on conventional cotton as possible or known carcinogenic (cancer causing) agents.
  • Cotton is considered the world’s dirtiest crop due to its heavy use of insecticides, the most hazardous pesticide to human and animal health. 
  • According to the World Health Organization, 20,000 people die every year from accidental pesticide poisoning in conventional cotton agriculture, and 1,000,000 people a year suffer from long-term pesticide poisoning (Pesticide Action Network).  
  • 100 million conventional cotton farmers, from Russia to South Africa, are living in conditions of abject poverty and near starvation.  Conventional cotton subsidies (funded by American taxpayers) are causing poverty in the developing world as they lower the world price for cotton.
  • Cotton is an extremely water intensive crop
  • Most conventional cotton being grown is now GMO cotton a whole other post could be written about GMOs!
  • Most cotton clothing is now being produced in China in sweatshops where women & children are being exploited and are working well below the minimum wage.  How do you feel about your new shirt or pants when you think a child might have made it?  Looking for clothes not made in China is a big challenge too.  I’ve found several companies that I will share with you.
  • Sadly, the suicide rate for conventional cotton farmers is high (especially in India).  Some say it is no higher than it always has been.  Some say it is higher now that cotton farming is GMO.  Either way, it is a sad situation.

Organic Cotton:

  • No pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals are used when growing organic cotton
  • To be certified organic the soil must be free from chemicals for at least 3 years
  • The land, and soil, benefits from crop rotation
  • Cotton is an extremely water intensive crop
  • A lot of organic cotton is grown in other countries so it requires shipping to the US.  However, there are several states in the US that are getting on the map for growing organic cotton.
  • Look for the GOTS certification to make sure the clothing is organic and non-toxic from field to finish.  You can buy organic cotton, that is not certified, that has been finished with toxic dyes or chemicals (I find this very sad but it is true).


  • No pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals are needed to grow hemp
  • The traditional way to get to the hemp fiber in Europe is to leave the stalks out in the fields and have the weather brake the stalks down.  Then the farmers can harvest the hemp.  In China, some of the farmers are now using chemicals to break down the hemp stalks to speed up the process of harvesting.  This is very sad that such a great, natural fiber, is having chemicals added to it for no reason other than speeding up the harvesting time.  Another reason to avoid things made in China!


  • Is being touted as a “green” material.  It is true that it is hearty, grows very easily and can be cultivated quickly.  From that standpoint, it is green.
  • Getting bamboo into a usable form can be a very chemically invasive process which uses harsh chemicals.  Bamboo must go through several chemical processes to get into usable form and the human exposure and damage to the environment surrounding the factories make bamboo not as green as everyone is saying it is.
  • Most all fabric and clothing that is bamboo, is bamboo rayon or bamboo cellulose, which is made using the chemically intensive process described above.
  • Bamboo linen is generally made without the use of chemicals but since it is such a labor intensive process there is very little bamboo linen on the market.
  • Very little water is needed to grow Bamboo
  • Raw bamboo lets most UV rays through the clothing (unlike cotton) and there have been talks about adding chemicals to the clothing for UV protection.
  • Bamboo is very soft which makes it appealing for clothing.


  • Soy is one of the largest GMO crops worldwide.
  • It requires a lot of water and pesticides to grow.
  • Soy is biodegradable and has minimal impact on the environment – non GMO soy that is!
  • Soy fiber is not as durable as cotton or hemp
  • Soy fiber is made from the byproduct of the soy industry (tofu, soy beans, etc) so it is not grown specifically for clothing.  That’s nice that it is dual purposed.
  • The process to turn soy into clothing is very chemically intensive process.  The same chemicals are used repeatedly so at least chemicals aren’t be dumped as often.  However, those chemicals are still being applied to the clothing you will be wearing.


  • Wool is a great renewable fiber.
  • Wool keeps you warm in the cold months and cool in the warm months.
  • Wool is naturally flame resistant.
  • It tends to be both dust mite and mold resistant.
  • Wool is lightweight.
  • Lower quality wool can be itchy but most wool is not itchy at all.
  • Some people can be allergic to wool.  In most cases, it is very rare for someone to be allergic to organic wool.  Most people have a reaction to what the wool was treated with if it wasn’t organic.
  • There can be inhumane practices associated with wool, like mulesing in Merino wool which is cutting out strips of skin near the sheep’s rear to prevent pests, some places will kill a sheep for the wool and some sheep farmers pack in the sheep like you would see on a factory farm.  If you Google mulesing just be prepared to see some grotesque and upsetting pictures.  I would say that these practices aren’t the norm, and if you look for certified wool you won’t have to worry about contributing to inhumane practices.
  • Sheep can be sprayed with pesticides.
  • Organic wool and Zque certified wool do not allow inhumane practices (like the ones mentioned above) or pesticides to be used.  Another reason to buy organic!

Synthetic fibers:

  • I’m not going to go into the details but just stay away!

Common chemicals, and toxic dyes, added to conventional clothing:

  • Formaldehyde.  This keeps clothing from becoming wrinkled during shipment and prevents mildew.  It also increases stain resistance and is used for color fasting.  It is a known carcinogen.  The US does not regulate formaldehyde in clothing where other countries like Germany, China and Japan do.
  • Nonylphenol ehtoxylate (NPE).  This chemical is very toxic and is banned from being used with the exception of some factories in China and Southeast Asia.  This has hormone-disrupting properties and can be hazardous at low levels.  14 major brands in the USA have their clothing made in factories that use NPE.  From what I could find these companies had clothing that was tested to have NPEs – Calvin Klein, Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Nike, Puma and H&M.  Another reason to not buy clothing made in China!
  • Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs).  This makes clothes wrinkle free or no iron.  This is the same chemical that is used in Teflon.  It is used a lot of times to make clothing water repellant, like outer wear.  This chemical has been linked to cancer and kidney disease.
  • There are many other chemicals in clothing including phthalates which is very toxic.  Instead of listing every chemical used and getting depressed about it, I’ve decided to move on to discuss ways to protect your family.
  • AZO dyes, use heavy metals.  They are extremely toxic and are still used in clothing made in China.  The use of AZO dyes have been banned in the USA.

Clothing certification:

  • GOTS – Global Organic Textile Standard – is the leading certification for organic, non-toxic fibers and clothing.  You can read more about the standard here.  This certification is the most stringent certification on clothing.  No flame retardants are allowed, no AZO dyes using heavy metals, no formaldehyde, no pesticides, no phthalates , no PVC, no PFCs, no NPEs, no chlorine bleach to list a few.  There is also a social aspect to it as well, employees must have fair working conditions and be paid a fair wage.  There can be no animal cruelty.  It really is the best certification out there. Pretty much all GOTS certified clothing will have a logo on the inside of the clothing stating it is GOTS certified. You can have GOTS certified organic cotton but if the final product wasn’t produced in a GOTS certified factory then that company is not allowed to use the GOTS logo. When you see the logo you can be rest assured that the entire product is GOTS certified.
  • Oeko-Tek – is a certification that doesn’t allow hundreds of toxic chemicals in clothing.  Clothing does not need to be organic to receive this certification (pesticides are allowed to be present on clothing to pass this certification)  Also, some chemicals, like flame retardants (that are deemed to be the least toxic) are allowed to be used.  If you are buying Oeko-Tek clothing or baby products check to see if they are using flame retardants.

