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Creating a healthy and safe home for babies and their families

Updated: 6 days ago

A house free from toxic chemicals is vital for our little ones as they develop. Whether you are a parent-to-be, a new parent, or an experienced parent with a new baby, providing a healthy environment for their development may seem daunting. With Green Baby Day next week (12TH JUNE 2024), we followed advice from the Women's Environmental Network (WEN) Green Baby campaign and compiled a useful list of measures to help you on your way.

Infants are naturally curious, and putting things in their mouths is part of their development as they learn about their environment. It is therefore important to reduce the risks of contaminants as much as possible. Exposure to toxic chemicals can also happen through the air we breathe. Small concentrations of harmful particulates are greater in babies, relative to their smaller size, increasing the chances of childhood asthma. We may also unknowingly expose our baby's skin to completely unnecessary synthetic fragrances, which can exacerbate conditions like eczema and are more likely to cause allergies.

Stay away from perfumes and synthetic fragrances

This is the easiest way to avoid harmful chemicals such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ethanol, acetone, acetaldehyde, and hormonal disruptors phthalates. Baby only needs the scents of their loved ones.

Stay particularly away from any artificial air fresheners (plug-in, candles...) as despite their confusing name, pollute our air and only cover the bad smells.

Use non-toxic natural cleaning products

Simplify your cleaning cupboard. Many household cleaning products contain unnecessary harsh chemicals. Children are more delicate than us, and exposure to these can have a greater impact on their health. Keep a look out for synthetic fragrances in laundry detergents and softeners.

Opt for fragrance-free products where possible or try making your own cleaning products from ingredients such as vinegar and bicarbonate of soda.

Ventilation air purifying plants to improve air quality and remove toxins

Ventilation ensures adequate oxygen supply for healthy brains and improves sleep quality. Houseplants help to remove allergens and chemicals in the air and opening the windows will help air circulate.

Oat bath soak instead of bubble bath

Check our bath soak recipe in the free resources section on our website

Wet wipes x, Reusable cloth wipes

Water and a cloth are great for cleaning dirty hands and faces- there's no need to reach for single-use disposable wet wipes, which are often made of plastic and have unnecessary chemicals in them! In the moments when a cloth and water won't cut it. Here is a wet wipe recipe from 'We Made This Vegan'. This recipe combines hot water, camomile tea bags and olive oil.

Natural play

It is simple to create your own safe and natural playdough or homemade edible glue. Check our recipe on our website.


Consider toys made from natural materials rather than plastic and avoid those made with PVC and flame-retardant coatings.

Clothes and soft toys

If you can afford it, buy natural and organic materials, try second-hand for more affordable options.

Buy second-hand or soak and wash items well before use to avoid exposure to residual chemicals like pesticides or dyes.

Reusable nappies

2000 disposable nappies are used by a baby a year. They expose babies unnecessarily to plastic and chemicals, not to mention the polluting consequences for the environment- it is worth giving reusable nappies a go.

They have come a long way since the heavy unpractical things that our parents used. They are now easy to use, with velcro or popper snaps, more absorbent fabrics and fun designs. They will also save you lots of money in the long run.

You can even get vouchers from some boroughs to make them more affordable.

Find out more on Real Nappies for London.

Sunny Jar Eco Hub is working with Wen to campaign for safer, healthier environments for our growing children. Find out more from their website.

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