Non-Toxic, Safe Baby Products Every Family Should Know About
Wiseman Family Practice reviews non-toxic and environmentally friendly baby products every family should be aware of including; paints, bedding, clothing, toys, diapers, pacifiers, bottles ,etc.. Dr. Jeremy Wiseman meets with Jim Holland, owner of Eco-Wise, a one-stop eco shop in downtown Austin, TX.
This video is about the local general store Eco-Wise and the environmentally friendly and safe baby products available there. To view the video, click here. For other informative videos, visit the Wiseman Family Practice YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/WisemanHealth.
Since 1990, Eco-Wise has been your green building, eco-everything store. Located just off South Congress in Austin’s Travis Heights neighborhood, we have supplied Austin and beyond with non-toxic, sustainable products for building, gardening, working, and all-around living. From rain barrels to baby clothes, Eco-Wise has you covered. Visit www.ecowise.com for more information.
YouTube Video Transcript:
[Non-Toxic, Safe Baby Products with Wiseman Family Practice and Eco-Wise]
[Wiseman Family Practice Integrative Medicine and Total Wellness]
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Hey, everyone. Jeremy Wiseman here with Wiseman Family
Practice. I’m in Austin, Texas off South Congress Avenue at a place called Eco-Wise.
Now, what Eco-Wise is: [It] is basically a general store for anything green. When I
use the word “green,” I mean any products that are non-toxic to you and the
environment, products that are sustainable to you and the environment, and
products that are created, or produced, in an ethical and humane manner.
Now, Eco-Wise offers a variety of these products, from household cleaning products
to water filters, baby products, home-building materials, and a whole lot more. I
really think it’s important to find a store like this for the health of you and your
family, because, unfortunately, we live in a chemical world today. And in fact, there
are over 100,000 chemicals in commercial use today, most of which have not been
tested for and a lot of these we see on a daily basis. So again, I think stores like these
are extremely important.
So let’s go in. We’ll meet Jim Holland, the owner of Eco-Wise. We’ll learn about his
vision and what the store has to offer. And today we’re going to highlight safe baby
products for all the new mothers out there. Let’s get started.
>> Jim: Howdy!
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Hey, Jim!
>> Jim: Nice to see you.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: How are you doing? Good to see you.
>> Jim: Welcome!
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: I guess let’s start off by introducing yourself and telling us a
little bit about what Eco-Wise is about and your vision.
>> Jim: Well, I’m Jim Holland. I’ve been doing Eco-Wise since 1990. It’s a one-stop
eco shop, which means we provide choices for people who want a greener, healthier
lifestyle. Austin is a very educated community. People are out there looking because
they know some of the stuff they are getting for their children, their pets, and their
houses are toxic.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Not ideal, right.
>> Jim: Exactly. So what we try to do is provide an educated choice, right here in one
spot. We have different sections for all parts of your lifestyle. We’re dedicated to
trying to keep the planet healthy . . .
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Absolutely.
>> Jim: . . . by micro-incentives for the future.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Well, today we’re going to highlight safe baby products, so
let’s start with the nursery.
>> Jim: Let’s do that. OK.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: OK, Jim, so the cornerstone of any healthy nursery is,
obviously, clean or healthy paint for the child. Is that correct?
>> Jim: Yes, absolutely. It’s important to have a healthy environment for a newborn.
Unfortunately, people go out and buy paint that may be a little bit toxic, not thinking
about what’s going to go on in that nursery—off-gassing of the solvents in the paint.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Breathing it in?
>> Jim: Breathing it in. You get lots of paints rated in what’s called VOCs: volatile
organic compounds. All of our paints are zero. Very few other paints are zero, which
means that things are going into the atmosphere (the nursery). The baby could be
breathing it and it could toxic to the health of the child.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: OK, so all the paints that you guys sell here . . .
>> Jim: including the tints are biocide free, preservative free, and solvent free.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: OK, Jim, so the next foundation for a healthy nursery is,
obviously, bedding because the child usually sleeps anywhere from 12 to 16 hours a
>> Jim: Right. We look at bedrooms as a fortress of health, which means that
everything in the bedroom should be as healthy as possible because that’s where the
kid is going to be spending most of its time (or tremendous amounts of time). So
things like bedding, mattresses, any kind of covering that the child is going to be
swaddled in should be the least toxic as possible—organic.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Yeah, let’s talk about the mattress. What are your
recommendations for that?
