Every baby is the best baby in the world for his or her parents, so undoubtedly, they deserve the best care. And again, without any doubt, I can say that organic baby care is the best care you can give your baby because it is the safest care. The term “baby care” is not new for your parents, but ‘organic baby care’ might be!
Let’s go a little bit deeper into this issue. Actually, the term ‘organic baby care’ should be correctly called ‘baby’s organic care’. This means, taking care of your baby with the help of organic products and giving him or her as much organic material and treatment as you can. Newborn babies are very sensitive to everything around them and anything harsh can cause damage to them. This is not only applicable to only what your baby wears, but also to what he or she eats, drinks, breathes in, touches, and sees.
Since your baby is one of the best creations of Mother Nature, your baby should be in touch with her as long as possible. Now, let me explain the possibilities and the scope of using organic baby care products in decreasing order of hierarchy according to their necessity towards your baby.
Organic Baby Products
I don’t need to explain what “baby products” means here, but perhaps I need to explain the term “organic”. The term “organic” refers to anything that is a part of or that has been derived from an organism. Here, an organism does not necessarily mean an animal. It can be a plant, fungus, bacteria, or any living thing. Hence, an organic substance is that substance which is derived from an organism which may be living or dead by the time it was derived. Therefore, organic baby products are those baby products that are manufactured from organic raw materials through organic processes and involve no usage of any kind of synthetic, artificial, or chemical substances.
Origin of Organic Raw Materials
The raw materials used in the manufacturing of organic baby products must be grown organically, that is, without the use of any artificial chemical fertilizers, growth boosters, artificial hormones, chemical pesticides, or herbicides. For cultivating plant products, only organic manure or compost made by decomposing organic plant or animal matter, earthworms, crushed bones, animal matter, cow-dung, and biological pesticides, or herbicides such as plant extracts and insects that feed on weeds should be used. This applies even to the big trees from which wood is obtained. Similarly, animals from which animal products are obtained must be fed with organic feed and no synthetic growth boosters or milk-enhancing injections (such as Oxytocin) or synthetic maturity hormones should be applied on them (in the case of milking animals). They should not be treated with chemical pesticides or disinfecting solutions externally (as in the case of wool-giving animals like sheep or rabbits) and ideally, they should be given herbal medicines (this is too doubtful to be practical). That means, everything involved in raising plants and animals, from which raw materials are obtained, must be organic.
Processing of Organic Raw Materials
Just as raw materials are used in manufacturing organic baby products must be cultivated or grown or raised organically; they must be processed organically too. This means that no chemicals or synthetic agents should be used on these raw materials in processes like bleaching, coloring, deodorizing, polishing, stabilizing, emulsifying, and sweetening. Also, those types of steps convert them to finished products.
Types of Organic Baby Products
Requirements of our babies are as little as they themselves are and so the organic baby products may be broadly categorized into a handful of categories, which are listed below.
Organic Baby Foods
The basic components of organic baby food are no different from those of the regular ones, except that no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, preservatives, antibiotics, or hormones are used in raising them. Ideally, the cereals that are used in these organic baby foods should be grown using only organic fertilizers and organic pesticides (and no chemical ones). Furthermore, the cattle from which the milk is obtained should be fed on organic cattle feed and no injections should be given to them. Every other thing used in them should be strictly organic.
Furthermore, no chemical preservatives, flavors, colors, fortifiers, and vitamins should be added to them. They must be processed organically and packed likewise. These foods may not be as tempting, tasty, or colorful as their counterparts; but they are far more beneficial for babies. They are all-natural and organic and help your baby live a longer, healthier life full of vitality.
One more thing! There are various categories of organic baby foods, categorized according to the different needs of different age groups, special needs, activities, health conditions, medical statuses, etc. Therefore, these options should be carefully chosen in consultation with your baby’s health specialist. It is equally necessary to check the organic tags on the product that is bought. These days, various big brands sell their organic baby food such as Beech-Nut, Earth’s Best, H.J. Heinz, Nestle, and Gerber. One can also make organic baby food at home using organic ingredients that are available.
There are no specific certification agencies for baby food, but they do certify organic food. The organic baby food provides various health benefits such as potential protection from certain diseases, including cancer, stones, tumors, untimely aging, and impotency caused by exposure to harmful chemical residues or metals over a long period. These are environmentally friendly products that are costlier than normal baby food. However, given the benefits, it is a good choice for maintaining proper health of your baby.
