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Keeping Chemicals Away from Baby: 7 Tips for a Healthier Nursery

7 Tips for a Healthier Nursery

This is Part 1 of a four-part series highlighting Healthy Child, Healthy World’s new e-book, Easy Steps for a Healthy & Safe Nursery.

The birth of your Little One is a fresh start at life. With your new arrival relying solely on you for his care and well being, it’s important to remember that the decisions you make affect his health. Most new moms will tell you that they do the best they can when it comes to the decisions about their baby. And thanks to the wonderful new e-book by Healthy Child, Healthy World, creating a nursery that’s safe and free of chemicals and toxins is now easier than ever.

As the e-book notes, no one expects you to do everything listed in the guide. In fact, their motto is, “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.”

So certainly don’t feel discouraged if you can’t meet all the recommendations listed here for creating a healthy nursery for your Little One. This guide is meant to encourage you to create — in whatever way you can — a safer and healthier nursery. It’s not meant to be daunting, and it’s certainly not meant to make you feel badly if you can’t meet these recommendations.

So, read on! And do what you can to protect your bundle of joy from the hidden toxins found in common nursery items.

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  • Buy a Better Crib 1 of 7
    Buy a Better Crib
    If you opt to buy a new crib, avoid pressed wood and/or particleboard. Additionally, check for water-based finishes, as they are a safer option. You can also find cribs with the Greenguard certification, which indicates that the crib has lower chemical emissions. Yes, cribs have chemical emissions.
    Source: HealthyChild.org
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Invest in a Safer Mattress 2 of 7
    Invest in a Safer Mattress
    Organic crib mattresses do cost more; there's no denying that. But your baby spends 14 to 16 hours a day with her face smooshed into it, so a chemical-free mattress should be a priority. According to HealthyChild.org, "If there is one product to splurge on, this is it." Many conventional crib mattresses are doused in flame retardants and countless other toxins that are bad for baby.
    Source: HealthyChild.org
    Get the organic crib mattress featured here from NaturePedic!
  • Go with Solid Wood Furniture 3 of 7
    Go with Solid Wood Furniture
    Laminated wood, particleboard, and pressed woods should all be avoided. Because these products are treated with harmful chemicals, they can be a danger to your baby's health. If you can't get solid wood furniture, seal particleboard or plywood with AFM Safecoat to keep the hazards from releasing into the air.
    Source: HealthyChild.org
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Avoid Harmful Accessories 4 of 7
    Avoid Harmful Accessories
    Pillows and other cushy nursery accessories are often hidden sources of yet more chemicals. Try to use organic cotton cushions instead. But if you can't, be sure to vacuum conventional cushions frequently with a HEPA-filtered vacuum.
    Source: HealthyChild.org
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Get Good Flooring 5 of 7
    Get Good Flooring
    Flooring is also another culprit of toxins in the nursery. Your best options are easy-to-clean hardwoods or cork floors. If carpet is the way you want to go, HealthyChild.org recommends looking for "products that follow sustainable carpet standards like those outlined by the Carpet and Rug Institute."
    Source: HealthyChild.org
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Use Safer Paint 6 of 7
    Use Safer Paint
    Many paints have toxic chemicals that are harmful to your Little One. When choosing paint, these are your best options: natural milk paints; natural or organic paints; zero VOC, no toxics and no solvents; zero VOC according to EPA Reference Method 24; and low VOC.
    Source: HealthyChild.org
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Decorate with Health in Mind 7 of 7
    Decorate with Health in Mind
    There are some easy tips to keep chemicals out of your nursery and away from your baby. Get rid of "the new smell" by allowing the product to off-gas outside until the odor is gone. Avoid plastics altogether, especially polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is linked to countless adverse health effects. Opt for items made from natural materials, like organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and flax.
    Source: HealthyChild.org
    Photo: iStockphoto

SOURCE: Easy Steps for a Healthy & Safe Nursery, by Healthy Child, Healthy World

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