Best organic baby products
Sometimes it feels as though we're being bombarded with messages to "go green" -- whether it's bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, buying organic veggies or learning how to compost on the kitchen counter. But nowhere is the trend more pronounced than for a new parent, who is not only concerned about the environment, but also about the health and safety of baby.
You can't put a value on your baby's health, but parents may feel the sting in their pocketbooks when it comes to shelling out big bucks for organic this and all-natural that. While some organic products may offer more hype than help to overwhelmed parents, here are 13 that are worth the investment.
-- Sally Wadyka for MSN Healthy Living
Honest laundry detergent
For such tiny creatures, babies create a LOT of dirty laundry. When it comes to washing their clothes, you want to avoid harsh chemicals that could irritate their delicate skin. This gentle detergent, from celeb mom Jessica Alba's Honest Company, has a neutral pH that makes it safe for even the most sensitive skin, but it's still effective at washing away tough stains. It's part of a series of nontoxic household products based on the company's philosophy of offering products that "don't harm people or the planet." And isn't it nice to know that even glamorous moms like Alba have to deal with poop laundry, too?
WeeGo glass baby bottles
Glass baby bottles have made a comeback recently as concerned parents do everything they can to keep potentially harmful plastics away from babies. This clever version combines a glass bottle with a grippy, chemical-free silicone sleeve. The sleeve not only protects the bottles from breaking -- even when they're dropped (or thrown!) on the floor -- but also make them easy for baby to hold onto. They fit any standard size nipple, and both bottle and sleeve can go in the dishwasher.
Sophie the Giraffe
This is one teething toy that has definitely stood the test of time. Sophie the giraffe -- or "le giraffe" if you want to get all fancy and French -- was "born" in Paris in 1961. A certain monsieur created Sophie using all-natural rubber, made from sap of the Hevea tree, also known as a "rubber tree." Sophie stimulates your little one's developing senses of sight (her spots are created with safe, all-natural food paint), touch and sound (squeeze her and hear her squeak!). And when it's time for teething, babies' gums will be soothed by chewing on Sophie's soft rubber legs, ears and horns.
Sprout baby food
Want to raise a baby foodie? The Sprout line of organic baby food adds herbs and spices to its fruits and veggies, which are all baked or roasted for extra flavor. Created by Food Network star chef (and dad of three) Tyler Florence, Sprout offers high-quality, organic ingredients packaged in resealable, BPA-free pouches. The intermediate meals, aimed at older infants, feature surprisingly sophisticated combinations, such as pasta with lentil Bolognese and summer squash and Yukon potatoes with parmesan, to expand baby's developing palate.
SwaddleMe organic swaddle
Newborns love to be swaddled tightly. The position imitates the close, cozy feeling of being in the womb, so a secure swaddle can soothe fussy babies and help them sleep more soundly without flailing arms to disturb their slumber. But mastering the art of swaddling can be more than a harried new parent can handle (especially after a middle-of-the-night diaper change). SwaddleMe's Velcro version takes the guesswork out of the technique. Simply wrap it around baby and secure with the Velcro tabs. Even better? This organic version is made with no bleach, dyes or chemicals, so you can sleep better knowing your baby is cocooned without irritation.
Ergo backpack carrier
Thanks to its versatility -- use it as a front carrier, on your hip or backpack style -- the Ergo accommodates kids up to 45 pounds. The pared-down fabric construction is lightweight and packable (great for travel), but has all the necessary features to make it comfortable for both baby and parent. It's made from 100 percent organic cotton twill and comes with a zippered storage pocket for Mom and Dad's essentials and a snap-on "sleeping hood" that supports baby's head during naps and also protects from sun and wind.
California Baby ‘Super Sensitive’ shampoo & body wash
When Jennifer Iclisoy was pregnant with her first child, she became an obsessive label reader. And the more she read, the more dissatisfied she became with the baby-care products on the market. So she started experimenting with her own recipes, and by the time her second son arrived, her line of organic skin, hair, bath and sun protection products for babies was born. Made with organic plants, herbs and essential oils, California Baby products contain no common allergens, no synthetic ingredients and no pesticides. The popular Super Sensitive shampoo & body wash is safe for newborns -- and also great for grownups with sensitive skin.
Naturepedic No Compromise Organic Cotton Classic crib mattress
Babies spend many hours a day sleeping (even though it might not always seem that way), so it's important that they have a proper mattress on which to slumber. A firm mattress is safest for babies, and a waterproof surface is a necessity. This mattress scores on both points, and then some: It's filled with only USDA certified organic cotton; contains no potentially allergenic wool or latex; and the 100 percent polyethylene cover is stain resistant and nontoxic. Plus, it wards off dust mites and bed bugs!
Aden & Anais organic crib sheets
What better way to top off your organic crib mattress than with a set of organic crib sheets? Aden & Anais, the company best known by new parents for their wonderfully lightweight muslin swaddling blankets, is now making cotton muslin crib sheets made with certified organic cotton. That means the cotton used was grown without being exposed to pesticides and that no toxic chemicals were used during the processing to turn it into fabric. The sheets are incredibly soft and breathable against baby's skin, and also durable enough to stand up to everyday use. The sheets come in selected solid colors as well as the company's signature cute prints, including stars, giraffes and fireflies.