Creating a Non-Toxic Nursery
Preparing the nursery for your new baby can be one of the most magical experiences of parenthood. Imagining your little one sleeping in the crib, kicking on the changing table, and crawling across the new carpet can be downright exciting! Often it’s only after the new furniture has been delivered, the room painted, and the toys purchased that a parent begins to think – uh-oh, is all of this stuff safe and healthy? Well, chances are a lot of it is not. Everything from the paint to carpet to mattresses can contain chemicals hazardous to young children. For example, conventional paint (which contains VOC’s) off-gases toxic chemicals that can cause headaches, eye irritations and damage to the kidneys, liver, and central nervous system.
Another potential health problem is formaldehyde, which off-gasses from carpet glues, permanent press curtains and pressed wood furniture. Formaldehyde is a gas. It can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat and is a common asthma trigger. It has been shown to cause cancer in animals and may also cause cancer in humans, according to the EPA. Adding in a conventional mattress (which may be coated with PVC plastic, filled with polyurethane foam, and treated with chemical flame retardants) – can tip the potential chemical body burden for your baby into the danger zone.
But wait! The good news is there are a lot of relatively easy ways to lessen harmful chemicals in your little one’s new room and give them a healthy start with nontoxic, earth-friendly products.
- Look for furniture that will not off-gas formaldehyde. The best way to do this is to buy a crib, changing table, or rocking chair made from solid wood (versus plywood, pressed wood, etc.) and that is finished with something non-toxic like tung oil or beeswax.
- If new furniture isn’t in your budget, look for second-hand furniture as most pressed wood products off-gas their chemicals and get safer over time.
- Avoid painting a nursery when pregnant or soon after the baby is born as the chemicals released from paint can be harmful to new babies as well as babies in the womb. If you are set on painting the nursery, choose VOC-free paint, which is now readily available.
- Avoid installing wall-to-wall carpet where possible. Instead, look for throw rugs made from natural, renewable fibers such as wool.
- Choose natural fibers for curtains and bedding.
- Purchase an organic crib mattress.
- Open windows frequently to let fresh air circulate and consider purchasing an ozone-free air filter.
At MightyNest we have searched high and low (and will continue to do so) to offer you the the best mattresses, beds and bedding, and even toys to help ensure that your little one’s nursery is as safe and healthy as possible.