Originally published by Today’s Parent, May 2022

Recently my husband and I bribed our three-year-old to stay in her bed all night by letting her wear her Queen Elsa dress to sleep. She began wearing it every waking (and sleeping) moment. And even though my house is now covered in glittery sparkles, our tactic worked, and  I was so proud of my parenting hack.    

Until, that is, my mom suggested I should be mindful of the amount of time my kids spend in synthetic fabrics. (The dress is made of polyester, elastane and a whole lotta glitter.) Parenting high over. Thank you, Irene.

At first, I laughed off this kernel of less-than-helpful commentary from my mom, but then the old familiar questions and doubts started rolling around in my head again. In the last couple of months alone, I have read reports of toxic chemicals found in clothes from popular fast-fashion Amazon brands, heavy metals in pre-made baby foods, been warned by a health blogger to not use scented candles in my home, and wondered if I should switch to a “natural” brand of bubble bath because my two toddlers spend the majority of their bath time drinking soapy water. (The youngest is one.)

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