Sara's Favorite October Picks!

Friday, August 26, 2016


Dear friends, 

I wanted to repost this now that it's been a number of years in hopes that it might help someone else looking into an organic journey for their baby. Enjoy my friends!

From 2013~

I need to preface this with saying that the following is my journey, experience and perspective. In no way am I undermining anyone who feels the exact opposite. I completely believe “to each their own” and I’m just fine with that. My only wish would be that if someone out there has an interest in these things that perhaps my own experience could be a little helpful. Here I go…

A Stereotype?

Not all, but I do believe some folks see organic as a type of snobbery…turning a cheek to the food and textile industry because they want to be different or prove a point to the world. Maybe that is true of some. If there are then I don’t know them. All of the individuals or families I know who go organic in some way, shape or form simply care a great deal about where their food is coming from and are trying to avoid some extra things in their lives. I think it may also be true that many people believe that you have a lot of money to go organic. Again, this isn’t so. Do you have to be rich to take a family vacation? Not necessarily. It’s all about choice and priorities. If you know that you want to go to Disney World with your family then you know it isn’t going to be cheap. However, if you go about it the right way and even budget if need be through the year…it can definitely be done. I believe that folks tend to invest in what means a great deal to them. As for the cost itself of going organic…yes, in SOME areas it can be a little pricier than non-organic. Let me ask this though: If you were given the choice of spending $15,000 on a new, untainted, no mileage car and spending $14,000 on one that was dented, had a lot of mileage and was several years old…I don’t think it’s hard to figure what most of our answers would be. Long story short…going organic has nothing to do with how much money you do or don’t make in life. It is a choice like everything else. 

What is Organic?

I find that there can be a lot of confusion with organic. If you don’t buy organic, then you might not be totally sure what it is. In a nutshell, it’s food or textiles that have not been treated with pesticides, herbicides, etc. Essentially, it’s a more “pure” food because it’s not chemically ridden. For example, veggies from an organic garden have had no chemical treatments…they have grown naturally. Organic meat means that the cows, pig, etc have been grass fed or grain fed (with organic grains) and that no antibiotics, steroids, etc have been injected into those animals…ultimately giving you a clean and natural piece of meat rather than one that has been taken from an animal raised on chemicals to enhance growth, etc. Organic cotton comes from cotton fields that again, have been untreated with pesticides and so on. 

Deeper than Just Organic

If you really wanted to delve deeper than you’d see there are loopholes in every industry. The cotton may have been organically grown, but it may have unfortunately been treated later with bleach and chemicals or modified somewhere in the process. This brings me to GMO. If you’ve seen this on food products saying “Non-GMO”, you may either know what it means or may have been confused or could care less. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, meaning that those Organic corn tortilla chips you bought may have been organically grown, but the seeds or other things may be GMO. Let me put it this way too…it means taking the DNA of the plant or animal in question and merging it with other DNA and species creating a fairly unstable combination and ultimately ending up in your belly or on your body. Non-GMO means that it is as pure as you can get it these days from start to finish. 

My Organic Journey

I have been a fan of healthier foods for a long time now, but most especially over the past 5 years. As the years have gone on I have become more versed in the world of organic because I began having a deep interest in what I was really eating, drinking and so on. When we found out we were pregnant with daughter, my husband and I both knew and agreed that we wanted to start her life off as chemical free as possible and simply minimize what we could for her. Most of her room and clothing are organic, but I’d like to tell you why these things became so important to me.

The Chemicals

The crib mattress is organic because I couldn’t bring myself to have her on something else knowing what I did about mattresses. They contain FLAME RETARDANTS which are actually endocrine disruptors (and toxic and linked to cancer)…meaning that they can mess with hormones, reproductive systems and development in general. FORMALDEHYDE, which is found in just about everything from mattresses to mulch has been linked to cancer as well. LEAD, MERCURY, BPA (BISPHENOL A WHICH ALSO IS ASSOCIATED WITH INFERTILITY, OBESITY, THYROID AND METABOLIC DISORDERS BECAUSE IT’S A ENDOCRINE DISRUPTOR). Why do you think that you’re seeing more and more “BPA free” items in baby and kid products? Well, it’s toxic and some companies are getting a clue and making sure that don’t use it anymore. Needless to say, we didn’t want our baby sleeping everyday on a product that contained so many toxic chemicals. 

