Organic Bedding for Babies
Newborn babies are often compared with flowers as a way to describe how delicate they are, but perhaps they are far more delicate than the flowers, since flowers are able to withstand the scorching sun, shivering winters, and heavy rains, while newborn babies cannot. There is another big difference as well. Flowers grow better when chemical fertilizers or pesticides are applied on them, but we cannot even think of putting our babies near them. Therefore, it is only natural that the place where they spend most of their time should be as delicate as they are.
The material used for the bedding, mattress, and blanket, as well as the colors used therein do not matter much when it comes to adults, but they are very important when the question concerns newborn babies. This is what gave rise to the need of Organic Baby Bedding, blankets, and mattresses. I am talking about bed and baby bedding here, which are also commonly called “Baby Crib Bedding”. The Organic Baby Bedding, mattresses, and blankets are the best choice for your newborn. Here is some additional information on these valuable items.
Organic Baby Bedding
Organic Baby Bedding is made of organic material through organic processes. They are good for the extremely sensitive and delicate skin of newborn babies, since they are made from organic natural fibers and contain no or negligible chemicals (often, small amounts of peroxides and soda ash etc. are used in bleaching and other stages of preparation).
The Advantages: First, your baby will kept away from those harsh chemicals that often affect the skin adversely, causing rashes and dryness. Second, Mother Nature will say thanks for not encouraging the use of synthetic fibers or other chemicals, thus contributing to lowering the pollution of the planet, which has already reached horrible levels.
The Disadvantages: They are far costlier than the normal baby bedding. They are also more likely to develop fungus or microbes than normal varieties.
The Characteristics of Ideal Organic Baby Bedding: It must meet the following requirements:
It must be made from natural fibers derived from organic plant sources, not from animal sources.
The processing of the said fiber, such as washing, colouring, conditioning, and stitching, should be done organically and using organic materials.
It should be durable, cheap, smooth, soft, light in weight, and soothing in all seasons.
It should be easy to maintain and should have good water-absorbent properties.
It should not be made of hard material and it should be non-allergic to all skin types.
Material Used: The ideal material used for making organic baby bedding can only be organic cotton. Cotton is light, smooth, soft, water-absorbent, completely plant-based, and non-allergenic. It is suitable for all skin types, which silk is sometimes not. Silk can cause allergies and it is an animal product. It is fine for all seasons and it is cheap as well. Some Organic Baby Bedding is also claimed to have been made from Organic Wool (this is very doubtful) and organic silk (this sounds more promising than organic wool), but both of them can be highly allergenic. Other substances such as Organic Natural Rubber and Organic Jute are also used by some manufacturers.
Preferences: Now, when you know this much about organic baby bedding, you must keep in mind a few more things before you go to the shop to actually buy the bedding.
Do not go for the costliest of the beds. You might want to provide the best for your baby, but price alone is not the certificate. If you need to change bedding frequently, which you will need to do and should do, then that will be heavy on your pockets.
Babies often spoil the bed and although you wash it as best you can each time, it is still not advisable to use the same bedding for long periods of time.
Try to pick up the white-colored bedding. No doubt your babies will look better in the colored ones and the colored bedding will not get dirty as easily, but the white-colored bedding is more organic than the colored ones. Also, the companies might be claiming that the colors used are organic, but if you think logically, it will not be difficult for you to understand that the colors they are using to color these beds are not necessarily organic (There are many colors that simply cannot be obtained from organic natural sources, and even if they can be, not in such a bulk that all organic bedding can be colored with them). Furthermore, different colors (let them be organic for this point) have different impacts on skin and health; not all colors are good for all skins. Go for the white cotton bedding only.
Also, always check out the “100% Organic” tag on them.
Market & Availability: Organic Baby Bedding is not very popular in developing countries in the Indian Subcontinent because in most cases, people prefer to use the old or used cotton sheets already available for preparing baby bedding and don’t like to spend much on buying new bedding for obvious reasons. The second reason is ignorance, that is, most people do not even know about Organic Baby Bedding or don’t care to know. All they care about is sterilization of the bedding used by their babies. They generally wash the bedding in hot water or with the help of some sterilizing liquid.
