Baby skin is incredibly delicate and sensitive. It still lacks a strong protective barrier against allergens, chemicals or scratches. Babies can easily overheat, and sweaty skin becomes irritated quickly. Therefore, it is very important to consciously choose textiles that have direct contact with the child's skin, and also provide an insulating layer, such as a blanket or a sleeping bag.
So what should you pay attention to when choosing?
Here, the matter is not very complicated, because there are only 2 most important aspects:
The raw material from which the textiles are made, i.e. the type of material - we can find out from the label sewn into the product.
A certificate confirming whether the material has been allowed to come into contact with the baby's skin - this information must be found in the product description (on the website, leaflet or paper tag).
What material should the product for the Child be made of?
First of all, it is natural, breathable and delicate in texture. Natural raw materials allow the skin to breathe, they are safe for the environment, because they are biodegradable.
Cotton - the most popular raw material for children. It does not require intensive processing, regardless of the type of material (fabric or knitwear), it can be used to obtain a soft, delicate product. It also does not require a large amount of chemicals to be processed, thanks to which we can easily obtain textiles suitable for contact with the child's skin. Thanks to the breathability, we avoid overheating and sweating the Toddler.
Bamboo - the raw material from which fabrics and knitted fabrics are made with very nice properties: antibacterial, thermoregulatory, water-absorbing and hypoallergenic. It could be considered an ideal material, but it has one big drawback - the complicated process of processing bamboo to obtain fiber, sometimes it is not eco-friendly - it requires a lot of water and chemicals. Therefore, in order to enjoy the properties of bamboo while caring for the environment, you should look for materials with organic fiber origin (e.g. GOTS certificate - more below). We should also choose modern bamboo fibers such as modal and lyocell / TENCEL®. The latter has the most ecological production process, in contrast to the classic bamboo viscose.
Wool - a natural thermal insulator, fully biodegradable and free from high processing, but unfortunately, classic wool is not friendly to allergy sufferers. The less processed wool, the more allergenic it is. It is worth choosing more expensive, but safe knitted fabrics made of merino wool or alpaca wool. Merino sheep wool is also softer, more elastic, it is used to make the best thermal insulation underwear. Importantly, not only does it not irritate the skin, but thanks to the thin structure of fibers, it protects and prevents abrasions.
Linen - a great natural, breathable fiber, unfortunately quite hard, which is why it is rarely used in baby textiles. Perfect for an older child.
Synthetic materials - polyester, polyamide, elastane, etc. The fibers of these materials are made of plastic and chemicals. These materials usually dry faster, are more durable, but unfortunately they have many more volatile chemicals in them, they are flammable and with a thick basis (e.g. fleece, velvet, minky, etc.) they have much worse breathability.
When can synthetic materials come in handy? When we need durability and warmth, but without close contact with the skin, e.g. the outer part of a sleeping bag for a stroller, the underside of a blanket on which the child lies or sits. A polyester oat filling for bedding (light, breathable, hypoallergenic down) will also work.
What certificates should the material from which the product is sewn for a baby have?
The most important and the most popular certificate is OEKO-Tex® Standard 100. Certification with this mark tells us that the product is free from harmful substances and is allowed to come into contact even with the skin of the most sensitive recipient, i.e. a baby. Importantly, both the base material, the material after printing (i.e. the influence of paints) and the filling (in the case of blankets, bedding or sleeping bags) are certified.
All elements from which the product is sewn should have their own certificate, and information about it should be provided by the manufacturer. Sometimes the final product is also certified, but when all elements have proven safety, it is no longer necessary.
A very interesting certificate and more and more common is GOTS, i.e. Global Organic Textile Standard. It can be obtained by textiles with proven organic origin and manufacturing process. This is especially important for bamboo fibers, the production process of which is sometimes aided by a large amount of chemicals.
Regardless of the choice of material, always wash the product (also toys) before the first use and observe the child's skin if there is no rash, irritation or overheating after contact with the material.
#textiles for a child
#textiles for babies
# cotton or minky