So, what do I buy?

I think GOTS certified organic cotton or wool is the best, and safest, clothing to buy.  I found out early on that just buying organic cotton doesn’t mean that the safest dyes or no toxic chemicals are being used.  The organic clothing industry is growing by leaps and bounds and some companies are trying to cash in by using organic cotton but not truly making an “organic” piece of clothing.  I also buy organic cotton that is Oeko-Tek certified but it is my second choice.  Currently, I just buy Oeko-Tek organic pajamas for my son.

If I can buy used GOTS certified clothing I do.  However, I’m picky about it.  I’ve purchased a few things on Ebay only to have them reek of laundry detergent or dryer sheets that have toxic chemicals.  Side note – wash your clothing in non-toxic detergents.  Most commercial brands are toxic!  I love soap nuts which you can buy here.  I felt like buying used, washed in chemicals, defeated my purpose.  So I’m specific when I buy used.

I know not everyone wants to buy new organic clothing.  The order I would buy clothes in is:

  • Used GOTS certified organic (cotton or wool) clothing
  • New GOTS certified organic (cotton or wool) clothing
  • Used or new hemp, verifying if it’s organic would be ideal, clothing
  • Used conventional cotton clothing. Side note – I personally would try and buy Oeko-Tek certified used cotton first before buying non certified conventional cotton. At least then you will know that the dying and finishing process isn’t toxic. However, pesticide residue and flame retardants are allowed in the Oeko-Tek certification.

Doesn’t washing your clothes wash away the chemicals?

Yes, maybe, but I don’t think anyone knows.  You should for sure wash all clothing before wearing it.  Even GOTS certified.  I’m weird and wash clothes several times.  However, I have read reports that it can take 50 washes to get all the chemicals out.  That’s my other issue with used.  You don’t know if it’s been washed once or 50 times.  If it’s toxic to start with you aren’t guaranteed buying used will make it any less toxic.  Buying used is no doubt good for the environment.

Are there children’s brands that I avoid?

Some of the worst brands from a toxicity standpoint that I wouldn’t buy (even used) are:

  • The Gap / Baby Gap
  • Old Navy
  • J. Crew
  • Disney
  • American Apparel (they do make GOTS certified organic clothing so that would not apply)
  • Burberry
  • Nike
  • Adidas
  • Puma

One thing all of these companies have in common is that the clothing is made in China (except American Appeal).  Toxic clothing is coming out of China.

You can read my follow-up post on organic children’s brands that I love.


Summer is here! Ways to protect your kids while in the sun.

Where we live we never have a nice June except for this year!  I love being outside and being outside with nice weather is a bonus.  Everyone needs a little vitamin D but too much exposure to the sun is a bad thing.  Most of your skin damage is done in your first few years of life.  It is really important to make sure our little ones are protected.  Besides not being in the sun there are three options – Sunscreen, Sunhats and UV protective clothing such as rash guards.  I’ve been on a search high and low for a rash guard that didn’t use chemicals, harmful dyes and that wasn’t made in China.  I finally found it and I am so happy!


First, you really need to make sure you have sunscreen that is full of toxic chemicals.  There is a GREAT resource – EWG’s Skin Deep.  You can search pretty much anything on this database and it will let you know how toxic (or not) the product you are using it.  It will then drill down each ingredient and tell you the concern.  Seriously, check it out.  Look up your sunscreen, baby wipes, your make up, shampoo, etc..  I personally think the cleanest, commercially available sunscreen for you and your kids is Badger.  They have Badger baby, kids and for adults.  All of it is equally safe.  It is organic and rates very low on Skin Deep plus when you read the ingredients you actually know what they are!  Badger also uses non-nano zinc oxide which is important versus using zinc oxide.  If you want to know the difference you can read more about it here.  Here is the link to Skin Deep for Badger.  Look up what you are currently using.  Some sunscreen is so toxic.  It’s like rubbing chemicals on your body that are known to cause cancer and other types of toxicity to prevent getting skin cancer.  It’s crazy, especially when there are safe, effective alternatives.  Also, the spray sun blocks are horrible.  Don’t ever use them, you won’t after you look them up anyways, but all those chemicals get sprayed into the air and get in your children’s lungs (and the lungs of anyone nearby!).  Even if you use the spray and spray it in your hands before applying to your children, it still gets in the air.  Here is the link to Skin Deep for Coppertone Kids Spray sunblock.  I’m not picking on Coppertone but it was just the first spray sunscreen that came to my head.


Sun hats are very important for little ones.  Luckily I have a little boy who loves wearing hats!  He even puts his sun hat on in the morning when he wakes up.  For infants, I loved the gender neutral, GOTS certified organic sun hat from Under the Nile.  Another place I’ve been eyeing but having purchased from yet is Urban Baby Bonnets.  I love them.  Especially if I had a girl but they make some pretty great boy hats too.  They have a good selection of organic fabric (and GOTS certified fabrics).  I love how much coverage the front provides.  The current sun hat I have is from Kite Kids.  It’s organic and GOTS certified.  They are based in the UK but I purchased the hat on Zulily.

Rash Guard & Swim shorts

Rash Guard & Swim wear – I really am super happy to have found City Threads.  They are made in the USA and use a tight weave of their fabric to obtain their UV protection.  I love real materials and when you are looking for swim gear you obviously aren’t going to find cotton.  Knowing that, I just wanted to find a company that wasn’t using toxic dyes or spraying chemicals on the clothes to obtain the UV protection.  It took me a really long time to find this company but I’m very happy that I continued my search until I found the best option in swimwear.  They have rash guards in solid prints and with designs in both short and long sleeves.  They only make swim shorts which they have both solid colors and prints.  I have a boy so this is great but I also think it is equally great for girls.  I mean little girls look ridiculously cute in little swimsuits but it’s really not that practical.  If you goal is to protect them from the sun then the best option is covering them up.

Enjoy the summer!

Toys (No Plastic!)

My husband and I really didn’t want a bunch of plastic toys littered all over our house. It was one thing that we both felt strongly about when I was pregnant. Then I started doing more research about toys and felt even stronger about our no plastic toys rule. Plastic toys can have BPA, phthalates, and lead in them.  There are studies showing that plastic, even if it is BPA free, still leaches harmful chemicals.  After our son was born we made a second rule about toys – they can’t be from China. There have been too many toys that have been found to have high levels of lead that have come from China. Even my pediatrician, unprompted by me, told me not to buy toys from China because of the potential for lead. My son, like I’m sure every other baby in the world, LOVES to put things in his mouth. Lead isn’t good in any amount (nor is BPA or phthalates). So no plastic and no toys from China for us. This does come with its challenges at times. Sometimes manufactures are really sneaky about saying the company is from Germany (for example) then in really small print somewhere else on the box it says made in China. As my son gets older I see that this is going to be more challenging but I love a challenge! I’m happy to say at a year and a half old, he has no toys from China and no plastic.

Wood toys may be a bit more expensive than some plastic toys. We don’t buy a ton of toys. We have a good stash going but I feel we probably have less than other people. I would rather spend my money on quality toys. Quality over quantity! Also, don’t under-estimate the hours of entertainment a wood spoon and some measuring cups can provide.