There is another reason for this lack of use, which is that babies in tropical or warm countries like India are more resistant to adverse effects of non-organic materials than in the cold countries. Therefore, parents never felt the need to buy organic baby bedding. Since there was almost nil demand for this type of bedding in India and its neighboring countries so far; they are still a very rare sight in the shops. You can only see a few pieces in the big shopping malls in big cities and the choices are very limited. Fortunately, the scenario is changing now and parents, particularly in big cities and who are aware of the benefits of Organic Baby Bedding, are now searching for their choice in the shops, so their presence is increasing. The situation is much better in developed countries, since people are more aware there, organic baby bedding is in higher demand and is therefore more available.
Maintenance of Organic Baby Bedding: Now, when you have done so much brainstorming over this issue, please remember one thing. When you go to wash this type of bedding, please don’t use any inorganic or synthetic sterilizing liquids, soaps, detergents, or scents on them, because then the bedding will no longer be organic. Just use hot water and organic sterilizers (such as Margo leaves or others) and organic scents (organic essences of flowers). Dry them well in strong sun, which will kill the germs in it, or use driers, nothing else!
Organic Baby Blankets
Organic baby blankets are baby blankets that are made from organic materials and processed in an organic way. The materials used in them are grown organically or bio-dynamically, that is, without using any artificial fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, or fungicides. Furthermore, during processes such as bleaching, coloring, flavoring, etc., no synthetic bleaches such as chlorine, synthetic colors, dyes, or synthetic flavours are used. These blankets are further classified as King, Queen, Twin, Throw, Receive, Swaddling, and Security blankets.
Material Used: Organic Baby Blankets are mostly made up of organic cotton and organic wool. Those made from organic cotton are preferred over the woolen ones because cotton is more comfortable, non-allergenic, and suitable for all skin types. The companies who claim to manufacture 100% organic baby blankets may use organic bleaches, colors, and flavors, hence they have a narrower choices of colors or flavors, but others may use synthetic ones that are not so harsh on baby’s skin and may then have a wide range of colors or flavors to choose from.
Before You Buy: Before you buy good blankets, you need to thoroughly investigate what different brands are offering. In general, you should look for the following things in them;
If you are paying for those that have a “100% Organic” tag on them, then make sure that they are made up of 100% natural fiber (cotton or wool) and organic natural colors and flavors only. There should not be a tiny bit of artificial fiber anywhere (not even in the stitches!).
The true 100% organic baby blankets are not likely to have a wide range of colors. In any case, go for the white ones or at least the lightest-colored ones. Also, it is better not to buy the flavored blankets. If you want woolen blankets, go for famous, reputable brands that are reasonably priced. However, before you buy them, make sure that they are certified as organic by a recognized certification agency, and also that your baby is not allergic to wool. Also, ensure whether they can be washed by hot water or not. This is important, because you will not be using synthetic disinfectants in them and the only choice left to you will be to use hot water.
The blankets you are buying should be durable enough to withstand your baby’s wrestles with them.
Market Prospects: Just like organic baby bedding, the market for Organic Baby Blankets is far better in developed countries of Europe, America, Australia, and Asia than in developing nations. Again, comparing continents, this market is weaker in Asia and Africa. The reasons being is lesser per capita income, unawareness, different climatic conditions, and various other smaller reasons. But now, the market is rising in these places as well, despite the fact that the use of these blankets is limited to some very big cities only. People in smaller cities and rural areas still do not even know about them.
Availability: Market and availability are interdependent. Since they are natural, these blankets will be more easily available in nations in the first group discussed above and you won’t have any trouble getting them. However, if you fall into the second group, then perhaps there is no choice left to you but to order it on the phone or the Internet, but I am still in doubt as to whether they will ship them to you in these places or not. Even if they do, the blankets will cost you a fortune. Therefore, you may have to wait. You may seek the help of your friends living in the first group of nations and tell him or her to send a pack for you by VPP. There is another way to solve your problem as well. Visit Europe, America, or Australia on your honeymoon and pick a pack from there while you are back, as a preparation for the future!
Price: The price of organic baby blankets is certainly much higher than normal baby blankets and they vary based on factors like brand names, in terms of to what extent they are organic, their availability, and demand. Either way, be prepared to pay a handsome price.
