How to create a non-toxic nursery for your baby

Today’s moms have more to consider when decorating the nursery than simply picking crib bedding that perfectly coordinates with the rug. We want a nursery that is safe, earth-friendly and above all, non-toxic. If you are a bit green (pun intended) on creating an eco-friendly nursery, follow these tips on creating a healthy space for your baby.

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Nursery crib for boys

Flooring
Between tummy time and crawling, your child will be spending a lot of time on the floor. Carpet can harbor dust mites, dirt and allergens, as well as emit VOCs into the air. One non-toxic alternative is to have hard-wood flooring paired with an area rug that is made of all-natural fibers, such as untreated wool, hemp (like a 100% hemp rug from Abundant Earth) or organic cotton. If you can’t give up carpet, make sure it is Green Label Plus Certified (tested to be low in VOCs) and vacuum 2-3 times a week with a vacuum that contains a HEPA filter.

paint can

Paint
Whether you want the walls painted princess pink or sky blue, make sure you are using a paint that minimizes how much odor and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are emitted. VOCs are released as paint dries, therefore it is important you keep the room well-ventilated and avoid painting when you are pregnant. Try to have the nursery painted well in advance to avoid exposing your baby to unnecessary chemicals. Serena & Lily Signature paints are formulated to have zero VOCs and low odor making them a great non-toxic paint choice.

Furniture
The crib and changing table should be made of all-natural wood with a non-toxic finish, such as this solid maple wood crib from Totally Organic. Furniture that is made from particleboards or veneers can release toxic gasses, such as formaldehyde, into the air. Cribs that have polyurethane coatings or other harsh stains can contribute to a toxic nursery. Look for furniture with an all-natural finish, such as beeswax.

Swanky Baby Organic Crib Linens SetBaby bedding
Your baby (hopefully!) spends a lot of time sleeping in his crib, so it is especially important to make that space non-toxic. Buy a crib mattress that contains all-organic cotton filling or wool casings and avoid mattresses that contain the fire- retardant polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). All crib bedding (mattress protector, sheets, bumpers, blankets) needs to be free of the toxic flame-retardant PBDE and should be made of all-organic cotton. The Quilted Organic Crib Set from Dwell Studio is an eco-friendly choice as it is made of 100% organic cotton and processed without harsh dyes or chemicals. The Swanky Baby bedding set featured at right is organic and, with any luck, suggestive.

Baby care
Stock your nursery with baby care products that are free of toxic chemicals, such as sodium lauryl sulfate, artificial preservatives and dyes. Earth Mama Angel Baby products and California Baby are both good all-organic baby care lines that will keep your baby as non-toxic as his nursery.

Cleaning products
Use non-toxic products that do not contain harsh cleaners and are biodegradable. Seventh Generation and Simple Green are just two in a growing market of earth-friendly cleaning products. Avoid using commercial air fresheners that only coat your nasal passages to hamper your sense of smell. An earth-friendly option is to place a small dish of baking soda and lemon in the nursery to absorb odors from the diaper pail.

Air purifier
Are you gawking at the price of solid wood furniture and new flooring? If you can’t do it all, an air purifier can help remove the chemicals and other allergens circulating through the air.

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