Healthy Stuff has a database of toys that they have tested for toxic chemicals. Check them out here and see how the toys you have rank. I love the Healthy Stuff database – such a great resource!

The safest of all toys is unfinished wood. There are several toy companies that will finish toys in beeswax and an organic oil (like jojoba). This is a great option too. If you want to purchase some beeswax and organic jojoba oil for your toys (or other wood products) this Three Beeauitful Bees All-Natural Beeswax Polish is great!  They have 3 different types of polish and only the All-Natural is made with organic oil!  Just a note, if a toy is finished with a food grade mineral oil that means it is a petroleum-based oil. Just a FYI. You can decide if you want petroleum rubbed on your kids toys. I personally don’t. I also find it disturbing that food grade oil is made from petroleum. For wood that has paint, I always look for non-toxic water based paints or, preferably, vegetable dyed wood. I also really like to support local companies so if there is a choice I will buy something made in the USA first before other countries. Below is a list of companies that I like, companies I think are ok, and companies that look like they might be good but I don’t like. I just took some of the most popular wood / eco / organic toy brands out there otherwise this list could go on forever.

Disclaimer: I use affiliate links at times. It doesn’t cost you any more but does help support my time running my blog and this page. Other affiliate links might get you a discount which is a win, win! I appreciate you supporting my links as a way to help me offset my time by bringing info to you. I will never be swayed financially, and I will only post products and companies that I would, and do, personally use for my family.

Companies I like:

Plan Toys – I really like Play Toys. They make all of their toys in a sustainable factory in Thailand. In my opinion, they are the best non-toxic commercially produced toy maker out there. They are starting to make composite toys with their left over saw dust. I don’t love this (they use a non-toxic, formaldehyde glue) because it definitely looses the wood feel. You can easily tell which is composite and which is wood just by looking at the toy (you can even tell when looking online – it looks fake for lack of a better word). I don’t buy the composite toys. I get the no waste concept that the company is going for and it for sure is cheaper for them to make toys out of the left over saw dust than buying wood but I still prefer wood. We have quite a few toys from them. Some of our favorites are: the Happy Engine pull toy, the Dancing Alligator pull toy, the Punch and Drop, the Baby Car, the Oval Xylophone, the Roller, the Mini Recycling Truck, and the Drum. Also, their customer service is great. I needed a replacement drum mallet (because our dog ate ours) and they responded quickly and got one out to us for a small replacement fee.

Here is a statement from their website on where the toys are made and the quality: Q: Where are your toys made? A: Our toy factories are located in the city of Trang, which is located in the southern region of Thailand. The area is rich with rubberwood which we have successfully recycled for manufacturing toys. Our toys are produced entirely within our own facility, so we have complete control over every aspect of the manufacturing process. The wood we use is non-chemically treated; we use non-toxic, water-based dyes and non toxic glue. Our facilities and our toys reflect our respect for the environment and our commitment to designing unique natural playthings for children. Q: How can I be sure that PlanToys® quality and safety is superior to other brands ? A: You can always feel confident with PlanToys® because our wood is non-chemically treated and we use water-based colors that are safe for children of all ages. Our research teams have developed non-formaldehyde glue, which is non-toxic and totally free from unhealthy formaldehyde emissions.

Camden Rose – LOVE them! – I am pretty sure they are my favorite toy company. Everything they make is beautiful. They use high quality wood like cherry, maple and walnut. They are made in the US or in Peru where they support two fair trade, non-profit organizations. To read more about them click here. Really, their toys are beautifully made. Each toy I have from them always gets compliments. We have this hardwood stacker (my son loves this toys), the zoom car, wood eggs, wood milk and cups, we have a wooden rattle from them that is just beautiful to look at but I can’t find a link for it, and finally we splurged for my son’s first birthday and bought this kitchen. Yes, the kitchen is expensive and thankfully we had gift certificates to Amazon but even if we didn’t it’s worth it. It’s so nice to look at and made really well. We have it in our living room and I wanted something that I didn’t mind looking at every day. My son absolutely loves it and plays with it every single day. I looked at a lot of kitchens and this was the best option in my opinion.  UPDATE:  I was just made aware that Camden Rose uses a beeswax and food grade mineral oil (petroleum) polish on all of their furniture and toys.  They use their All-Natural beeswax and organic jojoba oil polish on all of their spoons, forks, bowls, plates, etc.. I called them about this and talked to the owner in length.  She told me the amount of food grade mineral oil in the polish is a small amount compared to the beeswax.  She also told me that it is non-toxic.  From the quick research I did, I found the same to be true.  There was a study done on rats and after 2 years of exposure to food grade mineral oil there was no difference in the rats.  Camden Rose will ship any toy or piece of furniture you would like unfinished.  It may take several more weeks but they will do that if you call them.  You can then finish it yourself.  I can not stress enough about the quality of their toys and how beautiful they are.  We get compliments on all of his Camden Rose toys.  So if not using food grade mineral oil is important to you just order it unfinished and finish it yourself.

Maple Landmark Toys – they make wooden toys in the USA. They have a huge selection that can be seen here. I first bought this teether from them and since have bought a few more things. I only buy unfinished toys from them as I don’t love what they use to finish their toys with. I have several things on my want list too!

Grimm’s – they are made in Germany. They use a water based paint or vegetable dyes on their wood. Their toys aren’t cheap but I am fixated with them. I really want this rainbow stacker but just haven’t wanted to pay the $40 for it yet. We just were in a toy store and my son was obsessed with a bus that they make. For some reason I thought the price was around $20 so I asked my husband to buy it. When we got home I saw the price tag and it was more than I thought it was!  Oh well, my son loves his buses and he carries this bus around with him everywhere now.

Little Sapling Toys on Etsy – I really love this Etsy shop. Isn’t this wooden engraved camera the cutest!? They finish their toys with beeswax and an organic jojoba oil. Check out their shop to find a lot of great teethers, rattles, blocks and toys.

Little Wooden Wonders on Etsy – My newest find!  I was on a mission to find a wooden push lawnmower toy for my son that had a non-toxic finish (I found several wooden push lawnmowers from other companies which used a petroleum finish).  I found exactly what I was looking for here!  They use beeswax and an organic jojoba oil to finish their toys.  Check out their selection of  wooden push toys, teethers, puzzles, and other toys here.  The push lawnmower is beautiful my son loves to play with it.

Smiling Tree Toys on Esty – I’ve ordered several things from them and am always happy.  They use a homegrown organic camelina oil/beeswax finish on all of their toys.  You can find all of their toys, teethers, step stools, and ornaments here.

A note on Etsy:  There are quite a few people making organic wooden toys on Etsy.  I haven’t purchased from these people but have looked and them and they use organic finishes on the toys.  Manzanita Kids and Bannor Toys (I would buy the natural, polished toys not the painted ones personally but it sounds like they use a non-toxic paint).

Under the Nile for soft toys – Under the Nile has organic, GOTS certified, soft, plush toys. I really love the veggie toys they have. My son loves chewing on the carrot! We also have the dog, the blanket friend toy, and sleep doll. I love that they are all non-toxic and GOTS certified to be free from harmful chemicals. They make all their plush toys with left over fabric from their clothes.

