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The first weeks and also months with baby mark the slow change of a couple towards responsible parents. It is often only after the birth that fathers and mothers realize how numerous their tasks now are and want the best for their child in every respect. When it comes to clothing, furniture and nutrition, it is therefore not enough for most parents to have only superficial information. Especially when it comes to a baby time as free of harmful substances as possible, this is only right.
Baby Clothing Made From Natural Materials
Of course, there are countless suppliers of baby clothes today. From sweet little dresses and rompers to winter suits and sun hats, parents can, in theory, draw from the full range. However, caution is advisable here, because not all manufacturers and brands take care to ensure that they are free of harmful substances in addition to looking good. Baby clothing can contain chemicals such as
- organotin compounds,
- Antimony, optical brighteners
- or formaldehyde
may be present. Although all these substances do not have an immediate negative effect on human health, some of them are suspected of promoting allergies, affecting fertility or even weakening the immune system. For this reason, when buying baby clothes, it is only advisable for parents to opt for those that are free of harmful substances, even according to official tests, and come from manufacturers who understand ecological materials.
Seals can be a good guide here. The most famous among them is “ÖKO-TEX Standard 100.” This seal is awarded only after a thorough examination of the clothing and is internationally recognized. Among other things, the test ensures that a garment is free of formaldehyde or allergens.
Baby clothing certified according to ÖKO TEX Standard 100 must also be resistant to saliva and perspiration. Other seals that stand for healthy baby clothing are “Naturtextil” and “Naturleder”, which are awarded by the International Association for Natural Textiles. The GOTS seal also stands for healthy clothing and is described in more detail at global-standard.org.
Of course, natural and adequately tested baby clothes are more expensive than some conventional products. Here, however, parents should ask themselves whether the extra expense is not more than justified in terms of their child’s health. In addition, buying high-quality natural clothing also protects against constantly buying new things. Through better cost awareness, parents quickly learn that even babies don’t need an overstuffed closet.
Low-Pollutant Baby Room Furnishings
Of course, healthy baby clothes are only half the battle when it comes to an all-around unpolluted start to life. The furniture and home textiles with which a baby comes into contact, either directly or even indirectly, also influence health in the long term. When furnishing the baby’s room, it is therefore worth taking a look at the materials and fabrics used. Again, there are some seals that help with a more accurate assessment. Nachhaltigkeit.info provides information about some of these certificates.
The wardrobe, changing mat and baby crib should therefore ideally be made of natural materials that have been tested for harmful substances and do not emit any unhealthy vapors into the room air. This is particularly important for a healthy sleeping environment. When the baby sleeps in its own crib, it is exposed to all the materials in it for several hours.
Not only the bed frame itself, but also the mattress should be as free of harmful substances as possible for this reason. Thus Allnatura.de reports on voices from the past, of which different materials were criticized and speaks out for the renouncement of synthetic materials. An all-around natural bed can then become a sleeping environment that also promotes rest at night.
When it comes to the visual design of the baby’s room, it is also advisable to look twice. Floor coverings, wall colors and also textiles such as curtains and carpets should ideally have been tested according to strict guidelines and certified accordingly. Again, this may result in a somewhat higher cost, but it will pay off in the long run. After all, once a baby’s room has been renovated and furnished, it does not usually need to be changed again so quickly
Nutrition: Really Healthy Milk And Baby Food
When it comes to healthy baby nutrition, experts also advocate breastfeeding for as long as possible. After all, breast milk is already naturally designed to give a baby the nutrients it needs. Mothers who are able to breastfeed their babies should therefore only do so for good reasons. The National Breastfeeding Commission recommends that mothers breastfeed for at least the first four months of life and only then slowly switch to complementary foods.
However, even though breastfeeding is considered particularly healthy, some difficulties can cause an early end to breastfeeding. Breast infections, pain and “too little milk” despite repeated attempts are a great burden for mothers and their babies.
In such a case, it is only right to consider an early switch to substitute formula. However, Öko Test reports in a recent article that there are differences in quality. Early information about ingredients and possible harmful substances in baby milk protects against wrong decisions.
After breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, the next step is the gradual introduction of complementary foods. Here, too, parents can decide whether to prepare the porridges for their baby themselves or buy them in the form of ready-made jars. As far as the freshness of the ingredients is concerned, it goes without saying that preparing the food yourself is the most advantageous option. This does not require much, because especially in the early days it is quite enough if a porridge consists of only one kind of vegetables.
If you want to ensure the healthiest possible diet, it’s best to buy carrots, parsnips and the like at an organic market, wash them well and process them quickly. With a hand blender, the cooked vegetables can then be turned into a delicious porridge in no time at all.
And those who fear that preparing porridge will cause stress and lack of time should know one thing: It is easily possible to cook baby porridge once a week and then freeze it in portions. Shortly before the next meal, the porridge then only needs to be defrosted and warmed up.