If you’re expecting a baby, congratulations! As you’re getting ready for your little one’s arrival, it’s important to consider the safety of your home. One of the most important rooms to make safe is the nursery, and choosing the right crib mattress, baby furniture, and bedding is crucial.
Creating a non-toxic nursery can be daunting, but with a little bit of knowledge and preparation, it can be easy! Here are some tips to get you started:
Start with baby furniture that is made from natural materials. Look for furniture made from solid wood, bamboo, or rattan. Avoid particleboard and other man-made materials because they often contain toxic chemicals.
Also, pay attention to the wood finishes used. Ideally, you want a water-based finish with low- or zero-VOC. apart from non-toxic wood stains and paints, some manufacturers offer furniture pieces finished with natural oil, such as linseed oil.
It’s also good to check where the furniture was made. As some furniture made in Asia has been found to contain lead and other heavy metals, you should choose cribs and dressers made in the US or Europe.
The best nursery furniture is Greenguard GOLD certified. It means that the product has been tested and meets the most stringent chemical emissions standards. If you’re after a non-toxic crib and other chemical-free baby furniture, check the following brands:
Organic bedding is made without the use of pesticides or toxins, so it is safe for both you and your baby. The best fabric for organic baby sheets and baby blankets is cotton. It is breathable and absorbent, and it won’t irritate your baby’s skin. Check the label for the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certificate to be sure it is organic.
Another important certificate on crib sheets and swaddlers is OEKO Tex. This certificate means that all parts of the product, including zippers, buttons, and ink, have been tested for unsafe substances and are free from toxins. Apart from organic sleep sacks and baby sheets, consider buying an organic crib mattress protector and an organic baby pillow. The best brands that offer GOTS-certified crib bedding are:
The best option is an organic crib mattress made without flame retardants or other toxins. An organic crib mattress is usually made with natural materials like wool, cotton, or latex. To make sure that it’s non-toxic, check for the Greenguard, GOTS, or OEKO Tex certificates.
If you’re interested in more affordable non-toxic crib mattresses made of foam, be sure they’re CertiPUR-US certified. This means that the foam has been tested and does not release high amounts of toxic chemicals. Take a look at our recommendations:
Toys can often contain harmful substances that can be dangerous for your baby. Look for non-toxic baby toys that are made from natural materials like wood, bamboo, or cotton. Avoid toys that are made with synthetic materials like plastics, which can release harmful chemicals. If you choose plastic toys, check that they are Bisphenol-A (BPA) free.
This chemical has been linked to health problems like cancer and developmental problems. Check the following brands to find quality non-toxic baby toys free from dangerous substances:
Paint your baby’s nursery walls and furniture with zero VOC paint. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that can cause health problems like headaches, nausea and respiratory problems. They can also be unsafe for unborn babies and young children.
Look for paints that are certified by the Greenguard or GREENGUARD GOLD programs. This means that the paint does not release any harmful chemicals into the air. Some of the best non toxic paint brands for your nursery are:
Rugs and carpets can often contain toxins, so it’s important to choose a safe one for your nursery. Look for rugs that are made from natural wool or cotton. Avoid polypropylene rugs and those made with other synthetic materials like polyester, they can release unsafe chemicals. The best rugs are certified by the GOTS or OEKO Tex programs. Check these natural and non toxic nursery rugs:
Another nursery item that may contain toxins, such as formaldehyde, are changing pads. Those made of vinyl or polyurethane foam may unnecessarily increase your child’s exposure to VOC and other harmful substances.
Make sure that the cover is made of cotton and filling is either natural or made of CertiPur certified foam. Additionally, the pad should be Greenguard GOLD certified, which guarantees it’s completely safe for your baby. Take a look at the following options:
Cleaning products often contain unsafe chemicals that can be dangerous for your baby. These chemicals can be released into the air or absorbed into the surfaces in your nursery. Choose cleaning products that are certified by Green Seal, EPA Safer Choice, or Ecocert. These cleaners have been tested for toxins and are safe for use around children:
It will help you to get rid of toxins and allergens in your nursery. The air quality in your nursery will affect both you and your baby, so make sure you pick the right product for the job. The most recommended air purifiers feature a HEPA filter that can trap harmful particles like allergens, smoke, and dust. On top of that, the sound of an air purifier may be exactly what your baby needs to fall asleep!
