Are We Asking Enough Questions?
I made the decision a few weeks ago to move into producing only sleepwear and accessories moving forward into the fall/winter season of 2017. Our sleepwear sales (our Organic Shortie PJs) have been really successful and I see a big void in the market (don’t even get me started on how ugly children’s sleepwear is. ) But working in sleepwear comes with working to make sure that I meet all the requirements of the regulations put in place for children’s sleepwear. That in itself is a whooooooole ‘nother blog but it has had me thinking a lot about regulating of children’s items and the consumer. What does a safety stamp really mean? Are we blindly following a seal of approval by a government body or worse, just simply because it’s on the shelf in assuming that the product is healthy, safe and good for our kids?
When I had Mila there seemed to be this laundry list of items that was on every moms’ “must have” list for newborns. As I started to follow along and buy things that seemed the norm and popular, I stumbled onto an article that shook me up a little bit. A very popular item for infants was being questioned about its safety and developmental appropriateness in the article and it all made sense. My common sense kicked in and I suddenly started to ask myself, how many of these things on this “must have” list were actually good for my baby?
The sad realization was – not many. Despite the fact that items are covered in stamps and seals of approval saying they have been tested and follow regulatory standards, it still doesn’t mean that the item is necessarily good for them. Many of them have these seals and then also have fine print littered with warnings. I’ll give you an example – front facing carriers. There’s gazillions of them on the market and every mom I know seems to have one and use one. Not going to lie – I have one and I put my baby in it front facing 3 times. Social media is littered with moms bouncing their kids facing out in their front facing carriers. They all have lots of words to explain why the carriers are okay for babies and their development. But a little bit of further research about them and you’ll very quickly unearth a host of professionals that cringe because the reality is, it’s not a natural position to put a baby in for an extended period of time. Long term damage? Probably not. Good for them? Probably not. But they are out there on the shelves and it seems like everyone has one so I think we fall into the trap of “if everyone has one it must be good” mentality.
When did we start putting blind faith into advertising, government regulatory bodies and safety approvals and stop asking questions? I think the creation of these regulations are brilliant – things should be regulated and there should be a standard. Children’s sleepwear is a great example of that. You should be able to trust that because there are regulations in place that when you purchase sleepwear, you can feel confident that it meets those requirements. That being said, I don’t think that means we should stop asking questions. As a producer, I love when people ask me questions about my product. It gives me a chance to discuss why I make the choices I make to not only meet requirements but to go above and beyond them to promote health in babies.
Ask questions. PSA for the week over.