Where to find organic toddler clothes

Now that Jack is a toddler, it’s a little more of a challenge to find him organic clothes because a lot of places stop carrying organic options after 12 or 18 months. I hope to keep having him wear organic clothes until he decides he doesn’t want to though because of all the chemicals on traditional clothing (which have given me hives sometimes!) and the fact that cotton growing uses so much pesticide which is bad for the environment and the workers as well. I have been able to find a bunch of places to shop from, most of which I order from online.

  • Frugi is pretty expensive but great quality and has really cute organic options for boys and girls through age 9! The fit runs a little on the large side.

 

toddler organic clothes H&M

shirt from Frugi

  • H&M has a “conscious” line which has mostly shirts made of organic cotton. They are really inexpensive and go up to 10 years old. They fit a little large, and the store near us often has a small amount in stock so we go there to see what size is best and often order online.
toddler organic clothes H&M

Wearing a shirt from H&M

The tangerine tree has cute shirts and other items that are often on sale on amazon like the one Jack has on below that we got for $9. The one we have doesn’t have snaps at the neck but it is easy to put on and Jack likes the elephant on it which is printed on so it’s not itchy. They go up to 24 months but the sizes are a little large.

organic toddler clothes tangerine tree

tangerine tree shirt

  • Hanna Andersson also has some basic organic options and the non-organic clothes are oeko-tex certified at least which is nice. They always get rated as having great comfy underwear and their clothes go up to teen sizes.
  • Kate Quinn has really cute and more stylish options. They are generally a little pricier but often have $10 sales. The sizing is a little more random, running either true to size or small in our experience. The sizes go up to at least a 4.
organic toddler clothes kate quinn

kate quinn shirt and pants

  • Burt’s Bees is priced in the middle range and has some basic items as well as some cute things that are classic looking but not just solids or stripes.  They go up to a size 7 and run a little small. They have many hoodies and sweatshirts if you are looking for warmer clothes.

wearing a burts bees shirt as a 12 month old

wearing a burts bees shirt as a 12 month old

If you are on a budget, you can often find organic clothes on ebay, or join a facebook group for b/s/t of your favorite brand

Review of Pedoodles shoes and age-by-age shoe guide

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I recently bought Jack some pedoodle shoes because they are pretty eco friendly. They use recycled leather and rubber which is nice and are supposed to have flexible soles. They also have velcro which is really easy to use and are pretty wide which is good for baby feet.

I think that pedoodles are great for people who want a more structured shoe, and would be better for slightly older toddlers, maybe at least 2-3 years old. I think at 18 months Jack still needs shoes that are more flexible. The leather upper part is not very flexible, so I think shoes like the Soft Star ones with very soft leather are ideal for where Jack is now. He was also able to pull off the velcro tabs but I imagine that’s the case with most velcro shoes. From my shoe experience so far (we’ve tried a lot of brands!), this is what I think worked best for us and what I’d do with a future child:

0-12 months: no shoes until baby starts walking. We just used socks with the skid-proof bottoms.

12 months-15 months (starting to stand/walk until they are really confident walkers): very soft shoes with leather all around (no rubber which while it can be described as “flexible” is never as flexible as leather or cloth). For the very early walking months I love BabyPaws which is formaldehyde-free leather and has velcro to have an adjustable fit. Leather shoes that are mocassin style with elastic closure like Robeez or the more nontoxic version, Bobux are adorable but didn’t fit Jack’s feet and aren’t adjustable. We kept Jack in all leather shoes for about 4 months. The shoes got holes after about 2 months, and also aren’t waterproof, but they are amazing in the learning to walk stage.

15 months-24 months (confident walker to runner):  Soft star classic shoes (ideally with velcro closure). They have a rubber sole which is flexible (but not as much as leather) and have a very soft leather top. They last a lot longer than the all leather shoes and don’t get wet when walking through puddles. We used these sometimes around 12 months if it was wet out but Jack was clearly more comfortable in the soft shoes until he became a proficient walker. The soft star company is my all time favorite for shoes- they have formaldehyde-free leather and are hand made in the US.

