Mommy Blog Expert: 6 Ways to Design a Healthy & Eco-Friendly Home Baby Nursery

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

6 Ways to Design a Healthy & Eco-Friendly Home Baby Nursery


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My newborn Triplets, MommyBlogExpert.com
When you're expecting a new baby, designing and creating the perfect nursery is on the top of your to-do list. There are lots of decisions to make and the biggest factor to keep in mind is safety.  The fact is, that there's a way to streamline the process.

Eco-conscious parents can start protecting their new bundle of joy before he or she is even born by selecting products that are healthy and green.  To guide expecting moms and dads in the right direction, the co-authors of The Peaceful Nursery - Healthy Home and Lifestyle experts Laura Forbes Carlin and Alison Forbes offer some great suggestions for making your nursery healthy and eco-friendly.

Clean With All Natural Cleaning Products.  A study by the Environmental Protection Agency found that pollution inside a home could be two to five times higher than outside, even in large, industrialized cities. Household cleaning products are one of the causes of indoor air pollution, with many containing harmful chemicals such as ammonia and phenol.  Natural cleaning products such as Paw Safe  are widely available in stores these days, but you can also make your own using ingredients such as white vinegar and baking powder. 

Buy Organic or Untreated Fabrics.  Organic cotton is grown without the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, soil fumigants, and fertilizers and fabrics made from organic cotton aren't treated with chemicals in the mill process, either.  Look for clothes and sheets made from natural materials like linen, wool, hemp, bamboo, silk, and organic cotton.  Avoid treated fabrics -- permanent press, wrinkle free, stain resistant, flame resistant, etc. -- because these all are made with chemicals.

Decorate With Eco-Friendly Materials. Paints can give off toxic fumes known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can remain in the air even after the paint is dry. Non-VOC paints are a healthier, more eco-friendly alternative. No matter what, paint your nursery at least a month in advance of your baby's arrival and keep the windows open, so that the majority of any VOCs and other solvents will have time to dissipate. You can also use natural paints, such as milk paint or natural lime paint. Look for furniture made with organic or untreated fabrics and PBDE-free foam and furniture made from wood that comes from responsibly harvested forests.

Buy Second-Hand Furniture or Borrow From A Friend.  Check with friends to see if they have any baby furniture you can buy or borrow, since it's only useful for a short time. Used furniture more than five years old has most likely off-gassed the majority of toxins in finishes, paint or construction, which makes buying or borrowing used furniture an excellent way to be health conscious, stay within a budget, and practice recycling.  However, be aware that hand-me-down cribs may not meet current safety standards and older furniture made before 1978 might contain lead paint.  Check to make sure used products are up to current standards with the Juvenile Products Manufacturer Association

Keep It Simple and Don't Get Caught Up in the Hype.  When shopping for your baby, keep in mind you may not need everything that's recommended.  For example, if you have a dresser that's an appropriate height for changing the baby, you can just buy a changing station "top" for the dresser. Or you can change your baby on the floor or on your bed. Perhaps you will decide to simply use bio-bags to dispose of diapers or even employ a cloth diaper service rather than buy a fancy diaper pail. It's easy to over-buy in anticipation of your baby, especially if you never been a parent before and aren't sure what you'll want or need. We suggest visiting a friend who parents in a way you relate to, and asking her advice.

Keep A Shoeless Home.  Shoes track in dirt and pesticides from outside onto our floors where babies spend a great deal of time.  Have everyone who enters your home, remove your shoes before entering your home and avoid using pesticides and insecticides in your yard.

With the brand-new, innovative Peaceful Nursery iPhone app, everything you need to know about designing and creating a healthy and eco-friendly nursery is right at your fingertips. Features include a quick and easy shopping checklist of all the right items to buy for the nursery, along with tips about what to avoid, and an explanation of chemicals often found in each product. A paint guide, tips on everything from helping baby sleep to uses of color, and how to arrange your nursery are also included, along with video insights from the app's co-authors.  The Peaceful Nursery ($1.99) has versions compatible with iPhone 3 and iPhone 4, as well as iPod Touch and is available from Apple's iTunes Store.

What ideas do you have for creating a baby nursery that's healthy for your family and earth friendly too?  Please comment.

FTC Disclosure:  The Peaceful Nursery provided the original content for this blogpost which was then edited by MommyBlogExpert.  I did not receive any payment or other compensation.   See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.

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