When our children first enter the world we wrap them up in cotton and never let them leave our sights. We naturally want to protect them from all of the dangers in the world; we stop them from falling over, we keep them away from ovens, ponds, hot water, unsafe toys, and unhealthy foods. We want our children to be as healthy as possible – and, as well as preventing them from getting injuries and illnesses, we also think about the effect toxic ingredients that are hidden away in baby products can have on our kids. There are so many, from skin irritants found in disposable diapers and washing powders to preservatives found in shampoos and soaps, all of which can have an effect on our bundle of joy’s development.

So, when we are shopping around for your baby’s essentials – watch out for harmful ingredients and materials hiding away in baby products shown below.

1. Diapers

Although disposable diapers are very convenient, they come with a lot of health risks. As well as containing artificial perfumes, dyes, and emollients, disposable diapers contain a few chemicals that are damaging to the environment as well as to our babies. One of these are volatile organic compounds that have shown to irritate the throat, cause headaches, and can even be carcinogenic in humans. A safer alternative would be to use re-usable fabric diapers, click the link and see; they’re organic, too!

2. Shampoo and Body Wash

Harmful ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, sulfates, phosphates and tricoslan can be found in popular shampoos and body washes. Take a look at this organic shampoo and body wash that is free from any nasty ingredients. You can also make your own shampoo and body wash by mixing 1 cup of castille soap with 5-7 drops of essential oils (this will save you money, too!)

3. Teething Gel

Children’s Tylenol is one of the most widely used pain relief methods for teething, but it contains a long list of toxic ingredients like butylparaben, a preservative that is known to be present in breast cancer tumors, or high fructose corn syrup, a sweetening ingredient that has been linked to weight gain and liver damage, and sodium benzoate, a preservative that promotes the growth of cancer cells. To ignore the scary ingredients and the possible side effects, try this non-medicated and organic teething gel, or these teething pods that are free from benzocaine, alcohol, parabens, phthalates, toxins, mineral oil, petrolatum, artificial colors, nuts, gluten and synthetic fragrances.

4. Washing Detergent

Conventional washing powder such as Ariel and Gain contain optical brighteners, phenols and colorants which are associated with skin and eye irritation, asthma and cancer. In addition to acting as an irritant on the skin, the chemicals used in these detergents are damaging our environment. For a safer alternative for your baby, why don’t you try out Green Shield Organic Washing Detergent – it will feel gentle on the skin and, and also prevent any irritation due to it being free from artificial fragrances and dyes.

You can simply make your own safe washing detergent powder for your baby by mixing 2 parts Super Washing Soda, 2 parts Borax and 1 part grated Dr. Bronner’s Soap. Store in a mason jar and use around a 1/4 of a cup per load of laundry.

5. Diaper Wipes

Diaper wipes have become somewhat of a necessity. And, though the leading brands are the most harmful (as expected!) there are a great range of non-toxic alternatives! Try to avoid top-selling brands such as Huggies, Pampers or Teddies baby wipes, as they all contain alcohol, chlorine, perfume and, dioxins in particular that are damaging to our health. Try out Earth’s Best Chlorine Free Baby Wipes or Babyganics Face, Hand & Baby Wipes, as they are both free from artificial ingredients.

Image source: lovelihood/ Flickr