Baby Steps: The Hidden Dangers in the Nursery—and How to Make Yours Safe

Last Update: March 11, 2020

For new parents, one of the greatest joys in the world is watching your little one sleep tight. In that moment, it’s hard to imagine your baby could be anything but safe. But there are a lot of potential toxins in the nursery that most people don’t even think about.

The good thing is, they’re all pretty easily avoided—but detoxing the nursery before you bring your bundle home is super important. Think about it like this: babies sleep up to 18 hours a day. That’s a lot of time spent in one space. And pound for pound, babies breathe in twice as much air as adults.

To transform your nursery into a true safe haven, follow these tips.

Allow time for off-gassing

First things first, you’ve got to make sure to allow time for off-gassing—which happens when volatile organic compounds (VOCs) release from things like paint, stains, finishes, glues, insulation, and carpet into the air. If you’re going to do or add anything new to the nursery—such as a fresh paint job or new furniture—make sure to do it at least one month before baby comes home.

Mind the mattress

For eco-friendly moms, used furniture is the way to go—but mattresses are one of the exceptions. While there isn’t a comprehensive theory that explains why, old mattresses are associated with an increased the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Look for a new mattress without chemical flame retardants, and avoid polyurethane foam filling, which could have VOCs like formaldehyde, benzine, and toluene. The safest bet: organic cotton and wool.

Choose organic, PVC-free toys

Can’t forget the toys. Lots of plastic items like rubber ducks, inflatables, and waterproof books are made with polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. Not only is it a known carcinogen, but PVC toys also contain lead and phthalates, which harbor hormone disruptors that can actually leach out when babies put them in their mouths. Yikes! Yet another case in which organic cotton and other natural materials like wood are safer.

Press play to get tons more tips from health coach and veteran supermom, Sara Snow, including why bare floors are better, and even which colors will bring hope and creativity into the space. Your baby deserves it!

Read more about Sara Snow here and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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