24 months plus: Stick with soft star, or try other shoes with “flexible” rubber soles and a more structured leather upper like the Pedoodles. The pedoodles are eco friendly and use recycled materials but they don’t use formaldehyde-free leather. FYI neither does Livie and Luca whom I also emailed.

Update at 18 months

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I can’t believe how fast time is passing and that Jack is already 18 months old! I remember when he was a tiny baby we’d always be the youngest ones at meetups and things, and now he is definitely a toddler! I try as much as possible to be present and enjoy each day because they really fly by, and even if we have another child it’ll never be the same as having all my time to enjoy just Jack. Some things that have been going on lately:

  • Talking: Jack is saying about 10 words or so now. It’s on the low end of normal, but hopefully he’s just a later talker like his dad was. I make sure to narrate what we are doing all day and wait for him to respond to questions so he has the opportunity to practice talking. While he says 10 words he says the same 3 most often- ball, mama, and car. So it really doesn’t feel like he’s that grown up yet, I think once he is using his words all the time it will really feel like he’s not a baby any more.
  • Eating: Jack has gradually been eating more solids. He likes most things that are breaded such as organic chicken nuggets or fish nuggets. He is also eating more fruits such as peaches. Our meals are still pretty random things at this point though, like raisins and peanut butter for breakfast.
  • Babywearing: I still wear Jack for usually either a nap or to get him to sleep for bedtime. I also use the Tula a lot for when we are walking to of from a store or part of the time we are walking our dog.
  • Breastfeeding: Jack still nurses a lot! If I’m gone for 4-5 hours for work I start feeling engorged. He also nurses every few hours at night. Once his teeth are in I’ll try to cut that down, but he keeps having teething pain at least a few weeks a month so it doesn’t seem worth it to deal with the crying and lack of sleep of night weaning just to go back on it a week later when he has horrible teething pain all night.
  • Clothes: we have still been able to stick with 100% organic clothes! I’ve been happy to find toddler clothes at H&M, Frugi, Burt’s Bees, and some random stuff on amazon.
  • Cloth diapers: Jack is wearing mostly Bumgenius 4.0 pockets now because they are easy to change while he’s standing or walking. He goes to the potty when he wakes up in the morning and usually after nap and we get almost all poops in the potty.
  • Movement: Jack is almost running now which is cute. He is also climbing nonstop! He can push a chair to the kitchen counter and climb up on it which is scary. We are looking for a used learning tower for him to make standing at the kitchen sink a little safer.
  • Playing: Jack still prefers playing with containers or laundry over mot of the toys he has! Some favorite toys that actually get used often are books, his wooden cart, and his pounding toy which he also likes to remove the pegs from and put them places.

Overall he can entertain himself for longer and longer now- sometimes 10-20 minutes, so it’s getting so much easier for me! I can now cook in the kitchen sometimes while he plays in the sink or with some containers, or I can clean while he “swiffers.” He also sits in his high chair long enough for me to eat an entire meal often, although sometimes I have to give him a little container with a lid for him to put raisins into to keep him busy at the end.

I love how he learns new things almost every day, like how to make a new animal noise. He is starting to get upset when we tell him he can’t do things, but luckily after reading a ton about positive parenting (I love the book Peaceful Parenting) I feel pretty well equipped to deal with it and help him learn to calm himself down so far. I’m sure it will get harder (but in some ways easier) as he gets older though!

BabyPaws soft soled shoe review

Jack wearing his baby paws

Jack wearing his baby paws

When Jack started walking, I researched a lot of brands to find non-toxic soft soled shoes for babies. I previously reviewed SoftStar shoes which I liked for their leather shoes with rubber soles that work well in wet weather. However, for completely soft everyday shoes my favorite brand is Baby Paws. I didn’t get anything for writing this review, but I wanted to share information in case anyone else is looking.