Elves and Angels – They make beautiful wooden toys, playstands, kitchens, house plan, doll furniture, and more.  All made in the USA.  Most of what I have looked at is unfinished which I love.  I like the ability to finish it myself with Three Beeautiful All-Natural Beeswax and organic jojoba oil. You can check out their beautiful toys here.

North Star Toys:  I purchased North Star’s busy boat for my son’s bath time.  He LOVES it.  It is now just a regular toy around the house.  He loves the little people in the boat too.  I did choose to have them make it unfinished which means that it can’t stay sitting in water for hours on end.  I just let it air dry on the side of the tub when we are done with bath time.  They use a food grade mineral oil on all of their toys.

Companies that I think are just ok:

Haba – They are a German company that has toys made in different parts of the world. A lot of the toys are made in China but they do have some that aren’t. So read the box if you are concerned about buying toys in China. Here is a statement from Haba on their quality and where their toys are made. Some of their toys don’t rank very well for toxicity on Healthy Stuff.  If I were to buy a toy from Haba I would reference Healthy Stuff first.

MiYim – they use to be all organic and use organic cotton filling in their plush toys. They have started using a poly fill on some of their toys. I would just read the labels before purchasing. I prefer an organic fill in the plush toys especially with a baby that is going to suck on toys. Without doing a ton of research on this it looks to me like they were possibly bought out. I don’t buy their toys anymore so I’m not doing any research on this. Just read your labels on these toys before buying since they seem to be making some changes (not positive ones)

Companies that I don’t love (and won’t buy):

Melissa & Doug – they seem to be the most popular wooden toy company. They moved production to China and for that reason they are on my do-not-buy list. They also had a lead paint scare multiple years ago.  The results on Healthy Stuff are mixed as well.

Hape – Wooden toys made in China

Wonderworld – Wooden toys made in China.

Dandelion – claims to be organic but aren’t all organic. They use corn as a filling and I am not a fan of supporting Genetically Modified corn. I am making an assumption that they aren’t using organic, non GMO corn here (based on the fact that 86% of our corn supply is GMO corn). According to their website they are also made in Asia (probably China) but they do state they have a new Florida warehouse. Just read your labels if you purchase from them. Made with organic cotton is not the same as 100% organic cotton.

Websites I like:  I buy a lot of toys from Amazon, Etsy, and a local toy shop but there are a few websites that have become my go-to sites when I’m looking for something new.  I really love Palumba (maybe because they carry a lot of Camden Rose products), Rosie Hippo, Nova Naturals, Little Spruce Organics (is one of my all time favorites!) and Pure Play Kids.  I always make sure I know info about the toys I’m ordering from.  Just because they are on a non-toxic toys website doesn’t mean they are up to my standards!  In full disclosure I have only ordered from Pure Play once and never from Rosie Hippo but I do go to both of these sites occasionally for ideas or if I’m on a search for something.

If there is a toy company you love that isn’t on this list please share it with me!

Things I wished I registered for….

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a lonnnnng time.  The task has seemed a little daunting but I’m finally ready to do it.  My sister-in-law is due with our little niece in a few months so I wanted to get this post done before she started registering.  Nothing like an arrival of a new baby to get you to do things!

Before my husband & I even had a baby we said no way would we register at Babies R Us.  That place was like hell to us.  It was huge, full of a bunch of crap, things were all over the store (we literally walked back and forth across the store like 5 times for someone’s registry), and a lot of the staff is lacking in knowledge (to be polite).  I’m also not a fan of supporting big box stores either.  Well, what do you know, we registered at Babies R Us!  Silly us.  We thought we didn’t have any other choice.  We thought it would be easiest for everyone else.  We didn’t want to but we did it for ease.  In all fairness we also registered at a small boutique store; however, most people went to Babies R Us probably because it was easier.  Sadly, we use very few of the items that we registered for there as most are pretty toxic.  If I had to do it over again, we definitely would NOT register at Babies R Us or any equivalent.  I wish we had stuck to our initial instinct to not register there.  Wherever you register this is what we would get knowing what we know now.

Disclaimer: I use affiliate links at times. It doesn’t cost you any more but does help support my time running my blog and this page. Other affiliate links might get you a discount which is a win, win! I appreciate you supporting my links as a way to help me offset my time by bringing info to you. I will never be swayed financially, and I will only post products and companies that I would, and do, personally use for my family.

High Chair:

What we registered for: I really wanted something small in scale.  I ended up registering for, and receiving, the Fisher Price Space Saving High Chair.  I liked that it sat on our dining room chair and that it was small.  I later read that they didn’t even use BPA free plastic (I didn’t reach out to Fisher Price to find out if this was true or not).  I know a lot of seat cushions in high chairs have fire retardants as well.  I haven’t verified this with Fisher Price but if I was a betting gal I would bet that there are fire retardants in this high chair.  When I have some more free time I will reach out to Fisher Price and find out and update this post.  Lucky for me, I was able to return this high chair before we used it.

Also, a lot of people I know have the Chicco Caddy Hook on Chair, the red high chair that hooks onto a table.  I reached out to them when I was looking into high chairs and the seat cushion does have fire retardants in it.  For me, I wouldn’t buy it because of that.  If you have the chair you can replace the cushion with a cotton or wool cushion (wool is naturally water resistant) or at least take the cushion out and wrap it in something airtight (even plastic).

What I wished we registered for:  There are a handful of non-toxic high chairs out there.  We ended up buying the Stokke and I really love it!  I love that my son sits at the table with us, that the chair will grow with him and can be used for many years, and that it is nice looking.   It comes with a higher price tag but you are buying a quality, wood, non-toxic high chair that will last years longer than any plastic high chair you buy.  We didn’t buy any of the “accessories” that come with it (the seat supporter, tray or cushion).

Another less expensive option is Keekaroo.  It’s really similar to the Stokke.  Here is what I see as the main differences between the Stokke and the Keekaroo:  the Keekaroo costs less though the quality of wood isn’t as good (made of rubberwood vs beechwood) and it comes in less color options.  While both the Keekaroo and the Stokke have trays, the Keekaroo has a wooden tray with a removable plastic cover.  The Stokke only has a plastic tray.  If I would have known about the wooden tray I may have gone with the Keekaroo.  I really love having my son sit at the table with us but occasionally it would be nice to have a tray.  I do think any of these choices would be great.

Travel Crib: 

What we registered for:  The Graco Pack N Play.  It has fire retardants in it.  End of story.  My son never even sat in his.  As soon as I found this out it was gone.

