How to create an eco-friendly nursery
Welcoming a new baby into your home is such an exciting occasion. But before you start decorating the nursery, make sure you read our eco guide for a tot-friendy room.
One of the exciting parts of having a baby is deciding on the nursery. Before you get started, it’s important to give thought to what you’ll be putting in it. And we don’t just mean the type of decor, bedding or toys – while these things are important, it’s more important to think about what these products are made of and if they are safe for your new tot’s environment.
So, it’s great to know that creating an eco-friendly room for your baby is easier now more than ever. As baby planners we have designed countless green nurseries with a variety of aesthetics but in order to get you started here are 5 key areas for you to focus on first:
There are two components to consider – a crib or crib alternative and bedding. Look for furniture and mattresses that have a Greenguard Certification (products that have been tested for more than 10,000 VOCs and certified low emitting for healthy indoor air quality). This will ensure that the materials are safer for your tot. We love the super comfortable and breathable Pebble Mattress from Nook. Infants can also start in a quality bassinet like the Moba Moses Basket, which allows for complete air ventilation and has hypoallergenic properties. Finding eco-bedding is also much easier these days – organic, untreated cotton is best – this also applies to baby swaddles and we adore Halo for their Organic Sleep Sack Swaddles and Wearable Blankets.
If you decide to bottle feed your newborn, choosing baby-safe bottles is an important priority. Avoid any plastic made from BPA and PVC (thankfully most feeding products don’t include these anymore) and consider using glass bottles like those from Natursutten. Don’t forget to eco your pacifiers as well with Hevea being our no.1 choice.
What we put on bottoms and what we wipe them with shouldn’t be overlooked either. Cloth diapering is the green choice but we know that this may not always work for all families. At the very least make sure you have diapers that are chlorine-free and wipes that are fragrance and chemical-free such as the ultra-gentle Made of Wipes.
If you choose to use diaper balm, purchase one that contains certified organic ingredients and is free of artificial fragrance, parabens and phthalates. Remember though to always test a new skincare product on a small patch of your baby’s skin to make sure they don’t have any allergies or sensitivities.
Strollers, car seats, carriers – oh my! It’s also important to do your research when choosing baby gear as your tot will spend a lot of time going to and fro. Bumbleride and Greentom hold a special place in our heart as they both offer truely eco-friendly strollers. If there is only one thing that you check – look into the foam cushion treatment – as the flame retardents are made with highly toxic chemicals.
There are a whole list of ingredients that we don’t want in our babies’ skincare so we have decided to simplify it for you – less is more. Avoid products that have an enormous list of ingredients with abbreviations such as ‘SLS’ or ‘SLES’. We also can’t live without coconut oil, coconut oil, coconut oil as an all-round natural baby lotion.
Babies are naturally inquisitive so they’ll be doing lots of exploring with their little hands and their little mouths. That being said, all of their toys should be free of toxins, biologically harmful chemicals and dyes. Look for toys that are also free of BPA, Phthalates, Lead, and PVCs. Our top picks for baby’s first toys include rattles by Cheengoo, chew toys by Oli & Carol, and any of the super cute cuddle toys by Wee Gallery. Once baby begins tummy-time, Finn & Emma Playgyms are an enchanting and eco-friendly option.
Flooring: When choosing flooring for your tot’s room, try to avoid wall-to-wall carpet as it can often give off fumes and harbor dust mites and allergens. If possible, opt for flooring made from sustainable materials such as bamboo or cork. If you are planning to install new wooden flooring, ensure that you thoroughly ventilate and ‘off-gas’ your tot’s room well before they move in. Once you’re happy with your flooring, baby-safe mats and rugs can also be a cute addition. Lorena Canals has a beautiful range of machine washable, non-toxic rugs that will suit a range of styles and decor. If you’re after floor covering for a playroom, we love these clever reversible play mats by Ruggish.
Walls: If you are going to paint the nursery walls, do your research on eco-friendly paint options. Remember that exposure to highly toxic paint fumes can lead to all sorts of problems like cognitive, behavioral and developmental issues. Ultra-low-VOC or zero-VOC paint are the best options for safer walls. And again, always allow ample time for ventilating the room well before baby’s arrival. Here are a few eco-friendly paint suppliers that you might want to look into further: Ecos Paints, Milk Paint and Auro USA.
Keep baby’s room well lit with natural light and well ventilated. When you do need to clean the room, make sure you use safer cleaning products that are free of a whole host of nasty chemicals including: phthalates, triclosan, ammonia, 2-butoxyethanol, to name just a few.
If you take anything away from this checklist we just want you to give consideration to the types of products that you are buying. Everyone can go eco-friendly on a range of budgets just enjoy being able to choose products that are best for you and your tot.