Pros:

  • The shoes are made of formaldehyde-free nontoxic leather
  • They are also chromium-free and pass tests for  acetaldehyde and glutaraldehyde
  • They are hand made in Australia
  • Most of them have velcro which works well because you can customize the ankle opening size (Jack’s ankles were too chubby for moccasin style shoes!)
  • They are completely soft leather all around and are the closest things to socks I’ve tried
  • They are easy to put on (our soft stars with laces are a little more time consuming)

Cons:

  • Because they are so soft they wear out faster- ours got holes in about 2 months
  • The lighter colored shoes look dirty easily
  • They are a little pricey, but there are also often sales
  • The sizes only go up to 24 months (soft star goes up to adult)

Overall we have loved them and are on our 2nd pair already! Jack even brings me his shoes to put on when I say we are going for a walk.

Attempting minimalism with a toddler

the majority of our toys and books

the majority of our toys and books

My husband and I try to be minimalistic with our possessions, but it’s been a challenge to keep that up once we had a baby! Now that Jack is 16 months old and a toddler, I wanted to update how we’re doing. You can see a post about minimalism with a baby here or about our minimalist baby registry here.

Diapers: we are still cloth diapering which saves tons of money and decreases our daily trash by a huge amount! We love it, and while we had ammonia issues now that Jack is peeing more, the poop is also SUPER easy to clean now that it’s solid- you just plop it into the toilet (or since we do EC Jack poops in the potty most of the time which is even easier).

Food: we do baby led weaning which minimizes the need to buy special baby purees or machines to make purees (although we already had an immersion blender). Jack eats what we eat, or we buy snacks from the dried foods or cereal section of Whole foods (like unsweetened organic corn puffs). We did buy a few stainless steel espresso spoons for Jack and these thick glass shot glasses he can drink from that are hard to break. We’re skipping sippy cups since dentists don’t recommend them, and just use a water bottle on the road.

Clothes: I try to buy as much gender neutral organic clothing as I can so we can hopefully use it for another child down the line. We do laundry about every 5 days, so we try to buy only the amount of clothes we need to last us that long. Jack has a few gender neutral shoes as well.

Toys: I have a secret: Jack prefers to play with things that aren’t even children’s toys 😉 We have a few nice wooden toys for him, and my dad has a bunch at his house which they bought. Jack spends a lot of time playing with our pots and pans, kitchen paraphernalia,  putting things inside bowls or ceramic vases, pushing our ottoman around, or playing with our dog’s (nontoxic) balls. I think we have never bought him a toy ourselves, but it’s harder to get relatives not to buy him toys and instead give him clothes or donate to his college fund. We go to the park or library playroom at least once a day, so Jack gets to play with different things there too.

Books: We have a handful of board books, most that were from my childhood and are in different languages so they can’t be found at the library. Once he gets a little older we plan to get most books from the library instead of buying them. (For my husband and I, we almost always buy ebooks now).

Sleeping: We still have our crib sidecared, and in the future may buy some kind of natural full size mattress for a floor bed. We use my old cell phone as a while noise player.

Transportation: We have a convertible car seat in each of our cars, and my dad has one also. I’m storing our Orbit nontoxic infant seat to hopefully use with another baby. We still use the City Mini stroller sometimes, but only maybe once a week.  I use baby carriers multiple times a day though! I love my Toddler Tula and Bamberoo, and also use my ring sling for quick trips to the library (love the pocket which works as a purse). I put Jack high on my back in a woven wrap while I vacuum so he can see what’s going on.

Bath: Jack has showered with me since day one, or sometimes if he just has food on him I’ll do a rinse in the sink. We rarely use soap on him, and put coconut oil to prevent diaper rash and dry skin. He uses our organic towels, we don’t have any special baby bath things. For bath toys we have some bowls and a ball or two that rotate as bath toys.