What I wished we registered for:  Baby Bjorn Travel Crib.  This travel crib is Oeko-Tek certified to be free from harmful substances.  We never purchased this since we ended up co-sleeping but if we did ever go out and buy a travel crib this would be it.  If you want to be hard-core about it, or if you are going to be using it a lot, you can get an organic travel crib mattress too!  You can finish it off with an organic sheet and you will be all ready to go.  As this blog, and time, has passed I’ve come to realize that most foam has flame retardants it in.  If you are going to buy a travel crib and use it often get the organic travel crib mattress.  Even if a company says that the foam doesn’t have flame retardants some testing is showing that they do (whether it’s done without the companies knowing or before they get the foam that I don’t know)

Baby Bouncy Seat:

What we registered for:  We registered for a bouncy seat, one like this, but it wasn’t this one.  I can’t remember which one it was and it doesn’t really matter which brand as all the bucket seat / bouncy seats are the same in my opinion.  It turns out a friend had one that I could borrow so we returned the one we got.  My son pretty much hated his bouncy seat from day one.  He just wanted to be held which is understandable!  It also is pretty confining and doesn’t allow your baby to move his arms or legs very much.  I only ended up using it in the bathroom.  After a few months I looked at the tags and sure enough the CA TB 114 tag was on there.  Yay, more fire retardants!  So we stopped using that.  Two negatives.

What I wished we registered for:  Hands down, the BabyBjorn Babysitter Balance is the only chair to buy!  It is Oeko-Tek certified (free from harmful chemicals).  The one I linked above is organic.  There is a non-organic option too but I would without a doubt buy the organic one.  Besides being non-toxic it also allows your baby to move their arms and legs.  My son was MUCH happier in the seat.  He still didn’t like to be in it for too long but I could take a shower with him in this seat where I could not with the other.  I ended up buying this seat used off of a mom’s group that I am part of for $15 – sweet deal!

Baby Swing:

We didn’t register for one but ended up buying one used off of the mom’s group after feeling like I needed to have one.  I was asked multiple times about a swing so I broke down and bought a used one last-minute.  You don’t need a swing.  I’m a big fan of baby wearing and holding your baby.  Your baby would rather be with you than in a swing.  We sold our swing after several months.  He did nap in it and I’m sure there were fire retardants in it.  I don’t know of a swing that doesn’t have fire retardants but if full disclosure I didn’t do much research on swings since it wasn’t very important to me.

Car Seat: 

See my blog post on car seats for more info and links.

What we registered for:  Chicco KeyFit 30.

What I wish we registered for:  Orbit Baby.


What we registered for:

Well, we bought one stroller and registered for another stroller.  I did ZERO research on strollers before buying / registering.  I took the word of other moms.  All I heard was the BOB was the stroller to get, especially if you are a runner, so I went out and bought a BOB.  Well, we had a decent dividend at REI so we didn’t have to spend much on it.  Turns out it is coated in polyurethane to make it waterproof.  The rain cover is made up of PVC as well.  Some PVC can contain lead and it is also known to create dioxins which is a carcinogen.  So definitely don’t use a cover on your stroller which can trap all those toxic chemicals in for the baby to breathe.  If you want to know more about PVC in children’s items see the WA Toxics Colliation site.  Polyurethane, which is used in a lot of children’s items, can cause liver, thyroid, and neurological toxicity. Ugh, gross.

We registered for a Baby Trends Snap N Go.  It’s treated with fire retardants.  I don’t even understand why a stroller would be treated with fire retardants.  Stupid laws.  Anyways, this thing is just so you can take your baby from your car seat and set them in a stroller without getting them out of the car seat.  I did use this a handful of times and it was handy when my baby was sleeping.  If I had to do it over would I use it?  Nope.  I would put my baby in a carrier and hold him.  Physical touch is very important to these little people and we have come up with so many contraptions to not hold our babies.

What I wished we registered for:

For a jogging stroller, the Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle is the safest option.  It’s made of Nylon (no foam).  For an all over stroller system, UPPAbaby is a great, safe system.  I am removing the Uppababy and Orbit stroller systems from my recommended list.  I’ve seen testing results showing that they have toxic flame retardants even though both of these companies have said that they don’t use toxic flame retardants.  The only thing I can say is that if you have to use a stroller get one without foam like the Mountain Buggy Urban or get a cheap umbrella stroller (I have done no research on umbrella strollers so you would still want to reach out to make sure they aren’t using toxic materials).  OR, gasp!, NONE.  Invest in a couple of carriers and call it good.  Get a stroller, if you need one, when you can no longer carry your baby.  I haven’t used a stroller since our son was probably 4 months old.  He is almost 13 months and I still use my carrier everyday.  Our BOB is sitting very nicely in our garage.  Update, now that my son is 2 1/2 we use our Mountain Buggy that I got off of craigslist if we are going on a long walk.

Baby Carrier:

What we registered for:  We registered for two, the organic Moby and the Beco Gemini.  Ugh, this still makes me sad.  The freaking Beco Gemini is treated with flame retardants.  I can not even understand why that would be.  I mean, seriously.  They said it is a CA state law.  That’s not totally true.  Yes, if you use certain materials then they have to contain fire retardants but there are a whole host of other materials they could have used.  Many, many different brands of carriers are made WITHOUT flame retardants.  Shame on Beco.  They sent me an email trying to tell me that toothpaste was more harmful than the chemicals that they use because in large doses fluoride is toxic.  I wanted to write back that I am totally aware about fluoride and that has nothing to do with the baby carrier.  I didn’t but I did tell them that I didn’t want my child to be wrapped in flame retardants and I wanted to return it.  Lucky for me, the store I bought it from was awesome about returning it and getting me something that was free from chemicals.   UPDATE on BECO:   Beco stopped using flame retardants in their carrier on the newest carriers (mid 2013).  This is great news!  The Beco is now made in China instead of the USA though which I think is a bummer.  The organic Moby is a perfectly fine carrier.  People love the Moby.  I liked it when my son was younger.  I did find wrapping the fabric all around to be kinda annoying.  Maybe I’m just lazy, who knows.  Once he started getting heavier it stretched out too much and just wasn’t comfortable.  It worked for a while but I would have loved for it to work longer.  It’s totally non-toxic though.

What I wished we registered for:  This was really hard for me.  I spent months researching and trying to find the perfect carrier.  For me, it doesn’t exist.  I liked the idea of a more structured carrier that didn’t have padding in the straps or if it did have padding that it wasn’t polyurethane foam.  I had to settle but I made some modifications.  I traded in my Beco for an organic Ergo.  The organic Ergo is GOTS certified (free from harmful chemicals) and that was the final selling point for me.  I then bought some organic teething straps that I put on the carrier so my son wasn’t sucking on the foam pads.  Now that he is older and his face isn’t near the straps we no longer use them.  I also bought an organic Mei Tai which I kinda like but my laziness sets in with the wrapping that is involved.  I also bought an organic sling too.  So I have 3 carriers.  I like the sling for its small size and for how easy it is to pack around (compared to the Ergo).  My plan was to use the Mei Tai and sling at home and the Ergo for longer walks out and about.  Many months later I primarily use the Ergo and occasionally use the sling.  I haven’t used the Mei Tai in months.  If I had to do it over, I would buy the Ergo and the sling.  Also, the Baby Bjorn carrier is really popular but it’s not recommended because of the way the baby hangs from the crotch.  It has very little support and should be avoided.  Look up how to wear a baby properly, the basics of it is that the baby’s knees should be higher than their bum.


See my blog post on teethers for more info and links.

What we registered for:  The Natursutten teethers.

What I wish we registered for:  Dress Me Up Organics Teething Bunny, Maple Landmark’s natural teether, and an Amber Teething Necklace.


What we registered for:  None

What I wish we registered for:  A few toys would have been fun since we get a lot of use out of the toys now.  See my post on toys for more info and links.