Word of Caution: Some brands that sell organic baby food may use soy and other ingredients that may not be safe unless processed well to eliminate the toxins. Also, some babies may be allergic to these ingredients, as well as soy.
Organic Baby Bedding
The bed is where your baby spends most of its time, so obviously, it should be organic in nature. Organic baby beddings are those baby beddings that use organic materials such as organic cotton, organic wool, and organic rubber that are all processed organically. Furthermore, they use absolutely nil or negligible amounts of artificial colors (and even if they do, the amounts are not harsh for the babies’ skin). There are various certifying agencies that certify these beddings as organic. Just check for their seal or certificate when you buy these beddings. Any advocate of organic baby care should use these types of beddings.
Organic Baby Clothes
The things that your baby’s skin remains in contact with most of the time are its clothes. No doubt, they should be organic when you are trying to give your baby organic care. Apart from the regular dresses, you may also count organic baby blankets, organic baby towels, organic baby warm-dresses, and any other type of clothing under this category. Once again, the dress material used in these dresses should be natural and organic, and should be made of organic cotton, organic wool, organic flux, or organic rubber and should not contain any artificial chemical bleaches, colors, or flavors. Organic baby clothes must be given a great deal of importance if you are really serious about organic baby care.
Organic Baby Cosmetics
First of all, let me tell you that you should try to use as few cosmetics on your baby as possible. Your baby can do well without baby talcum powders. It is highly recommended to avoid them because their particles, no matter how organic they are, are bound to get into the baby’s respiratory tracts and your baby can suffer from severe coughs and allergenic asthma. Soap often leaves the skin dry and they cannot be made without chemicals. Lukewarm water added to some organic disinfectant is more than satisfactory. However, there are some cosmetic products that are indispensable for the baby, for example, baby oils and lotions. Totally avoid petroleum-based products. Go only for the organic natural oils such as almond oil and olive oil, as well as lotions based on these oils, containing organic essential oils. They are very good for your baby.
Organic Baby Toys
Well, to be frank, the age group of babies we are talking about (those who need baby beddings and baby foods), can hardly enjoy the toys. The toys are as good as any other colored or moving object in their vicinity. Therefore, it is always better not to keep any toys near them because they are in the habit of putting everything in their mouth, and it can be harmful to them, whether it is a toy or some other type of organic material. There is one more fact. You will hardly ever find an organic toy. The materials (predominantly plastics, cotton wastes, sponges, rubber, etc.) and the bright colors used in them are hardly organic. Therefore, it is better to keep your baby away from them. Even if you find a so-called organic toy, please keep it at a safe distance from your child.
Organic Baby Medicines
Once again, the medicines, apart from herbal medicines, can obviously not be considered organic. They cannot help being artificial. They contain nothing but chemical compounds, serving as medicines for us. Therefore, forget about finding organic allopathic medicine. If you are deeply into organic baby care, then go for the organic herbal medicines (of course, only when prescribed by the doctor).
Organic Baby Supplies
The organic baby supplies can be categorized under the following:
Organic Baby Feeding Supplies
This category includes all the things you need to feed the baby, including organic baby food (see the article with the same title), a feeding bottle made of organic material (if not possible, then made of glass), organic feeding spoons, tumblers, and bowls (can be made up of organic wood, otherwise glass), as well as organic baby formula. You just need to make sure that these things are absolutely organic and have proper certification of authenticity and to maintain a reasonable stock at home well in advance, so that you do not have to worry in case there is a short supply in the market.
Organic Baby Clothing Supplies
As obvious, this category includes all the organic clothes for your baby that you could think of. This can be further classified under daily wear, sleeping clothes, and warm clothes, etc. Again, you should only buy those clothes that are made up of organic natural fibers and have been certified by the recognized agencies. In this case, you need not worry and you should not have to keep a big stock at home because your baby is growing up (the whole lot may be wasted if it falls short in size) and does not need a new set of clothes every other day.
Organic Baby Hygiene & Sanitary Supplies
I am talking about those organic diapers, nappies, wipes, bibs, towels, and burps, etc., which will eventually form a part of your sweet memories. The wipes and sanitary gloves that are used by the parents and the babysitters (which are indirectly used for the baby) can also be accommodated in this category. Once again, you need to maintain a good stock of these items because they are very frequently (almost always) used and many of them, like the diapers and nappies, often do not get a chance to be reused (you know why). Since these things add up to a huge quantity of garbage every day around the world, you should choose the organic ones, so that they do not become a threat to the environment.