Organic Mattress: Aren’t you scared to have your baby on a mattress that doesn’t have a flame retardant you might ask? No, I’m not because her mattress is filled and lined with organic wool which many people don’t know is a natural flame retardant. Wool is a wonderfully pure way to avoid that issue and she is nice and safe. Honestly, if you’re buying a nice mattress for your baby anyway…It’s really about the same cost.

Organic clothing and linens: We personally care very much about what is sitting on her skin all day and all night. Her bed linens, washcloths, blankets, clothing are all organic. Well, mostly. My best friend gave us a ton of her girls’ clothing to use and not knowing that she was going to be 18 pounds by the time she was 5 months…well, let’s just say we have been incredibly grateful for the extra clothing to use in between her growth spurts! Most of her clothing though is untreated or organic and I was very frugal about how I did this. I will list the links of many of the things we used at the end for reference if you’re interested. Again, I’m not saying ANYTHING against it if you don’t use organic…this is simply what we chose to do and why. Many pesticides actually never “wash out” of cotton and believe it or not, there are over 2000 chemicals currently used in the textile industry on our clothing including dyes and so on. We decided to minimize her direct skin exposure to those chemicals if we could.

Carseats, pacifiers and toys: I had no idea prior to my research on it that car seats were so incredibly filled with toxic chemicals! Bromine (flame retardant), lead, mercury, formaldehyde…you name it, it’s pretty much all over it. I personally researched by going to and could see the level of chemicals and which ones were used in many items. Our carseat (Britax Chaperone in Cowmooflage) decision was based partially on that. Although many toys and pacifiers are now BPA free, I went with an all natural rubber pacifier…derived directly from rubberwood and no chemicals, etc. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard, “I’ve never seen a pacifier like that.” Well, you don’t see them often in stores, but I feel better knowing that it is natural, plant derived and chemical free. As for toys she is still only 5 months old, but she has organic teething giraffes which I found on , a couple of organic crinkle/rattle toys and a wood and non- toxic colored shape sorter with blocks. We didn’t want her chewing on the fore mentioned chemicals either!

Food: Currently, she is still nursing and I have eaten organically, non processed foods all along with her since even MSG and so on pass directly to her if I eat it. Considering she is already pushing 20 pounds, I think it’s safe to say that you don’t have to have a diet of unhealthy fats, sugary junk foods and drinks to have a plump baby. When we start her on solids, I will be making her food, which is easy for us because we have veggies and such anyway, so pureeing a little extra is no problem. She will eat what we eat and I will tell you now that we don’t suffer in taste or foods. It’s amazing how wonderfully you can eat and it doesn’t have to be out of a box. We get organic veggies and fruits, organic dairy, grassfed meats, organic grains and I use a lot of organic coconut oil to cook and bake with…it’s sooooo delicious! We have a garden and bees so we grow a lot of our own items as well as harvest our own honey and thanks to our lovely Farmer’s Markets, we can buy locally and easily!

The Big "D"

Diapers!  If you haven't gotten the clue yet...there's toxic chemicals in almost everything...diapers included! Well this is a big one! Get ready...dioxins and sodium polyacrylate, two of the chemicals found in disposable diapers, have either been linked to or have caused the following toxic responses: cancer, reproductive & infertility problems, asthma & respiratory distress, hormonal problems, developmental & cognitive problems, suppressed immune system, diabetes, endometriosis, allergic reactions, chemical burns and more. AND WHAT'S MORE...There have also been reports (on sites all over the internet) that diapers may contain many other chemicals.Some of these chemicals include:
  • Tributyltin – This is toxic to humans and environment, is a persistent organic pollutant, causes irreversible damage to aquatic life, and is linked to obesity in humans (triggers genes that cause the growth of fat cells).
  • Xylene – This is toxic to the respiratory and central nervous systems. Breathing
    high concentrations in an enclosed space can cause irregular heartbeats which can cause death.
  • Ethylbenzene – This chemical is listed as possibly cancer-causing. It is mutagenic (capable of causing mutation). The substance may be toxic to the central nervous system. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage. It may cause central nervous system depression, is an aspiration hazard if swallowed and can enter the lungs and cause damage. It causes eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritation.
  • Styrene- This substance is cancer-causing and is toxic to the nervous system and upper respiratory tract. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage. It is very hazardous to the eyes.
  • Propylene – This chemical is an anesthetic at high concentrations. Inhalation may cause central nervous system depression producing dizziness, drowsiness, headache and similar narcotic symptoms. Extremely high concentrations can cause asphyxiation and death by displacing oxygen from the breathing atmosphere.
  • Toluene – The substance may be toxic to blood, kidneys, the nervous system, liver, brain, and central nervous system (CNS). Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.
Whew! Oh my goodness! Hard to believe that all of these things are just a possible handful of chemicals that are sitting on baby's bum ALL DAY long and possibly absorbing into their skin!

