This morning I was getting a baby box ready for my sister- who by the way is only 3 weeks away from her due date!! She and I decided on getting slightly used baby clothes for her new baby. It does makes a load of sense. For one thing, her little baby will probably only wear new born clothes for just a month or two. Plus, slightly used baby clothes will have already off gassed and should be healthier for her little girl. Should is the key word here!!
As I unpacked, my soon to be niece's cute little box of baby clothes, a reality came over me!! These little infant clothes wreaked of fragrance!!!! Seriously folks, do not use scented detergents, fabric softeners or dryer sheets on your baby clothes!!!!!
There are 3 main ways toxins get into our bodies: absorption, inhalation, and ingestion With laundry and children all three routes come into play. Do children chew on their clothes? Yup! Do their clothes touch their little bodies?- Yup!! Can they smell their clothes? Yup!!!
At the moment, I am washing the little baby clothes in hopes of minimizing any residual fragrance or residues that have been left behind. Of course, this step of washing, I would have done anyway. But fragrances are created to linger- to hold up to life- to stay put. It is very hard to get fragrance out of clothes once they have permeated the fabrics. There is one adorable little outfit with tigers and stripes that I wont even attempt to save! Probably the only way I could get the odor/fragrance out would be to bury it in the dirt and let nature do its wonders and compost it out!! But that may be a wee bit extreme for one little outfit! (This is actually an experiment we tried on a bath towel that had an abundance of fragrance lingering after many washings. It was only after we buried it in dirt did the fragrance let go!)
The crazy thing with fragrance is our bodies and senses get de synthesized to the smells. Which means, if you use scented detergents you probably don't even smell the fragrance anymore. And if you do it is probably only a 10th the actual smell. Our bodies have a wonderful way of protecting us from ourselves and our environment. After time, our awareness to the robust fragrances get minimized and we no longer can smell what is right in front of our noses.
Babies are developing and growing, this is a key time in their life to minimize chemical exposure. Plus, because they are so small, the exposure an infant gets to chemicals is 100 fold to what a full grown person will get. Their little senses have not yet become de synthesized and there is no reason to exposure your baby to a chemical! New babies smell heavenly ( when clean and dry ) please do not not cover up the natural scent of a new born with synthetic- freshness!
O.K, I will now come down from my soap box. But please think about what you use for your families laundry. Not only does your laundry habits impact our health from direct contact but it also can be detrimental to our indoor air quality. Not to mention the strong fragrances that shoot out our dryer vents can be detrimental to our neighbors, birds and bees!
Here's to a health, happy and natural family!!
Healthy home specialist and incensed sister!