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:
- Walls – look around.
- Furniture and mattresses – sit down.
- 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!).
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 recalls.gov 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.]
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
[Photos from Whitney]