What we registered for:  A few items but not much.

What I wish we registered for:  Anything from Under the Nile or Kate Quinn.  I look for GOTS certified clothing because then you know it’s free from fire retardants (which is required in PJ’s from 9 months to 14 years unless there is a tag that says that it doesn’t contain fire retardants and must be worn tight), AZO dyes (which contain heavy metals), formaldehyde, or any other harmful substance.  Just because clothing is organic doesn’t mean it’s non-toxic!  They can use toxic dyes in organic clothing.  Also watch out for “made with organic cotton”, that basically means some small piece of the clothing can be organic (like the thread).  Babies skin is 1/5th the thickness of ours so protecting them from chemicals in their clothes is important!

Make sure you get some onesies, a couple of hats in addition to pj’s and clothing.  Kimono style onesies are great for the first few months when pulling a shirt over a babies head is hard.

Bath Products:

What we registered for:  Safety 1st bathtub.  We also registered for the Satsuma towel and wash clothes which are bamboo.  I’m not really sure how I feel about bamboo.  It’s touted as being an eco-product, which I guess it is from a growing and harvesting standpoint, but the process to get the bamboo into fabric form is / can be toxic from what I have read.  I don’t know if this is true about all bamboo and about Satsuma.  I’ve moved on from bamboo and decided to stick with organic cotton so I haven’t research bamboo any further.

What I wish we registered for:  Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Soap, Earth Mama Angel Baby Soap, Under the Nile hooded towel & wash cloth, and no bath tub since I take a bath with my babe.


See my blog post on diapers for more info and links.

What we registered for:  None, how silly!

What I wish we registered for:  Wool covers (LOVE wool, it’s the best cover we have used and it’s a natural fiber!), cloth diapers, and wipes.


What we registered for:  Dr. Browns glass bottles, both the 4 oz and 8 oz.  I didn’t know this at the time but breastfed babies never eat more than 4 to 5 oz at a time no matter what age they are.  The 4 oz bottles easily hold 5 oz.  It was a total waste for us to get the 8 oz.  The only reason for the 8 oz is for formula.  These bottles worked for us when I was away from my son.  There are quite a few pieces to these bottles to clean which can be a bit of a pain.  Dr. Brown’s bottles are supposed to help with colic and burping, I can’t tell you if it really did or not.  I was also pumping and freezing milk in these bottles.  After a couple of times, I realized that this is not advised!  Right on the package it says this.  They do not use tempered glass and there is a risk of the glass cracking if frozen.  Some cracks can be so small you might not even notice.  It is definitely not worth the risk of using these bottles to freeze milk in.  You can freeze milk in the bottles listed below.  This important to me because I was never froze milk in the plastic bags.  Something just didn’t seem right about it to me.

What I wished we registered for:  First, only a few 4 oz bottles.  I don’t have any issue with Dr. Browns glass bottles but I think the Lifefactory bottles are better and more versatile.  They can be frozen because they use tempered glass.  The nipple can also be replaced with a sippy cup lid and you can continue to get use out of it when your little one is older.  Then when they are even bigger you can just put a regular lid on it and they can use it as their water bottle.  I love being able to use an item for a long time.  Plus the silicone sleeves come in fun colors!


What we registered for:  We didn’t register for a mattress.  I felt like that is something that we should buy but it doesn’t mean you can’t register for it.

What I wished we registered for:  There are only a couple of options – Lifekind and Naturpedic.  See my blog post on crib mattresses for more info.

Nursing Pillow:

What we registered for:  The Bobby with an organic cover.  This does have the CA TB 114 tag on it but it does NOT contain fire retardants.  It just means that they are in compliance with the technical bulletin and did so without the use of chemicals.  A lot mainstream nursing pillows contain fire retardants so be careful when you purchase.  I only reached out to the pillows I had and confirmed that My Breastfriend and Luna Lulliby do use fire retardants.

What I wished we registered for:  The Bobby is great.  I really liked it best when my son was learning to sit to protect him when he would fall backwards.  I never used it that much while nursing.  After the first month of so I just held him without a pillow.  In my opinion, the best nursing pillow on the market is the Holy Lamb Organics nursing pillow.  I like that is it made with wool and organic cotton.  I think simple is best.  Either one is a great option though.

Personal Care Supplies:

What we reigstered for:  The Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer and we love being able to just run this across our son’s head to take his temperature. 

What I wished we registered for:  I love the thermometer above.  I also really like the Green Sprouts brush and comb.  You will also need a pair of nail clippers and any will do.  We have the Safety 1st clippers and they do the job.


What we registered for:  We didn’t but borrowed the Arm’s Reach Mini Co-Sleeper.  I really loved having this until I found out there are fire retardants in it.  Good news is that the newer models (2012 and newer) are made without fire retardants.  The company has said if the CA TB 114 tag is not on the co-sleeper then it doesn’t have fire retardants.

What I wished we registered for:  I now wish I had a moses basket with an organic bassinet mattress.  My second choice would be the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper probably in the full size.  We had the mini and our son was large so he started to outgrow it before I was ready for him too.  You can find organic mattresses that will fit these as well.  If your room is big enough you could also just set up the crib in your room and save yourself some money!

Baby Play Gyms:

What we registered for:  We didn’t actually register for a baby play gym (the thing that babies lay under that hangs toys above their head).  We were going to borrow one from a friend but we ended up receiving one as a gift.  At the time I felt like I knew they were toxic but didn’t know the details.  Most all of these gyms have fire retardants and formaldehyde in them.  Then we lay our babies on them for them to play – so gross.  I always put a blanket down on mine but I’m  not sure if that really helped any.  Some people are against these as they feel that it is forcing the baby to do something they may want to do.  You don’t really need one of these but for whatever it’s worth my son did have fun batting the toys around.

What I wish we registered for:  Plan Toys makes a wooden baby play gym that I really wish we had.  Just lay a blanket down and you can put this play gym over the top of it.   It’s non-toxic so you don’t have to worry about your baby laying on a toxic filled mat.  They can also play with this once they are sitting too.

Diaper Changing Pad:

What we registered for:  We registered for the Naturopedic Organic Changing Pad and the Organic Changing Pad Cover.  These are both non-toxic and a great choice.  A lot of changing pads contain fire retardants (even brands labeled organic).  In my opinion, it’s worth the extra money for this one.  You will be using your changing pad a lot!

What I wish we registered for:  Naturopedic is a great option.  Another option is Holy Lamb Organics Changing Table Pad.  It’s made of organic cotton and wool.  Either changing pad is great.  I would also recommend getting a wool changing pad to take with you on the go.  A lot of the portable changing pads are pretty gross in my opinion.  I have this changing pad  from Organic Caboose in my diaper bag and really like it.

Burp Clothes

What we registered for:  I’m not sure what exactly we registered for, if any.  We did receive a lot of burp clothes.  At the time I thought I had too many but soon realize you can never have too many burp clothes!  I still go through so many every day cleaning up food, spills, etc.

What I wish we registered for:  Some of my favorites are these preemie diapers from Bummis that we use as burp clothes.  I also really love these wipes from Kissas.  We use them for everything from spit up to spills to bath time.