>> Jim: Well, I would say avoid anything that’s plastic, that’s going to be off-
gassing—things that have flame retardants, that have pesticides in them, which are
lots of mattresses. They’ll have glues in them that can be off-gassing.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Polyurethane?
>> Jim: Polyurethanes, glues, formaldehydes. These things are all in traditional
mattresses. And you have a small bedroom and you put the baby in there and close
the door. You can have actually a build-up of poisons, which is unhealthy.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: So, specifically, how are these sheets more beneficial than, I
guess, your conventional sheets?
>> Jim: Well, these are certified organic cotton, which means there are no pesticides
in the [cotton] fields. So no pesticide residues can end up on your child. You don’t
want pesticides on your kid, so obviously you have to have a certification program.
You can’t just take the manufacturers’ word for it. We’ve done the research. These
are the products that are going to be pesticide free.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Explain this product or these products here.
>> Jim: Well, this product is from Save Our Soil. It’s an organization, a very pro-
organic company in Central Texas. It grows certified organic cotton. And they
provide tons of products for children and infants.
These are necessary things: like this blanket, for example, and these socks, and this
Onesie. These are things, like you said, that kids are going to be spending a
tremendous amount of time in and it’s touching their skin. That’s why you want to
have an option.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Yeah, these are great options.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: OK, Jim, next topic: pacifiers and bottles. What’s your
opinion on that?
>> Jim: Well, BPA-free. Plastic is bad, essentially.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: This is for bottles?
>> Jim: This is for bottles or sippy cups or any kind of fluid delivery system.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Stay away from plastic if you can.
>> Jim: Totally. Stay with ceramic or glass if you can. And you can, it’s easy to do.
They’re available in many places. So we prefer people go with inert silicone.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: OK. Now, this is for nipples or pacifiers?
>> Jim: Nipples on bottles, yes, exactly.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: So this one right here is a rubber one?
>> Jim: Exactly.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: The negative of this is that it can cause a latex allergy in the
>> Jim: Right.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: So silicone is . . .
>> Jim: a safer choice.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: It’s probably more ideal.
>> Jim: Right.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: OK, so basically, you just stay away from all plastic pacifiers
>> Jim: In my opinion, yes, you should. Absolutely.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: OK, Jim, turning to baby diapers. There seems to be battle
lines drawn between the old-school cloth diapers and the more modern disposable
diapers. Can you explain that?
>> Jim: Well, a lot of people have a misconceived idea that using reusable diapers is
difficult, hard, stinky, and gross. You’re cleaning your baby’s butt anyway (that’s on
the side). You might as well use a natural, healthy product versus something that’s
going to trap gases, like ammonia, in a plastic bag, basically.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: And then the plastics they are exposed to.
>> Jim: And then it’s going to go in our landfills.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Gotcha.
>> Jim: It’s a big, unnecessary thing that happens. You can use reusable diapers.
They’ll save you thousands of dollars. They’re healthier. They breathe unlike a lot of
the disposables; they don’t trap the gases in there. It’s just easy to do. It’s been done
for thousands of years, no reason to go for this disposable-society concept.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Exactly. And a lot of babies actually do better as far as their
rashes or eczema with the natural cloth.
>> Jim: Right. You’ll save money, again, for diaper creams, which are unnecessary.
Unnecessary visits to the doctor because you’re concerned about this chapped skin
you’ve got. All these things can be eliminated by taking these steps. If you’re
breastfeeding, and you should be, the poop coming out of your child for the first four
or five months is almost negligible. They [babies] absorb all that milk because it’s
natural for them, so there isn’t really the poop-fear. So it’s easy, just take the
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Yeah, let’s talk about some of the examples here. So this is
basically the standard cloth, right? It’s not fitted to the baby. It’s just a . . .
>> Jim: It’s a one size fits all.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: One size fits all. So basically you just wrap it around. Do
they [people] still use pens?
>> Jim: No longer use pens. Basically, you’ll use a cover. They’ll [the diapers] have
Velcro. You just put the diaper on the baby . . .
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: And put that around. It’s the cover.
>> Jim: And put this on them. And as the baby grows, you just let it out. So this is not
like a temporary product. This will last for at least a year.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: You just wash it?
