My husband and I recently had our first child, and let me tell you, the amount of preparation needed for this little one was unlike anything we’ve ever experienced.

(True story: I was told I needed to create a baby registry, and immediately handed the task over to my sister, who has two little boys. Creating a wedding registry? Sure, I can figure out what our new home needs. But a baby registry? Umm…he’ll probably need some onesies? And diapers? And that’s where my knowledge ends.)

Before our son was born, and now after, it’s been a fascinating trip down the baby rabbit hole, a whole new world (to me) of CPG products that need inspecting and considering. And let me tell you, there is a lot to consider in the world of baby products. From food to wipes to diapers to baby analgesics to bottles and binkies and…and…just, everything. (Including designer baby barf bags.) (I kid you not.)

And then there is of course the question that consumers face not only for baby products, but for all products we purchase these days:

To organic? Or not to organic?

Such a little human, such a big choice
Baby products are big business—that’s not really news. But the way products are categorized today is wildly different compared to how/when my husband and I were raised. Organic and natural, for example, weren’t quite as de rigueur as they are today. Back in the 1980s, the organic movement was just getting started, really, and our parents didn’t have the myriad product choices available to them as my husband and I do today.

According to a 2015 Nielsen survey1http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/nielsenglobal/jp/docs/report/2015/20150829%20Global%20Baby%20Care%20Report%20Revised%20FINAL.PDF, North America accounts for half of all diaper sales in the world, and just under half of all formula sales. That’s a lot of dollars manufacturers are earning from sleep-deprived parents. And for manufacturers of organic and natural baby products, the dollars are only going to increase—a 2014 study by the Organic Trade Association shows that 8 out of 10 households in the U.S. bought an organic product for their kids at some point during the year.2http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/more-parents-choosing-organic-for-their-kids-says-new-study-263235291.html

Parents want what’s best for their kiddos, and in a world where we’re bombarded by products that can be laden with fake colors, preservatives, scents, flavors, it all gets to be a bit overwhelming. And when you contrast those products against an organic or natural product where one can actually make sense of an ingredient list….well, that sets off a bell in a lot of parents’ heads that perhaps the latter is a better choice for their baby.

The baby care market is expected to hit $66.8 billion in sales by 2017—that’s next year!3http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/baby-care-products-market-will-reach-usd-668-billion-globally-in-2017-transparency-market-research-145731275.html And likely, organic and natural products will account for a significant chunk of that sales pie. Parents have a ton of decisions to make when it comes to their kids, and while that can be a bit mind-boggling at times, it’s also awesome to know that so many choices abound, and that so many of those choices put natural, organic products front and center for all the little humans toddling around.

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1. http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/nielsenglobal/jp/docs/report/2015/20150829%20Global%20Baby%20Care%20Report%20Revised%20FINAL.PDF
2. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/more-parents-choosing-organic-for-their-kids-says-new-study-263235291.html
3. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/baby-care-products-market-will-reach-usd-668-billion-globally-in-2017-transparency-market-research-145731275.html

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