Is Organic Really Better for Your Baby?

It seems that a few years ago, the word “organic” was seldom used. Nowadays it’s thrown around on a daily basis, and every health nut swears that organic is the only way to go. At first it started with certain foods, and now it seems you have the option of buying organic in pretty much anything you can think of.

The organic idea has now spread to baby products too. It started with formulas and foods but now you can even choose to purchase organic toys, clothing, and body products for your little one as well. As you search store shelves, nearly every item you have ever bought now has an organic option next to it. The first thing that most people notice is that the organic products are generally almost twice the price of the regular ones.

But is organic really better? What are the big differences? Does everything really have to be organic in order to be good for your baby? Here are a look at the major organic items on the market for babies today and whether organic is really worth the extra cost.

Formulas and Foods

In the US, anything that is labeled Certified USDA Organic means that it was prepared and processed without the use of pesticides, harsh chemicals, or growth hormones. Recently, “organic” has been taking the world by storm and parents may be feeling like they have to purchase organic foods in order to be “good parents.”

The reasons for choosing organic foods over nonorganic vary greatly from person to person. Many choose organic foods because they feel that they are healthier since they are not exposed to the same potentially harmful things as nonorganic foods. Others feel that organic foods taste better, and others still believe that organic is more environmentally friendly and see it as a good way of “going green.”

The truth? Despite all the many, many reasons for choosing organic foods, there have still not been any studies which show that organic foods are more nutritious than nonorganic foods. Health professionals and pediatricians will tell you to worry less about whether you are buying organic and more about instilling healthy eating habits and feeding your child a balanced diet. At the current time and with the studies that have been done, the only real reason that you would “need” to purchase organic foods is if you need them for your own peace of mind. If you personally feel that organic is a cleaner, healthier option and the cost is worth it to you, then go for it!

If you believe in good nutrition and health, a better way to instill those same values into your children is by growing a garden of your own. Allow them to plant, nurture, and harvest the very foods that they will eat and they will gain a greater appreciation for food. Organic is not the only way to be healthy.

Clothing and Accessories

Many parents often feel that due to babies’ sensitive skin, natural organic clothing must be better. Just like with organic foods, organic clothing is made without the use of potentially harmful chemicals or toxins that could irritate baby’s skin. Organic clothing reduces your baby’s chances of exposure to anything that could be harmful. Organic cotton does not undergo as much processing as nonorganic processed cotton and is much sturdier. In some cases, buying organic clothing might be a good choice for the mere fact that it lasts longer.

Of course, you must also remember that babies the world over have been wearing clothing made with processed cotton for years and there are no breaking news stories about it. Also, if you have a baby with extra sensitive skin, you must remember to care for their clothing with detergents that are made especially for sensitivities. The extra money spent on organic clothing will do no good if they are being washed with harsh detergents that will just irritate baby’s skin anyways.

The verdict? Again, it’s completely a personal choice. No studies have yet been able to prove the major advantages of organic clothing or that nonorganic clothing is harmful. Purchasing organic clothes for a baby with sensitive skin or because of the durability is a great option, but not a necessity. If you are truly worried about protecting your baby’s skin, a better option is to choose organic bath products and detergents that are made with all-natural ingredients and without the use of harsh chemicals.

Toys

As with anything organic, organic toys are definitely more environmentally friendly. These toys are made from all organic materials and are spared the use of potentially harmful chemicals, toxins, and other such things.

Organic toys tend to be pretty simple; wooden block or stuffed toys, rather than the bright and loud toys we see today that dance circles around our children. For some parents, this is a welcome advantage; it means that their baby can use his or her imagination and “create” with toys rather than just watching them. Other parents may feel that the toys are “boring,” and do not stimulate their child.

Organic toys reduce the risk of your child being exposed to harmful substances such as lead, which has been found in toys before. These days, however, toys undergo serious testing before they are approved for toy store shelves. Likewise, the second there is even a hint of any sort of potential danger, a recall is announced and the toys are pulled from shelves.

Are organic toys a good thing? Absolutely. Providing your child with a few organic toys would fulfill your need to “go green,” as well as give your child a different toy experience. Are they necessary? Probably not. If you are truly concerned about the safety of your child’s toys, do some research before giving them to your child. There are also online resources that you can subscribe to and be immediately notified of any and all toy recalls.

1 comment

  1. Melissa Reply
    March 3, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I came across this when trying to decide if I should keep the conventionally grown baby clothes I've been given or make an effort to buy organic. As far as organic produce, I don't know that anybody claims it is nutritionally superior. The point, which the author mentioned, is eating something that isn't laden with harmful chemicals. As far as toys, the author says there haven't been any "breaking news stories" about clothing made with conventional cotton. I can't see there being any new stories about this, but people seem to forget that it isn't a huge event that will make you fall suddenly ill or even necessarily give you a severe allergic reaction, it is about the gradual and constant exposure to things that are covered in chemicals and pesticides that can eventually lead to a deterioration of health. This is what should concern people. Everyone says that they grew up wearing these things or using this and that and they were fine… is American society really healthy and fine? With the number of people suffering from cancer and preventable health related diseases, ya we may have been fine for the time being… but the long term affects on our health of using cheap products with harmful synthetics may be a lot more far reaching than people realize.

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