>> Jim: You can use it again. Yes, wash everything!
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Now, these are kind of combining the new and the old,
meaning it’s the old-school cloth but it’s fitted to the baby. Is that right?
>> Jim: It’s a convenience factor. It’s more of a fitted product. It’s got a liner inside . . .
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: This is the liner [holding up liner/diaper]. You just pull that
>> Jim: As well as this is the diaper, too. This is a diaper. This is a liner. If there’s not
much there, you don’t have to wash the diaper.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Interesting concept, that’s great.
>> Jim: And it breathes. It breathes. There are no dyes here.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: OK. And this would be the most modern of the hybrids?
>> Jim: This is very comfortable, very soft fiber. It’s great because babies’ skins are
very dry, especially in their butt area. So this is a wonderful product.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: So this combines the cover, the liner, and the cotton
>> Jim: Right. You just turn it upside down. Velcro it back-to-back and throw it into
the washing machine.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: OK, Jim, with baby toys. Now, I actually found this one quite
interesting because this is another potential toxin source.
>> Jim: Oh, absolutely. Baby toys can be full of formaldehydes, off-gassing of dyes in
things. They can be very toxic.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Right.
>> Jim: Especially the newer they are from the production line to the baby. These
plastic boxes, they’ll hold the gases and such in. Plus the packaging and stuff is just
landfill and trash.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Exactly.
>> Jim: So you want to try to aim yourself towards products that the baby, you
know, [will] put in its mouth—it’s not going to be a bad thing.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: So what’s the approach? You have the wood approach and
then you have, obviously, the organic fabric approach.
>> Jim: Right.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: OK, like on this one right here.
>> Jim: Right. It’s vegetable-dyed organic cotton. Typically, small-business made. We
like to use products that are educational but at the same time, they [children] are
not going to hurt themselves, poke themselves in the eye.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Blunt. So not too sharp?
>> Jim: Right, very rounded objects. And, also, if they fall off the table, they can be
reused forever and ever. Maybe it becomes a treasured possession later in life. “My
mom, dad, uncle gave it to me.”
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Sure.
>> Jim: So we also like to try to teach kids about, you know, wildlife.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: And this is for toddlers and babies?
>> Jim: Exactly, all the way from babies to toddlers on up. And educational, we want
to make sure we get kids going earlier, use their imagination. So we try to make sure
all these things are going to be educational, non-toxic, reusable, sustainable.
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: You guys are big proponents of the wood ones, too. I notice
that you have a lot of the wood toys.
>> Jim: Well, yeah, unfortunately we’re fighting that battle all the time. It’s hard to
source wood products. They have milk paint on them, which is non-toxic. Again,
small company; not made in China. Typically made in Europe, where they have been
making wood toys for thousands of years. So they have actually an established
industry over there. The sustainability, again, remember the life cycle. Where are
these going to go when they’re finished? Is it going to be biodegradable? Is it going
to sit in a landfill for 25,000 years? So you kind of [have] to think forward. When you
have a child, you’re more likely to start thinking forward. What’s the world going to
be like for my kid or my grandkids?
>> Dr. Jeremy Wiseman: Gotcha.
So I hope you learned something about Eco-Wise and what a store like this has to
offer. Now, remember, when looking for safe baby products, look for the following:
1. For paint: use non-VOC paint made from natural substances such as clay,
balsam, and milk.
2. Bedding: Use natural organic cotton or wool mattresses that are free of
toxins such as PVC, phthalates, and fire retardants. Use organic cotton sheets
3. For clothing: Use organic cotton or organic wool when possible.
4. When buying diapers: Avoid disposable plastic diapers that can be harmful to
your baby and to the environment. Use natural organic cotton cloth diapers.
Newer hybrid diapers offer advantages of both cloth and a disposable inner
lining that is eco-friendly.
5. For bottles and pacifiers: Avoid plastic bottles and use glass bottles. Avoid
plastic nipples or pacifiers and use ones made from silicone or rubber.
6. For toys: Use blunt wooden toys without chemical finishes such as toxic
paint, sealant residues, or formaldehyde adhesives. When using fabric-based
toys, use ones that are made from organic fiber fabrics such as cotton, hemp,
7. For skincare: Use bathing and skin products with all natural ingredients.
And remember the importance of breastfeeding, as much as possible, for at least one