Crib Sheets:

What we registered for:  Well, we just went out and bought Pottery Barn Organic Crib Sheets.  This was one of the turning points for me and one of the reasons I wanted to blog.  This and the Beco Baby Carrier.  It’s also when I realized that organic doesn’t mean non-toxic.  The Pottery Barn Organic Crib Sheets are treated with something, which they won’t say what it is, that makes them wrinkle free.  I found this out after using them for months!  I heard from a woman in the green textile industry that she heard it might be formaldehyde along with possibly something else (she didn’t know what that something else was but had been trying to figure out for years).

What I wished we registered for:  Organic, GOTS certified sheets.  Your baby will spend a lot of time sleeping in their crib (or your bed if you co-sleep).  Their bed should be the one place that is toxin free.  Glo-Organics and Coyuchi both have GOTS certified crib sheets.  If you feel like being crafty you can buy GOTS certified fabric and make your own sheets.  I love the designs of Birch Fabrics.

Cribs:  We didn’t register for a crib but a quick note of what I think is important to look for.  All cribs meet the same safety standards.  The difference between a $200 crib and a $1,000 crib is the materials, style and brand.  For us we had 3 things we wanted.  The most important to us was that it was made of real wood.  We didn’t want MDF since it contains formaldehyde.  We also wanted a non-toxic finish, and we really wanted it to be made in the USA.  We ended up buying our crib at Land of Nod.  I think now I would have found a crib that was finished with beeswax (the ultimate non-toxic finish) instead of whatever we have.  Overall, we are happy with our crib even though we rarely use it!

Rocker / Glider:

What we registered for:  We purchased a Dutailier rocker / glider.  I was told it was one of the nicest on the market.  It was really, really comfortable.  I spent a lot of time in that rocker when my son was born.  Then I found out that it has flame retardants in it.  I had even asked before I purchased it if it was non-toxic and the person at the store said “oh, yes, they know who their market it and they make everything safe for baby”.  When my son was about 4 or 5 months old I gave them a call and found out that they do in fact use flame retardants.  So, we sold it.  This was another reason I started the blog.  I was really sad to learn that this was toxic after I asked about it.  I realized that I didn’t ask enough questions or at that time even know the questions to ask.  This could be an entire post on its own – why are even being put in this position to have to even think about this stuff.  Baby products should just really be non-toxic!

What I wished we registered for:  I wouldn’t have registered for one but I would have gone out and got an old-fashioned wood rocker.  I ended up borrowing one from my dad (which was my grandma’s rocking chair).  I love that I am using her rocker.  If you feel like a wooden rocking chair won’t be comfy enough you could make some cushions.  You will just need to make sure the foam you buy doesn’t have flame retardants in it (a lot of foam is spayed before stores even get it).

Where should you register?

That’s a good question!  I’m a big fan of supporting a small, local store.  If they don’t have everything you need then Amazon would be my choice.  Update:  My sister-in-law found this amazing site – BabyList Baby Registry.  You can register here and pull items from big stores, amazon, etsy, etc.  So cool!

I hope this post was helpful.  If there are any other products you would like to know about please let me know.  I talk a lot about fire retardants and if you need a reminder as to why you should stay away from them see my post about fire retardants for more details.  The basics are that it can cause cancer, learning disabilities, thyroid problems, entering puberty earlier, and the list goes on.  I also mention formaldehyde and the side effects can cause irritation of the eyes and nose, asthma, ADD/ADHD, increased risk of cancer and many more.  The best thing is try to avoid these two chemicals as much as possible.

Here a flame retardant, there a flame retardant, everywhere a flame retardant!

My poor baby!  I realized that I have exposed him to way too many flame retardants in his little life.  I was buying products that I thought were good and little did I know that pretty much everything he was touching had flame retardants in it.

Some might say what is the big deal?  Well, studies have shown in animals that flame retardants cause those animals to be more anxious, have reproductive issues, gain more weight, and enter puberty early.   Other studies have shown that chemical flame retardants interfere with thyroid and sex hormones and in children can cause abnormal brain development, lower IQ and learning problems, behavior changes.  In adults, it has been linked to difficulties getting pregnant.  On a side note, I know quite a few people who are having to use fertility treatments to get pregnant.  Is this the environmental link we have all been wondering about??

Fire retardants are not only absorbed through your skin but inhaled.  They also accumulate in the dust on your floors then when you sweep or vacuum they can get in the air again.  Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter is important.  Also mopping is a good alternative to sweeping.

Baby items I found in my home that have flame retardants:

– Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper.  I reached out to the company and they said the newer models do not contain flame retardants.  You will have to check the tags under the mattress to find out for sure.

– Beco Gemini Organic Baby Carrier.  This made me really sad.  My first carrier smelled really toxic.  I let it air out for 4 months in our basement and it still smelled.  They exchanged it for me and I got a new one.  It still kinda smelled but not as bad.  I washed it and aired it out.  Finally I emailed the company and they confirmed that they use flame retardants in their carriers.  There is NO reason to do this.

– My Breastfriend Nursing Pillow

– Graco Pack N Play

– Chicco KeyFit 30 Car Seat.  I will blog about car seats later but most have flame retardants.  There are a few companies that don’t.

– Mattresses.  I will also blog about this later.  The most important purchase you can make based on the amount of time your baby spends sleeping.  You need to buy either Natropedic or LifeKind.

– My glider / rocker.  I bought a Dutailier glider / rocker.  The cushions have flame retardants.  I sold my glider and am borrowing a wood rocker from my dad that was my grandma’s.  I love the sentimental value of this rocker and I love that it doesn’t have any toxic chemicals.

– PJ’s.  CHECK the tags of your children’s PJ’s.  They should say that they must be tight-fitting since they are not flame resistant.  This only applies to PJ from 9 months to 14 years old.  Under 9 months it is not required that flame retardants be added to PJs.

– Your furniture.  Most likely all of it unless you have a couch or chair that was made before the mid 70’s.  Or if you have a wood piece of furniture.  It doesn’t matter if you bought a piece that said it was made with eco fibers, like soy, it still has fire retardants it in.

How to tell which pieces have flame retardants:

– Check ALL the tags.  If it says it complies with Technical Bulletin 117 then most likely it has flame retardants (especially if it is made with polyurethane).  I say most likely because most of the time it does.  There are a few exceptions though.  For example, Bobby does not use flame retardants but does have the complies with Technical Bulletin 117 tag.  I will do a post on baby products that are safe / don’t use fire retardants soon.

– PJ’s contain flame retardants unless it says otherwise.  If the PJ’s say, must be worn tight-fitting then you know that there are no flame retardants.

Why are flame retardants added to everything?

You can thank California.  Back in the 70’s they passed a bill to add flame retardants to furniture.  They also have a bill that requires baby items to have flame retardants for children under 3 years old.  Since California is so big most companies are not going to make two different products.  So they just make all their products with flame retardants.  There are many types of flame retardants.  Most of which have not been studied before being used on products.  Some have been banned and new ones have been developed.  One type of fire retardants (tris) was banned in children’s pj’s in the 70’s because it was realized how toxic it was.  However, this type of fire retardants is still used in furniture when spraying the foam.  Our children sit on our couches.  We sit on our couches.

