How to create a safer nursery

This post was sponsored by IntelliBED, a premium mattress company, all tips are my own. My favorite story I heard about the founders — who are all grandparents — is that they were already well into making their adult-size mattress and decided to create mini mattresses for all their grandchildren; when they received positive reports that the children all slept better, they decided to make it a product. I don’t know if that is myth or legend but in this case, necessity was the Grandparent of invention.

Save 10% off a mattress, either large or mini. Or enter to win a child’s mattress (for a limited time)!


There have been so many scary studies about environmental hazards impacting our babies that it can be hard to know where to start when trying to create a healthy nursery. Fear not, new parents. Let me guide you. Before you freak out designing your baby’s non-toxic bedroom, consider three important regions:

  1. Walls – look around.
  2. Furniture and mattresses – sit down.
  3. Floors – get all the way down.

That’s not so bad, right? Let’s go through them one by one.

Beginning with the walls.

Once you’ve pinned the perfect baby room, odds are high you’ll want to change the walls. If you want to repaint, choose No-VOC paints to limit the exposure to dangerous fumes. You know that “new paint” smell? That’s the nasty chemicals. No-VOC paints don’t have that. Alternatively, you can leave the paint that’s already on the walls and liven it up with artwork or decals. But if you’re gonna tackle wall color, let someone else paint your baby’s room (relax, mama!). [Read more: Paint without the fumes.]

A few things about furniture.

If you’re a rookie, you might not realize how much babies and toddlers explore their environments with their mouths. It is 99% certain that your baby will chew on the crib (my own stat) so paints and coatings are especially important.

Also many recent models of cribs have been recalled — like every single drop-sided crib (!) — so pick a new safe one and check the recall lists before setting it up, ok? [Check for your crib and other gear. Make sure you know about the latest crib standards; they evolve to keep babies safe not just to prevent us from saving money with hand-me-downs.]
Baby Atlas loves his bed

Baby Atlas from Making a House a Home enjoys his healthy nursery.

Going to the mattresses.

Did you know that a newborn baby sleeps for 14 to 20 hours in the early days? The place he lays his head is super important. The intellIBEDmini mattress is composed of non-toxic, hypoallergenic, anti-microbial intelli-GEL. One of their team members told me that the filling is so safe you could eat it (not that you’d want to, but it’s nice that you could). Atlast (above) enjoys his. [Read more about the links between mattress toxins and infant health.]

IntelliBEDmini mattress goes beyond organic

Moving down to the floor.

After your baby’s bed, the next place you’ll be spending lots and lots of time is the floor. While it may be tempting to choose a floor covering based on how it matches your color scheme and theme — which I have totally done before I knew better — I urge you to spend your money on a safe choice or just leave what’s already there. Trust us. A brand new synthetic rug may do more harm than good. Hard-wood is good. Eco-flooring is good. Wool rugs are good. [Read more tips on choosing non-toxic flooring from Toxic Free Kids

Save on a new mattress!

Save 10% on any mattress from IntelliBED with the discount code: COIHeatherRookieMoms98. You can enter to win a healthier child’s mattress (for a limited time)!


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by IntelliBED. All mattresses and mattress toppers/wrappers are made from the same material that is used in very high-end hospital beds for burn victims. It is a premium price product and very heavy (which becomes an issue if you have to change the sheets a lot).

[Photos from Whitney, Lana, and myself]