Creating a Healthy Eco-Friendly Nursery

08 Jan

Think you're creating a healthy environment for your baby by preparing their nursery with new carpeting, freshly-painted walls and popular furniture? Well, you may actually be increasing the chemical burden of the room where your baby will spend an average of 16 hours a day. Babies are more vulnerable to chemicals in their environment than adults because their bodies are that much smaller and their body systems are still growing and maturing.

Here are some considerations for creating a healthy, eco-friendly nursery:

  1. Real Wood Furniture – Choose furniture made with solid wood and finished with natural oils and waxes. Furniture made with wood composites such as plywood, particle board and medium-density fiberboard (MDF) offgas toxic chemicals like formaldehyde. Used furniture (more than a few years old) is likely to have released all of its harmful chemical fumes and may be an affordable option.      eco paint
  2. Low-VOC or VOC-Free Paint – VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are toxic chemicals that are released into the air by certain solvents and paints (that ”fresh paint” smell). They have been linked to asthma, neurological defects and cancer. A safer alternative is low-VOC or VOC-free paint, the latter of which is made from all-natural ingredients such as mineral pigments, plants oils and soy resins. It is also a good idea to paint the nursery at least a month before baby’s expected arrival.
  3. Forget New Carpeting – Standard new carpeting offgases toxic chemicals and harbours dust mites, mold and other allergens. It is better just to leave whatever flooring is already in the nursery and clean it well with environmentally-friendly cleaning solvents. If you need to install new flooring, consider real hardwood (only from sustainably managed forests), bamboo, natural linoleum or cork.
  4. Green Mattress – Regular mattresses contain harmful and potentially cancer-causing fire retardants such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), in addition to stain- and moisture-resistant chemicals. If you purchase a regular mattress, do so a few months in advance to allow for as much offgassing as possible. A healthier (but pricier) option is to purchase a mattress made with natural materials including organic cotton, wool and rubber. Consider using an organic mattress pad, especially over a regular mattress.eco crib and bedding
  5. Green Bedding – Conventional cotton is one of the most heavily pesticide-sprayed crops in the world. Some of these chemicals remain in the cotton and can be irritating to baby’s sensitive skin. Organic cotton is a nicer alternative for baby as well as for the environment.
  6. Natural Cleaning – Once you create your non-toxic nursery, keep it clean and safe by using only natural cleaning products, which you can usually prepare yourself at home.
  7. Ventilation – Provide fresh airflow in the nursery by setting the windows open a crack and ensuring the nursery door is not closed all the time. Take care that baby does not get cold from any drafts.


6 Steps to a Greener Baby Nursery by The Daily Green