You're pregnant and you're thinking about the nursery. The mission? To give your baby the safest, most nurturing space possible – a place where he or she can thrive. To create your nurturing nursery, the goal is simple: surround your little one primarily with items made of natural materials, with nontoxic finishes and without harmful chemicals. When all-natural’s not possible, find ways to help minimize toxins – and voila, peace of mind for all!
Sounds challenging, eh? Actually, it’s easier than you may think. To help parents-to-be create the healthiest baby’s room possible, here are a few, stress-free and hassle-free tips from 7 Steps to a Safe, Nurturing Nursery, the new eBook I’ve written with natural health expert Robyn Griggs Lawrence. Here’s a preview of our safe nursery secrets:
1. Baby’s first journey home. In most states, baby’s first trip, from hospital to home requires a car seat, so be sure to prep it for it’s maiden voyage before baby arrives. Start by washing the car seat and padding, (particularly if the padding is vinyl) with a cup or cup and a half of vinegar. This will help remove the flame-retardant chemicals known as PBDEs, which can interfere with developing hormone and nervous systems. To reduce the vinegar smell, add a few drops of chamomile essential oil, an appealing scent that’s also soothing to newborns. Care to take it a step further? Remove the vinyl padding altogether and line the car seat with a washable cotton pad instead.
2. Cribs that cradle, safely. A toxin-free crib is key, particularly for a newborn, who will spend roughly 10 -14 hours a day sleeping in it. When it comes to cribs, solid wood, with a nontoxic, water-based finish is a safe and durable choice. Wicker, made from natural fibers such as rattan, willow or bamboo, is also a healthy choice. Buying used? Then look for a crib made after 1990. Cribs made before 1990 may be structurally weak, have loose parts and/or have lead paint – a major no-no. Avoid MDF (medium-density fiberboard), plywood and particleboard, which likely contain formaldehyde. If you buy or inherit a crib that contains particleboard, seal it completely using a specially designed sealant paint from AFM Safecoat. Unsure about your crib’s wood or finishes? Place it outdoors or in a well-ventilated garage for at least a month before you use it.
3. Nice place, love the murals! So your sister’s an artist and wants to paint the nursery walls and add a few whimsical murals. A lovely sentiment indeed, but remember this is about minimizing the toxins in the nursery, so you may have to put your foot down. Why? Because conventional paints contain benzene, formaldehyde, mercury, solvents and petrochemicals which spew a cloud of chemical compounds into your baby’s bedroom. (This is why we have a Paint Buyer’s Guide in our e-book.) There she’ll find information on how not to be fooled by “green-washed” paint products and learn how to find the best, least toxic (and affordable) paints for her nursery masterpiece.
Creating the ultimate, healthy environment for your baby — without stressing out mom and dad — is what 7 Steps to a Safe, Nurturing Nursery is all about. Full of essential tips and buying guides, think of it as your handy digital roadmap to the safest, healthiest options in baby décor, from cribs, mattresses, bedding and toys, to paint, wallpaper, flooring, air purifiers and more. I hope you can check it out here – and rest easy!