Babyproofing: we bought some cheap light switch covers and a few string things to keep drawers closed, but other than that we don’t babyprrof most things and instead watch Jack and teach him to “be gentle” with the low-hanging art, or “let’s not touch the toilet water, it’s wet” etc. It’s been working well so far, but we’ll see if we need to change the plan as he ages.

Things we skipped buying: baby gates, baby monitors (we cosleep), a play yard, baby bath tub and bath products, and baby swing.

Review of Soft Star nontoxic children’s shoes

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Note: I didn’t get paid for doing this review, it’s just based on my own experiences

I spent a ton of time looking up companies that make kids shoes that are nontoxic and this one which makes shoes in Oregon is one of the best. I’ve ordered Jack two pairs of these adorable shoes from Soft Star shoes which are nontoxic leather without formaldehyde. I love how eco friendly the company is. Not only is their leather safely processed, but when I emailed them for more information about it they said:

Our leather is a by-product of the meat industry but we take every effort to use all of the leather (scraps for craft projects, schools, etc). We have a philosophy to  “walk lightly” on the earth and we do everything in our shop to do that.

I debated getting vegan shoes, but they are basically made from petroleum which is not eco friendly or safe for children.

Here are some pros and cons:

Pros:

  • They look like old fashioned adorable moccasins
  • The laces make them adjustable (more than shoes with elastic which didn’t fit Jack well)
  • They are pretty weather safe for rainy days
  • The company has many options such as sandals, shoes with elastic or velcro, and boots
  • You can choose from a large array of colors
  • They are hand made in the USA
  • The company makes shoes for babies through adults

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Cons:

  • The laces take longer to tie up than shoes with velcro or elastic
  • They are a little pricey (this version is $30, but others are $40+)
  • For Jack, the shoes were too easy to pull off, so I punched some extra holes and fixed the problem, but I’m sure that depends on the baby (Jack has pretty chubby ankles so things slide off his feet easily)
  • The soles are flexible but not as flexible as 100% leather shoes, so I think these are best for children, not 1st shoes for babies. The company makes other all leather moccasins that have elastic closure that would be better for babies because they are super flexible, although maybe less weather resistant.
  • softer soled moccasins from soft star

Facebook groups for crunchy moms

Since I’ve had Jack, I spend an embarrassing amount of time on facebook while he’s breastfeeding. I don’t know a ton of crunchy moms in real life, so facebook groups have been so helpful in making me feel like part of a community and having people to ask for advice. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Natural Toys and Children’s Items b/s/t

  • https://www.facebook.com/groups/402340353149076/
  • This is ony of my favorites and I’ve already mentioned it here
  • B/S/T stands for buy, sell, trade
  • It’s a nice place to find cheaper used wooden toys etc, but also to ask questions about anything crunchy

2. The babywearing Swap

  • https://www.facebook.com/groups/thebabywearingswap/
  • This super addictive group is just for buying and selling used baby carriers and wraps
  • I definitely look at it while not even planning to buy anything just because the wraps are so pretty!

3.  Babywearing 102

  • https://www.facebook.com/groups/Babywearing102/
  • This is the group where you can post questions about anything babywearing related, or pictures of you wrapping and they will give you tips

4. 102 Off-Topic

  • https://www.facebook.com/groups/102OT/
  • This is a group to talk about anything other than babywearing, and the moms tend to be super crunchy, use positive parenting, and know about breastfeeding etc

5. The Wait It Out Method (A toolkit approach to sleep training)

  • https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheWaitItOutTribe/
  • This group is for parents not using cry it out for sleeping, and is very helpful when you are at your wit’s end with a baby waking up all the time and want some moral support when everyone in real life seems to be sleep training

6. High Needs / AP / Spirit Families – Babies and Children+ …WORLDWIDE.

  • https://www.facebook.com/groups/354013614686652/
  • This group is not my favorite, but it can be helpful to ask questions about your high needs baby or see other peoples’ stories to get some perspective