Natural flame retardants:

Wool is a natural flame retardant.  Studies have shown that wool or cotton burns just as slowly, if not slower, than foam that is sprayed with chemical flame retardants.  It would be so nice if more furniture makers would make naturally flame retardant couches and chairs!

What to do?

I’ve slowly started changing out things I bought that had flame retardants in them.  I get to really know the products I am about to buy.  I email or call the companies directly to ask them about the chemicals they use.  I specifically ask about flame retardants before I buy.  I will always mention which products I have found that have chemicals in them so you don’t have to go through those steps.  If you use a product I haven’t mentioned I would give the company a call or send them an email.  I would love to hear about any other products you have found that have flame retardants.


Cloth Diapers & My Wool Cover Obsession

When I was pregnant I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers.  I didn’t know much about the options that were available.  I was leaning towards doing diaper service and we received a gift to a local diaper service – so that decision was solved!  We used the service and they were fine.  At first we really liked the convenience of having someone drop off and pick up our dirty diapers.  We struggled from the beginning with leaks.  We would take our son on a walk, or he would wake up in the morning, and be soaking wet.  Like SOAKING wet.  Poor guy.  We used many different types of covers.   We had some that were made for us, we used Thirsties, Imse Vimsy organic covers, Bum Genius, and several others.  Basically you name it, we tried it.  We were told to make sure all the cloth was tucked in.  We were obsessive about each little piece of cloth being tucked in and we still leaked.  I knew we needed to make a change but I didn’t know what we wanted to do.  I did want to continue using cloth but washing my own.  I also wanted to use organic cloth and organic covers.  So I started doing research.  When I do research, I do an obsessive amount of research.

I found that even if you are buying organic covers (or not) most are waterproof with PUL.  What is PUL?  PUL is Polyurethane Laminate.  What is Polyurethane Laminate?  Well, I had to look that up but before I even looked it up I knew that I didn’t want my baby wearing PUL all day long.  If I didn’t know really what it was made up of without doing research it I decided he didn’t need to wear it.  Basically, PUL is a highly toxic carcinogen.  Besides  PUL, several covers use polyester or a polyester fleece on the outside of a waterproof barrier (PUL) in the middle.  I prefer natural fibers over synthetic so I was also not interested in these diapers.  There is a lot of information out there on polyester but for a baby to be wearing polyester literally all day long with their diapers I think it’s worth doing research on that.  What I have found that is most concerning is that polyester can slowly emit phytoestrogens, which is an endocrine disruptor, which can promote certain types of cancer (this from the diaper pin web site).  There is a good article on the Diaper Pin that goes into detail of PUL and polyester that is worth reading if you are considering any diaper cover that uses polyester or PUL.

When I went to a local Seattle shop, Bootyland, looking for some eco-friendly baby toys, I found out that they sold diapers.  This is where everything changed for me.  They had organic cotton diapers & organic cotton / hemp blend diapers (more absorbent than just cotton).  There were prefolds and fitted.  Then the woman at Bootyland showed me wool covers.  WOOL covers.  I guess I had known about them but totally forgot.  A natural material that works well and no chemicals touching my baby.  I have found that you need less wool covers than you do PUL covers.   Wool covers are naturally antibacterial, absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture, and are breathable.  In cool weather it stays warm, in warm weather it keeps baby cool.  You only wash them when they start to smell of urine or if poop leaks onto the cover (we find that they can be washed about every week and a half to two weeks).  I came home with a sampling of different diapers and covers and tried them out.  Guess what?  No more leaks.  The running baby poo that would cause blow outs was now being absorbed by the diapers.  What a difference!  It made me realize how low of quality the diaper service diapers were.  My life was changed, and I was unreasonably excited about my new diaper find.  I went back and bought enough to get us started.

I feel good knowing that natural products are touching my baby’s skin all day and night.  I was so excited about this new diapering system that I literally was telling everyone about it.  I couldn’t understand why everyone wouldn’t want to use wool covers.  I had more than one person ask how much more expensive it is to buy wool than PUL.   I actually think the wool covers are about the same or cheaper than other covers since you needs less wool covers.  I haven’t actually run the numbers but just quickly thinking about it that is what I came up with.  If even it was the same or more, I think having a natural product over a synthetic is worth it!  We do fine with 4 to 5 wool covers.  We just air dry between changing.  When we were using the other diaper covers we needed easily 10 because of all the poo and leakage issues.

When you think of wool at lot of people think of scratchy, itchy wool.  Organic, untreated wool is so, so soft.  Most people who are allergic to wool are allergic to the chemicals that are put on the wool, not the wool itself.

These are the diapers and covers we use:

Organic Caboose wool covers.

Babee Greens wool covers.

Babee Greens also has wool covers with cute upsized wool on the outsides.

Disana Wool Pull-On Diaper Cover in natural (For night-time, no more leaks).

Bummis organic cotton prefolds (the premie size makes a great burp cloth!).

Growing Greens Organic Cotton / Hemp fitted diapers.

Growing Greens Organic Cotton fitted diapers.

Willow Sprout pre-fold.  I LOVE these pre-folds!

We use a mixture of all of these.  I have also found Green Mountain Diapers to be extremely helpful.  They have a large selection of wool covers and cloth diapers.  They also have a cloth diaper FAQ.  I’ve ordered several things from them and they are extremely helpful.

To wash the wool I use Sudz N Dudz organic wool wash.  I use both the bar and the liquid.  Cleaning the covers doesn’t take much time at all.

I now want everything to be wool.  I’m obsessed with it!

My Intro into Non-Toxic, Organic Baby Products

After my son was born in early 2012, and after the haze of having a new baby wore off, I started to really pay attention to the products we were using and purchasing for our newborn.  I already leaned towards buying organic and non-toxic products for our baby while I was pregnant.  After he was born, and falling totally in love, I wanted nothing but the best for him – like most parents.  With that I started to realize how many chemicals and other nastiness were in baby products.  With him on the ground, putting things in his mouth, sitting in car seats, strollers, etc I started to realize how important all this non-toxic stuff was.  For awhile I thought I was going crazy but the more educated I became I realized it was nuts not to pay attention to this stuff.

I started out using cloth diapers, organic onesies, glass bottles, and exclusively breastfed.  I realized that there was so much more to it than that.  I now kick myself for not doing more research about this before he was born but I didn’t realize how important it would be for me.  Their skin is one fifth of the thickness of ours… all these chemicals, plastics and flame retardants is not good for them!  I had an epiphany when searching for new cloth diaper options – which I’ll blog about.  My cloth diaper search is what propelled me to start looking into the products we were using (and the products we were about to buy).  I feel fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest where being crunchy is totally acceptable! 🙂  I have some awesome local stores that I am able to shop at that actually care about the products they carry.

I will blog about all the products I have found that I love that are non-toxic.  I hope this helps you find things for your family.  Please let me know if you have any products you love that I haven’t mentioned here.

Disclaimer: I use affiliate links at times. It doesn’t cost you any more but does help support my time running my blog and this page. Other affiliate links might get you a discount which is a win, win! I appreciate you supporting my links as a way to help me offset my time by bringing info to you. I will never be swayed financially, and I will only post products and companies that I would, and do, personally use for my family.