Nursery planning can be overwhelming. Do babies really need wipes warmers and crib mobiles? What about crib bumpers and sleep sacks? For parents-to-be who want to make sure their nursery is eco-friendly, it can be even more complicated. How can you create a beautiful nursery for your new addition that's safe and non-toxic, while still minimizing your impact on the environment?
Relax, it's easier than you might think. Finding sustainable, eco-friendly baby products is simpler than ever, and there are plenty of options to choose from that won't break the bank. As you shop for your new baby, keep these 10 tips in mind for creating a sustainable nursery.
1. Choose nursery furniture wisely.
Most of the time, hand-me-down furniture is the best option from a sustainability standpoint. But, baby cribs can be an exception due to changing safety standards over time. If you opt for a used crib, make sure it meets current safety requirements, especially regarding drop-side cribs. (And no, you don't need or want a bumper!)
If you're purchasing new furniture for your baby, try to choose models that will grow with your baby over time. Some cribs expand into toddler beds and even double beds, so your child can use the same bed from crib to college. Simple, solid pieces for the rest of the bedroom can also grow with your child more readily than childish pieces that have a short lifespan.
When you're purchasing furniture, look for brands that feature sustainable-certifications, low- or no-VOC paint, and non-toxic, food-grade finishes. Your baby can and will chew on their crib, so safety needs to take top priority.
2. Choose a non-toxic mattress.
As nice as a sustainable crib is, the mattress is what really counts. Most mattresses contain toxic chemicals like petroleum and PVC that are bad for your baby and the environment. Choose an eco-friendlier solution and purchase an organic mattress. Just be aware that even some organic mattresses are still coated in PVC, so you'll want to look for one that isn't.
3. Rethink your floors.
Carpet traps allergens and can contain harmful chemicals that you don't want your baby rolling on. If you can replace carpet in the nursery with hardwood floors, it's always a great option. But even if you can't replace the carpet, consider covering the main area of the floor with an organic, non-toxic rug to provide a soft, safe place for baby to play.