Parents usually decide to paint the nursery before the baby arrives and do not realize that these paints release volatile organic compounds (VOC), which reduce indoor air quality. VOCs affect children much greater than adults. These chemicals can linger in nurseries for months after the room is painted. Be aware of the paint you are using and seek paints with low or no VOCs. There are paints on the market today that are water-based or milk-based and considered safer alternatives.
Carpet is a breeding ground for bacteria and with babies crawling all over it, requires a lot of cleaning in order to maintain a safe space for your baby to play. A safer alternative is hardwood flooring and throw rugs, which can easily be thrown in the wash. Review the hardwood finish. Many finishes contain formaldehyde and VOC’s, so select a natural finish. Other natural flooring includes bamboo, cork flooring and wool carpet. Note that laminate flooring is not a substitute for hardwood flooring. Many only have a thin layer of wood and are attached together with toxic glues. If new flooring isn’t in your budget, you can get your existing carpets steam cleaned with pure steam. Alternatively, some carpet cleaning companies offer a chemical-free service.
Cribs, Bedding, & Blankets
Babies sleep 50-60% of their day. The crib, changing table, and other furniture should be made of natural woods and have natural finishes, not chemical finishes. It’s best to seek blankets and sheets that are made from natural materials such as cotton, silk, bamboo, and hemp. Look for crib mattresses that are made from organic cotton or wool, a plastic cover made from a food-grade polyethylene, and a natural mattress cover. If there’s one “chemical-free” change you are able to make, select a non-toxic crib & mattress.