Apart from using an air purifier, look for ways to increase ventilation in the baby nursery and the whole house. Start by opening the windows and letting fresh air circulate freely around the house. This will help remove toxic gases that may accumulate over time, especially if you buy new furniture or paint the walls.
Laundry detergent often contains toxins that can be dangerous for your baby. Choose a detergent that is certified by the USDA or Ecocert. These detergents are made without harmful compounds and are safe for use around children.
Curtains and drapes can often contain toxins that can be dangerous for your baby. Choose curtains and drapes made from natural materials like cotton, hemp, or wool.
Avoid curtains and drapes made with synthetic materials, which can release dangerous chemicals. The best curtains and drapes are certified by the GOTS or OEKO Tex programs.
When preparing a nursery for a new baby, it is important to avoid harmful chemicals and materials. Since babies spend a lot of time there, they are especially susceptible to the effects of these materials.
Many items in your nursery may go through the process of off-gassing, which means they release toxic gases into the air. Some common materials and chemicals to avoid in nursery furniture, crib mattresses and other items for babies include:
This type of plastic, also known as vinyl, can release dangerous fumes, including dioxin, a known carcinogen. It’s used in some nursery furniture and accessories, such as changing pads and high chairs, so check the label or ask the manufacturer before buying a baby item containing PVC.
These chemicals have been linked to a variety of health problems, including cancer and hormone disruption. Fire retardants are used in mattresses and upholstered furniture as well as textiles, so pick items that are Greenguard GOLD certified or use natural flame retardants such as wool, PLA or silica.
These chemicals are often found in plastic toys and other items, such as plastic bottles or feeding sets, and they can disrupt hormones causing a variety of health issues. Many phthalates are known endocrine disruptors and have been linked to a variety of health problems.
These metals can be harmful to developing brains and bodies, and they’ve been found to damage the central nervous system. They’re often found in paint, other finishes, and mattresses, so be sure to choose lead-free baby products.
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and can cause irritation and breathing problems. It’s often found in furniture, carpets and other baby items, so avoid baby products that contain it. Choose products made in the USA or Europe with stricter regulations and pay attention to safety certificates before buying.
These are emitted from certain materials such as paint, adhesives, & finishes. VOCs can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Look for low or zero-VOC products, such as paints, mattresses, and carpets, whenever possible.
It’s very difficult to completely eliminate VOC from your home, so to reduce your child’s exposure, increase ventilation in the nursery, regularly open the windows, and use an air purifier.
These chemicals have been linked to a variety of health problems, including developmental and other adverse effects. They can be found in stain-resistant fabrics on sofas, chairs, and carpets. Be sure to choose Greenguard GOLD-certified items and GOTS-certified rugs to make sure your baby is not exposed to these chemicals in the nursery.
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Creating a non-toxic nursery is not as difficult as it may seem. By following a few simple tips, you can create a safe and healthy environment for your baby. Be sure to use natural materials whenever possible and avoid harsh chemicals.
Always read the labels on cribs, crib mattresses, and other baby nursery items to check if a product is safe for use in a nursery and if it’s got the right certificates, such as Greenguard GOLD, GOTS, and Oeko-Tex. These certificates show that a product has been tested and found to be free from toxins and safe for babies.
Creating a non-toxic nursery is not only good for your baby’s health but also for the environment. Choosing natural and sustainable materials can help reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in the world. So why not give it a try and create a safe space for your little one?
My name is Kamila, and I'm passionate about researching non-toxic, organic products for the home. I believe it's so important to create a safe and healthy environment for our families, and I enjoy helping others do the same.