Organic Baby Cosmetic Supplies
This set of supplies call for a strict vigilance of the contents. They should and must be absolutely organic and natural. So, never compromise with the certificate and the contents. They include organic baby creams, baby lotions, baby oils, balms, talcum powders, kinds of toothpaste, soaps, and shampoos. Any compromise in this will mean providing your baby with some toxic petroleum gel and chemicals. These things are not needed in bulk and therefore, you don’t need to maintain a big stock.
Organic Baby Safety Supplies
These supplies are not frequently used, but they are very important. These may include baby car seats and crib bumpers. It is also very difficult to find the organic versions of these items because it does not make much difference in their being organic or non-organic and so companies don’t even think about it. Therefore, if you are not getting them organic, you can cover them with some organic cloth to make them semi-organic. Still, it does not make much of a difference because your baby will not be in contact with those products for a long period of time.
Organic Baby Entertainment Supplies
Now, you can’t really call these supplies. They are neither essential nor are they needed to be supplied continuously. However, whenever you pick one for your baby, make sure that it is organic. Look for the certificate.
Apart from the above mentioned organic baby product categories, there are some other products, such as organic baby slings, which are of use to parents.
Organic Baby Slings
Organic baby slings are made up organic natural fiber, which is fiber that has been grown organically (without the use of any synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides), processed organically (without using any synthetic chemical bleaches or agents) and finally made into the finished product organically (without using any synthetic dyes, colors, and scents or synthetic thread to sew). These slings should ideally be packed organically, using bio-degradable plastic or paper (this is often overlooked). The fibers used for organic baby slings may be organic wool, organic cotton, organic silk, organic flannel, or organic jute (jute may look coarse, but these days, it is used to make very soft and smooth state-of-the-fashion clothing). Since wool and silk are animal products, some babies may be allergic to them. Organic cotton is the ideal material that requirements of organic baby slings from all respects. It is light, soft, smooth, non-allergenic, trendy, a good absorbent, and a good ventilator. The biggest gain you get from these slings is that they are harmless for your baby. Your baby remains safe from the adverse or harmful effects of any chemicals. Moreover, by encouraging the use of these organic products, you are contributing to less pollution of the environment. The only thing that may go against organic baby slings is their price, which is a bit higher than the non-organic ones. No matter what, that is worth their goodness.
Add-ons: There are a lot more organic products that can be used when you want to give your baby organic baby care, but a lot depends on your innovative ideas as well.
Off-keepers: If anything is there that keeps you off these organic baby care products, then that is their price. Their prices can make your pocket or wallet as light as a feather.
Others: There are many other applications where organic baby products may find a place, but they are not used as often as the five categories named above.
Points to Check: Organic baby products are far costlier than conventional baby products and above all, they concern your baby. Therefore, you need to be a little choosy and cautious before you buy them. Here are some points you should check out.
Composition/Constituents/Raw Material Used: When you are shopping for organic baby products, you must ensure that the raw materials or constituents used in it are 100% organic.
Certification: Since you cannot distinguish organic substances from the non-organic ones, and neither is there any guarantee that the term “Organic” attached before every ingredient is authentic, so you need someone to certify that the organic baby product you are buying is really organic. There are various certification agencies operating in many corners of the world. Let’s have a quick glance at some of them.
- Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS)
- USDA National Organic Program (NOP)
- European Organic Regulations (EU 2092/91)
- Export Certificates for Japan (JAS Equivalent)
- Indian National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP)
- Quebec Organic Reference Standard (CAAQ)
- Bio Suisse Standards
- IOFAM Basic Standards
Color: Do not go for colors. It will be best if you choose colorless or white ones. If you have no choice but to pick the colored ones, then go for the light or dull-colored ones. Do not be dazzled by the bright and dark colors. They are far from being organic.
Availability: The availability of organic baby products may vary with the type of product, demand, public awareness, per capita income, geographic situation, the availability of raw materials, and manufacturing units. These products can also be ordered on the Internet or over the phone. However, one thing is common – they are more easily available in a developed nation and bigger cities than otherwise.
Socioeconomic Impact: Gradually, organic baby products are engulfing bigger shares of the total market of baby products. They also come as a soothing relief for the environment which is suffocated with the pollution. So, encourage these products as much as you can and do the best you can for your baby and for the environment.
For all these reasons and more, try to follow an organic way of life. Eat organic, drink organic, and live organic, and your baby will automatically get organic care.