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Lets face it, babies love to poop! So exposing their little bottoms to an organic or non-toxic changing pad is a great way to help reduce chemical exposure when they’re tiny.
The trouble with so many of today’s modern baby products, from changing pads to play mats, is that they contain chemicals such as BPA, phthalates and flame retardants – chemicals increasingly linked with a number of heath concerns.
It’s impossible to avoid these types of chemicals completely, but you can reduce exposure to them by shopping around for baby products that are as toxin free as possible.
Chemicals to avoid in changing pads:
As with play mats, petroleum based polyurethane foam is a common material in baby changing pads. Polyurethane is often treated with flame retardants, a suspected endocrine disruptor.
Keep in mind as well, that even if a polyurethane product states it is flame retardant free, it may still ‘off-gas’ VOCS. This means potentially harmful VOCS (volatile organic compounds) may release into the air, where it’s possible to inhale them. Whilst some argue low level exposure to VOCS from won’t do much harm, other research suggests otherwise. More research into the effects of VOCS in the home is also needed.
So instead, look for changing pads made from natural materials or, where polyurethane foam is used, look for the CertiPUR-US or Greenguard certification. This indicates the product is at least free from flame retardants or has low levels of indoor chemical emissions.
Let’s take a look at 3 of the best non toxic changing pads for baby that cut down on the chemical load.
3 non toxic changing pads for baby
The Naturepedic Organic Cotton Contoured Changing Pad is a popular non-toxic option and for good reason. It features a 100% food-grade polyethylene support layer filled with unbleached, undyed organic cotton, so there’s no polyurethane foam or latex in the pad at all.
The organic cotton fabric top layer includes a polyethylene food-grade waterproof coating, making the pad easy to clean with a damp cloth.
In terms of safety, handy snap-screws easily secure the pad to a dresser and the child safety buckle adds extra security for wriggle-some babies. You can also choose from a 2 or 4 sided pad.
Free from: Vinyl, PVC, phthalates, polyurethane foam, latex, soy, flame retardant chemicals/barriers.
GOTS Organic and Greenguard certified.
Oeuf’s Pure and Simple Contoured Changing Pad is a slightly more affordable option, but it does contain foam.
The support is made from fiberboard and the filling high grade food based polyurethane, but it is from renewable sources, plant-based (marigold family) and flame retardant free (Oeuf confirmed this via email).
Oeuf also advises that their changing pads are made by Colgate Kids in Atlanta, who are Greenguard certified. This means the changing pads meets strict chemical emission limits.
The pad is topped with a cloth cover backed with food-grade polyurethane and whilst the product description states this is ‘wet proof’, a waterproof cover is strongly advised to enable easy wiping and prevent staining.
Includes safety strap to attach to a dresser or you can buy it with the Oeuf changing tray.
Free from: Flame retardants, PVC, Phthalates, BPA, Formaldehyde.
Moonlight Slumber’s Contoured Changing Pad is another affordable, less toxic option to consider.
Again, the changing pad does contain foam, but it’s Greenguard certified, so it’s at least been tested for low chemical emissions.
The wipe clean changing pad cover is waterproof, although it’s made from a blend of medical-grade, stretch knit and polyester. I’m not personally a fan of man-made fabrics, as they don’t breath well and often use harsh chemicals in the manufacturing process, but you do get an organic cotton cover included with the pad, which will help protect baby’s sensitive skin.
Free from: Phthalates, vinyl, PVC and spray on fire retardants (some Moonlight Slumber products do contain a fire-resistant stocking and its not clear whether the pad does or not, or indeed what the stocking is made from).
A Simple Alternative To A Full Blown Changing Pad!
If you want to go completely natural and avoid plastic or foam altogether, another practical option is a simple wool change pad or puddle mat. Whilst not waterproof, wool is highly absorbent and pretty effective at repelling water.
These upcycled puddle mats on Etsy get great reviews and they’re made from super soft, breathable, 100% recycled wool. The mats are also felted for added leak protection. They’re also hand washable.
The puddle mats ship from Canada, but shipping costs are reasonable to other countries (Under £6 to UK for example, when I last looked).
Non Toxic Changing Pads: A Final Word
If you want to avoid polyurethane foam completely, I’d personally go for the Naturepedic non toxic changing pad.
For more affordable options, The Oeuf and Moonlight Slumber changing pads certainly cut down on the chemical load, but they do still contain foam in some form.
If budget isn’t an option and you want to skip plastic completely, its also worth mentioning the Holy Lamb Changing Table Pad. It’s super luxurious, handmade in the US and filled with ‘premium eco wool’ batting. For these reasons though, it doesn’t come cheap, so probably isn’t within most people’s baby budgets!
Whichever changing pad you opt for, happy nappy changing…