Benefits: Organic Baby Blankets are the most soothing and most comfortable ones for your baby. Your baby will never have skin problems, rashes, or other adversities due to the harsh chemicals used otherwise. Even if your baby tries to lick or taste the blankets, it will not harm him. There is one more advantage, which is that you are helping keep the environment clean and unpolluted by using these organic baby blankets.
Drawbacks: Although making something organic saves the cost of the chemicals used in them, the organic baby blankets are still costlier than normal baby blankets. They are also more susceptible to the growth of microbes or fungus in them, since they are totally organic.
Organic Baby Mattresses
These are made from organic natural fibers and are colored with organic natural colors. Here are the differences that an Organic Baby Mattress has from an ordinary one. Since no chemical colors or dyes are used in these mattresses, there is no question of degeneration of these substances and consequently no threat of these toxic things entering the body. If it is properly washed and dusted, then your baby can even chew on it. It won’t do any harm (unless the baby manages to tear a piece and tries to swallow it). Since there are no chemicals used, they cannot therefore react with the fungi and bacteria to produce toxic substances. However, since the mattress itself is made up of organic material, it should always be properly washed and dried to avoid the growth of any germs or fungi on it, because we know that these things grow on organic matter.
No poisonous metals or their compounds are used in these mattresses. These mattresses use organically grown natural rubber, cotton, flannel, or coir (padded with soft cotton, flannel etc.). These things also start decomposing after a certain period, but their particles are not as harmful as those of foam (a petroleum product) and cause only minor problems like sneezing. Still, it is highly recommended that Organic Baby Mattress should be replaced before they start to decompose. Being made of natural fibers, these mattresses do not catch fire easily. Organic Baby Mattresses are soothing for the skin and are skin-friendly. They are highly absorbent of moisture or water (you know why I am telling this!) and therefore keep your baby comfortable, even after an accident. They do not produce any kind of itching, rashes, or irritations, so no matter how long your baby stays in touch with these organic mattresses, it will not harm them.
Common Issues: Like all other organic products, Organic Baby Mattresses are costly than their non-organic counterparts. Furthermore, they are not easily available in developing and underdeveloped nations. The reasons may be lack of awareness, lower income, and higher cost of these mattresses. If you are living in these places, you may have to order these mattresses on the Internet or order your local dealer to get it imported for you. However, that is going to cost you a fortune. In India and in neighboring countries, the situation is a bit different. First of all, the ready-made baby mattresses are not popular (in fact, not at all in use) in Indian middle-sized cities and rural areas. They prefer to used already used cotton clothes or new cotton mattresses as baby mattresses. These are predominantly made from cotton (not foam) but cannot be called organic, since the colors used in them are not organic, although very little dye is actually used. Therefore, although they are not organic, they are not that harmful and there have been no reports of any irritation, asthma and other dreadful diseases caused by these mattresses. In other words, things are going on like that and people do not actually care about Organic Baby Mattresses. Luckily, the situation is changing and as per capita income continues to increase, people started taking an interest in these products and are searching for them.
There are many certifying agencies who certify organic baby products or organic products in general. Here are few of them;
Many times the local Government agencies certify them.
IFOAM or International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement.
KRAV of Sweden.
Oeko-Tex Standard 100.
Skal of Netherlands.
Order your pack: You can search for them in your nearest shop or the malls, but if you cannot locate them there, then try the Internet. Popular Internet shops such as eBay and Amazon have a wide range of choices to pick from and you can order them there. They will then ship the bedding to you.
Finishing Touch: Here are a few tips:
If organic baby bedding, mattresses, and blankets are not available in your locality, you can get them custom made by the local bedding manufacturers. What you will need is some organic cotton and a few sheets of organic cloth (I am not mentioning sheets of organic rubber, because they are generally not available).
Do not use the same products for a long time, because despite washing and sterilizing it as best you can, some germs are sturdy enough to grow in them and may infect your baby. No matter how well you clean and sterilize it, it will never be “new” again.
Watch for the seal of the certifying agency before buying or all of your money may be spent in vain.
Always wash the bedding in hot water after you buy them and before you use them for your baby. The packed bedding kept in stores does not guarantee that they do not have dust or germs in them from being in the store itself!