Clothes Tips & Hacks

Is Organic Cotton Better For Babies?

Whether you are buying hats, bibs, booties, sleep sacks or bedding for your little one, something you will no doubt be wondering is whether you should buy organic or conventional cotton.

As babies have much more sensitive sensitive skin than adults, it is safer to choose organic rather than conventional cotton for your baby.

Unlike conventional cotton, organic cotton is not produced using harmful toxins and pesticides, so it’s more gentle for sensitive skin.

But the lack of harmful chemicals is not the only reason why this cotton is a better choice for your little one.

Why Is Cotton Popular For Baby Clothing?

Cotton is an excellent fabric for making baby clothes for several reasons.

Some of the most notable advantages of cotton include being:

  • Natural
  • Soft
  • Breathable
  • Washable
  • Durable

But as this cotton is more expensive to produce, it naturally commands a higher retail price compared to similar items made with conventional cotton.

So the question is, should you pay extra for items made using organic cotton?

Difference Between Organic and Conventional Cotton

Isn’t all cotton the same?

Well, not exactly.

You might be surprised to learn there is quite a big difference between the two, particular regarding the use of toxic chemicals.

Let’s take a look at the two types in more detail.

Conventional Cotton

The process used to make conventional cotton involves the use of toxic pesticides and chemicals.

These chemicals are used during the washing, dyeing and weaving stages and may cause irritation to a baby’s sensitive skin.

During the process used to produce conventional cotton, GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) seeds are often used to grow cotton balls, which are then sprayed with pesticides and insecticides.

Because not all traces of these chemicals wash off during the manufacturing process, they will still be present in clothing made from conventional cotton.

Organic Cotton

The process used to make organic cotton is more complex, and importantly it does not use any harmful chemicals and toxins, because it is produced using natural cotton seeds which are grown in chemical-free soil.

Most organic cotton fields use rain water rather than irrigation, and the farmers do not use any chemicals or pesticides at any stage of the process.

Producers also refrain from using bleach or dye that contains chemical toxins.

As you can imagine, because this is a more elaborate process, it’s also more expensive.

Why Is Organic Cotton Better For Babies?

So why exactly is this type of cotton a better choice for your little one?

Some of the main benefits of choosing this type of cotton when shopping for your baby include:


In theory, it cotton should last longer.

Cotton is a strong and resilient fiber, but the chemicals used during the growing and weaving process of conventional cotton can damage some of theses natural properties.

As organic cotton is closer to its natural form, it retains more of this natural durability and could therefore last longer.

Better For Babies’ Skin

We’ve already mentioned how organic cotton is free from toxic chemicals.

But why is this important for babies?

A baby’s skin is much thinner, more absorbent and more sensitive than the skin of older children and adults.

So because a baby’s skin absorbs chemicals more quickly than you and me, dressing your little one in organic cotton reduces the likelihood of skin irritations.

Related: The Complete Guide To Buying & Caring For Baby Clothes

Environmental Impact

By not using harmful chemicals, pesticides and toxins, the farming and production method of organic cotton is said to be better for the environment compared to conventional cotton.

However, the yields of organic cotton are lower, which means they need more land to produce the same amount of cotton when compared to conventional methods.

This disadvantage of organic cotton also means it requires more water during production, but if the water comes from rain water (which is often but not always the case), using more water is less of an issue.

Softer & More Comfortable

Many people claim organic cotton is softer, because the chemicals used in producing conventional cotton are harsh and lead the fiber to become scratchy.

Even if it doesn’t cause skin irritation, a scratchy fabric is likely to irritate a baby, and as all parents know, if there’s anything you can do to easily improve your baby’s mood then it’s worth doing!

Tori is mama to 3 year old Isabella and co-founder of Rockinbaby. She has a BSc in Psychology, is a certified yoga teacher and is a working mom. In her free time Tori loves cooking delicious foods and baked treats, entertaining and working out. Learn more about Tori here.

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