7. Organic Kids Clothes Swap Sell Buy

  • https://www.facebook.com/groups/468453759909391/
  • This group probably has less clothes than the group #1 I listed, but is another one to check out if you want used organic clothes

8. Elimination Communication

  • https://www.facebook.com/groups/diaperfree/
  • This is useful to ask questions about specifics of EC (diaper free babies) or problem solve if you’re having a potty strike or anything

I also joined some specific groups for certain things like BumGenius b/s/t to buy used diapers of that brand, or Tula love to ask questions about what size Tula carrier to get. It’s a good idea to search for your favorite clothing brand and they might have a b/s/t group, or your favorite small stores may have a group or page you can “like” to see coupon codes occasionally. Hope this helps you waste a lot of time/connect with other crunchy parents!

Comparison of organic baby clothes brands

 

We have tried a bunch of different brands of organic baby clothes, and here are my thoughts (for our medium/large-sized baby who is now 10 months and 21 pounds). We particularly liked brands on Amazon because it’s easy to return them if they don’t fit. With so many cheap ($5 per item!) options available, there is no reason to dress your baby in conventional clothes that have pesticides, phthalates, formaldehyde, and chemical flame retardants on PJs!

Babysoy is on amazon and their shirts have been one of my favorites for fit. They have generous neck holes and also wider arm holes so Jack’s fingers don’t get stuck. We got a few of these T-shirts and wore them a lot, and you can even wear them past the recommended size since they are kind of wide-cut. I also like the Janey hats which run about 1 size small.

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Jack wearing babysoy shirt and hat, and toys r us organic pants

Under the nile is another of our favorites. We had a lot of the kimono shirts which were nice to not have to put over his head, but I think having to snaps all the snaps is actually harder than getting a shirt over their heads honestly. They also don’t seem to have sizes as large as the babysoy.

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wearing an under the nile shirt

I also recently discovered H&M makes organic baby and maternity clothes, and we got some cute shirts and pants for $5 each! It seems like their inventory changes often so I won’t link to anything specific, but they seem to have great deals. I found their sizes run one size large (we got 9 month shirts for our 10 month old).

Burt’s Bees also has organic baby clothes up to toddler age. I like that their clothes are all organic, and the prices are reasonable but you have to pay shipping and to pay shipping to return them. I found they also run AT LEAST one size small, and shrink a little too. Their head holes and arm holes sometimes can be on the small side for us too.

wearing a burt's bees romper

wearing a burt’s bees romper

We also ordered some shirts and pants from this random store I stumbled upon with great prices ($5 for an organic shirt and cheap shipping!) The sizes run quite large, and the section where the arm connects to the body is really big which I don’t like, but we used them as comfy relaxing at home outfits. The pants were fine and not as huge.

wearing this random shirt from horselover's hobbies and gifts

wearing this random shirt from horselover’s hobbies and gifts

I loved the fit of this long-sleeved shirt from Maple clothing. It was on the slightly cheaper side and was very well-made with thicker fabric and good sizing.

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maple organic shirt

We also got two shirts from Sage Creek organics which were very cute and colorful but ran small. One had buttons in front so it was fine, but the other one was tight to get his head in the hole.

Sage creek shirt with Gap bib

Sage creek shirt with Gap bib

The gap also has some gender-neutral organic clothes but they ran a little small and were expensive I thought. The quality was nice though.

I also saw that American Apparel has some organic things that are reasonably priced, but we never tried them.

In terms of accessories:

  • Our favorite legwarmers were from Barnyard Babies on etsy but I think they closed! The Babylegs brand dug into Jack’s thighs.
  • Our favorite socks are from Babysoy (size 12-18m fits out 10m old) after trying Jeffries and babylegs which both dug into his ankles.
  • Our favorite receiving blanket was the cheap hudson baby ones because they were the biggest. They worked well for swaddling, and I still use it as a blanket in the stroller now