We knew that we would either be using Seventh Generation disposables (which are free of most chemicals, save a small amount of SAP gel used for absorption and still is a chemical that I don't like, but a small amount is better than a large one), cloth diapers or a little of both and so we stocked up just enough on each kind. I had every intention of using cloth from the start although I did want some kind of disposables on hand in case. Everything changed as her birth approached though since we were going to have a home birth, but had to have a c-section because she was breech. Because she was breech for so long, there was concern from the start about the possibility of dysplasia in one of her hips. Praise God that we never had to use a full body harness or any harness on her little body and her hip thankfully went back where it needed to within a short period of time. However, to encourage her hip placement, we had to double diaper her starting at the hospital and that would have been a little hard to do with cloth diapering. We started with the Seventh Generation ones and are using them still since we had to double diaper for 3 months. With that being said, I still have my cloth diapering and have every intention of giving it a go once she is on solids (since we are currently stocked up from Christmas on Seventh Generation diapers)! I know cloth seems intimidating, but like everything else...once you do it for a while it becomes second nature! Although we do use the Seventh Generation free and clear wipes for the most part right now, I do make our own spray for her little bottom and I have and use organic cloth wipes on her a lot of times though.

Planet Wise Wet/Dry bag, Planet Wise Changing pad, Organic burp cloth, Organic Teething Giraffe, Rubber Pacifier, Extra Change of Clothing, Diapers & Wipes, Homemade Bottom Spray, Burt's Bees Hand Sanitizer, Organic Blanket and last but not least...a tea bag and sugar for me because you just never know when you might need a good cup of tea! : )

Home and Chemicals:

Currently I make our own household cleaner (below) and it works perfectly on everything and I have the knowledge that I'm not spraying extra things into the air and on our surfaces! : )

The Future

Now, will she always wear organic clothing? No. Will she ever eat or drink something non-organic or processed? I’m sure she will. We can’t control everything. My goodness…the air is full of pollution, but we all have to breathe it. We wanted to start her off as chemical free as we could because we know that there are things that are simply unavoidable…especially as she gets older. It’s not about sheltering, bubbling, or doing something for show. It’s just about minimizing the amount of toxic chemicals that our family may personally consume and that is the choice we have made. 

Please know that we LOVE certain things that just are not (sadly) organic, but we still have them from time to time. We aren't snobs about our food, but we do try to make the best choices for us within our own home. We have our favorite little spots on our vacations just like everyone else! Our life and our home is far from all organic or chemical free, but we are striving to buy what we know and know where it grows as we continue through this lovely journey of life. Below I have listed several links of reference if you have any interest and of course, you are most welcome to ask me questions anytime if you have them! Here’s to healthy and wonderful living…whatever that may mean for your family! 

Homemade Baby Bottom Spray:
Mini Spray Bottle (The Health Nut in Wyndhurst)
Water and only 2 drops of Lavender Essential Oil (Lavender is cleansing)

Homemade Household Cleaner:

1/4 part White Vinegar
3/4/ part Water
Several drops of Tea Tree Oil (very cleansing)


Learn about Organic and Non GMO: 

Food Inc Documentary (on Netflix and Amazon Prime and DVD)

Organic Crib Mattress:

Changing Pad and Wet/Dry Bag:

Organic Cloth Wipes:

Burp Cloths I love: (We use these for burp cloths a lot)

Organic Blanket (our favorite)

Organic Teething Giraffe:

Organic Crinkle Bear:

Rubber Pacifier:

Natural Toys:

Organic Clothing:

Baby Wash:

Forest Farmer’s Market

Lynchburg Community Market:

No comments: