Everything from the carpet in the nursery, furnishings, clothing and bedding, to soft toys, nursery crib, changing table and dressers, emit indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde and other VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds). These common indoor air pollutants can cause health problems such as irritations of the eyes, nose, throat and skin, allergic reactions, nausea, headaches, and breathing difficulties. In worst case scenario, exposure to some VOC’s is known to damage liver, kidneys, the nervous system, and cause cancer.
Infants exposed to these harmful chemicals are susceptible to developing allergies and asthma, as they grow older. Before you start to worry about your baby’s healthy, implement these five simple tips to change the baby room into a natural, non -toxic nursery.
Tips for Designing a Green Baby Nursery
1. Choice of room – Choose a room that has adequate windows to allow for natural sunlight and cross ventilation.
2. Room Decor – Ensure that any major nursery renovations are made at least a couple of weeks in advance of your baby’s arrival.
- Flooring – Before you know it your toddler will be crawling all over the nursery floor. If possible opt for wooden flooring; apart from being more natural it is easier to clean. If you opt for carpets, then choose a natural fibre carpet made of organic wool, cotton or jute.
- Walls: Look for non-VOC paint options when painting the nursery. Once the room is painted, keep the door and windows open for the paint smell to clear out. Opt for eco-friendly wallpaper.
- Curtains: Use curtains made of natural fibres like wool, cotton, linen and silk. Also, wash and dry curtains in the sun to remove any allergens, before using them in the nursery.
3. Natural baby crib: Opt for a crib that is made from solid wood, instead of compressed wood. Also, choose crib mattress, sheets, duvets and blankets made from organic materials. Organic bedding though more expensive, is more suited to the gentle skin of your baby.
4. Natural baby toys: Choose toys made from environmentally friendly materials such as wood and organic cotton.
5. Nursery maintenance
- Open windows several times a day. Airing the nursery is the best way to minimize the presence of unwanted chemicals and allergens.
- Keep slippers at the nursery entrance that your friends and visitors can wear before coming in, or request them to remove their shoes to avoid bringing in dirt and allergens.
- Use chemical free cleaning products made from natural ingredients such as Abode Laundry Liquid and Surface Spray
- If a mattress, toy or furniture emits an odour, remove it from the nursery. The smell is likely due to formaldehyde used in the glue in these products.
A few precautions and a bit of investment can help convert your baby’s nursery into an eco-friendly haven. What are your top tips for keeping the baby nursery natural and toxin free?