We all want only the best for our kids. Therefore, we buy the best organic fruits and vegetables for them, look for healthy sweets, and take them to nature as often as possible to relax and enjoy the simple things in life. We pay a significant amount of care to what they put in themselves, but, equally important, we should be paying attention to what they are putting on themselves.
Baby skin is indescribably sensitive. You would not never bathe your baby in some random bath gel, but you would buy an "extra sensitive" version, right? The same is with the laundry detergents, only the extra sensitive, gentle, pure version. All of this is very important since babies have a higher ratio of skin surface area to body volume. This means their skin and body absorb chemicals easier. Moreover, their skin is 30 percent thinner than adults' skin.
Considering all this, it becomes evident why we should pay special attention to our baby's clothes as well.
Firstly, let's talk about why you should never ever buy synthetic clothes for your babies. Synthetics are made of, among other things, petrochemicals and plastics, dyed with artificial substances and, when shipped internationally (and most of them are), covered with flame retardants. You can never wash that off, no matter how strong and efficient detergent you use. Additionally, synthetics do not let the skin breathe naturally and clog pores, not only on babies' skin but on everyone's. Hence, avoid clothes made with synthetics fibers for every member of your family, not only for babies! Plus, cheap synthetics have that peculiar smell, especially after the person who wore it had sweated all over it.
The best choice for clothing is natural fibers, cotton particularly.
Cotton is probably the most comfortable natural material globally, which has been used for thousands of years now. Since the global population rose significantly over the past decades, so has the production of cotton; it is estimated that 25 million tons of cotton are produced annually.
Cotton is a fiber that grows on a cotton plant. Since it is a plant, it is heavily infested by various bugs and insects, so traditional production severely relies on pesticides. Moreover, the cotton plant needs a lot of water, 8.000-10.000 liters of water for one kilogram of cotton, in the dry area up to 22.500 liters. When so much water is used, combined with the massive volume of pesticides needed due to all those bugs infesting it, a large amount of surrounding water is being contaminated. Some producers now grow GMO cotton to reduce the amount of pesticides needed.
The next issue with the cotton grown in a traditional way is that it is afterwards dyed with artificial substances and, as the case is with the synthetics, sprayed with flame retardants. They are commonly used on almost all international shipments of clothing. All those combined, GMO, the pesticides, artificial dyes, and flame retardants, can cause you, in the best-case scenario, only a rash. In the worst-case scenario, they can even cause various types of cancer if the person is exposed to more significant amounts of it.
Here becomes quite clear why organic cotton is essential, especially for babies.
All clothing marked with "organic cotton" label means it was made without the use of chemical pesticides, no GMO, no flame retardants were sprayed when shipped, and it was dyed with natural substances. You may even enjoy a better quality of the material, and, more importantly, you will be sure you are not protecting only your baby but Mother Earth as well. When buying and using organic cotton, the negative impact on the environment is significantly reduced.
Babies and little kids can unbelievably quickly develop rashes and skin reactions, even eczema, which is very difficult to cure and impacts the quality of life for them (and you as a parent) in indescribable ways. As with many things in life, prevention is the best cure. If you know that you can skip sleepless nights, fighting the need to scratch and healing the wounds in the morning caused by non-stop scratching, you will definitely skip every single thing that may cause it, and choose the best option out there.
So, now we concluded that organic cotton is definitely the best for your baby, the baby's health, and the environment.
But, how to be sure you are getting the real stuff?
Primarily, check the seller's labels. If they have a GOTS label, you can be sure you are buying genuine organic cotton. You can be sure it was grown and produced properly and that it will not harm your baby.
Some of the most popular brands are: Burt’s Bees Babies, Hanna Anderson, Boody, Pact, Beya Made, Touched By Nature, Monica + Andy, Art & Eden, Finn + Emma, Kate Quinn, MORI, Ade + Ayo, etc. Also, many high street brands have organic cotton lines available.
Likewise, the unique properties of cotton make it more convenient for every season. Every item of children's clothing can be made of organic cotton, even hats and caps. When taken care of properly, cotton items can endure lots of washing and last a long time.
Yes, organic cotton is indeed more expensive when compared to clothes made of cotton grown traditional way, not to mention synthetics. But there are several solutions to this issue.
If the baby you are having is your first kid, you will want to buy every single cute little outfit you see out there. Do not do it. I know this is hard with all the pregnancy hormones rushing through your body. They grow so fast; you will be so sad when you see that most of those outfits were never worn. This is why you buy only a couple of essential items. Read here about a minimal sustainable baby registry.
Borrowing or renting are also great options, especially if you need apparel just for one occasion.
Moreover, you can look for organic cotton items in second-hand or thrift shops. As mentioned, kids grow so fast that many of the things there will probably be almost new.
If this is not your cup of tea and your friends or family members had kids before you did, ask them for the clothes their kids outgrew. They will be happy to give it to you.
In the end, case you are planning a baby, and some of your friends just gave birth, buy them items you think are cute because their kid will outgrow it very fast, and your kid will get it. 😊