I’m not sure if you’ve heard but some women go through a period of “nesting” during their pregnancy. It’s when they have this urge to get their house ready for their baby by cleaning, organizing, and preparing their home. Well, I “nested” super hard during my pregnancy and a big part of my nesting involved detoxing our home and my lifestyle. I stopped wearing regular makeup, I stopped painting my nails with regular polish, I got rid of all of our “regular” cleaning products, laundry products, etc. And I started researching ALL non-toxic baby related things.
I spent literally hours upon hours researching safe cribs, mattresses, furniture, etc. Fast forward 5 months, and my babe has YET to sleep in his crib. We safely co-sleep, which is NOT something I planned to do (more on that below).
That said, I’m glad I’m prepared with my non-toxic crib and crib mattress and I’m hoping that my research will help other expecting mamas. In this blog post, I’ll share my thoughts on what to look for when choosing a non-toxic crib and crib mattress – and I will also talk about what items we use to co-sleep. I hope that however you get your baby to sleep, that this post will be of some help to you.
Never in a million years did I think that I would co-sleep with my baby. I didn’t trust myself to sleep next to a teeny tiny little thing. But motherhood has changed me: I don’t sleep deeply any more. I’m also very in tune with his sleeping. I exclusively breast feed (we don’t use a bottle at all yet) and I believe this helps a lot. If you’re thinking of co-sleeping, check out this great co-sleeping safety checklist from Mommypotamus. You should do what you feel is safest for your family.
Since our baby is now sleeping on my bed, I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have a nontoxic mattress and bedding. I wrote a blog post before I got pregnant about why you should choose a non-toxic mattress. Not only do I feel comfortable knowing that my baby isn’t breathing in chemicals while he sleeps – I also love it for myself. I don’t know how I would have gone through my pregnancy without my bed. I know that sounds silly but, I know it saved me from many pregnancy aches and pains. When I was pregnant – if I slept in a hotel or in another bed, I’d wake up with aches. But when I’d sleep on our mattress, I was mostly ache-free until the end of my third trimester.
For our bedding: we have a pure wool comforter from Holy Lamb Organics – I bought it to help alleviate my husband’s allergies and we love it so much. It keeps us cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Our duvet cover and pillow cases are from West Elm’s organic line.
For a while, our baby slept right next to our bed in an Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper with this organic fitted sheet. Arm’s Reach does not use fire retardant chemicals (as of Sept. 2013). But after awhile, my baby refused to sleep in it, so we moved him into this in-bed co-sleeper and put this wool bunting bag on top (we lay it open). I ordered that in-bed co-sleeper at about 3am – it was the first thing to pop up in Amazon, so I Amazon primed it in desperation. Again, we never intended for our babe to be in the bed with us so I wasn’t prepared. If I could do it over, I would have ordered this in-bed co-sleeper instead. While I can’t share my experience with it – it looks way more comfortable and it’s organic.
Crib + Mattress + Organic Bedding:
For our crib mattress, we decided on this organic mattress from Naturepedic – you can read about this mattress in-depth by visiting their website. My babe has yet to sleep or even nap on this mattress, but I know that when he/we are ready to move him into his nursery, that he’ll be sleeping on an organic and nontoxic crib mattress, which is really important to me.
Unlike other mattresses, this one does not have any flame retardant chemicals and the filling is made up of US grown organic cotton. I also love that Naturepedic is organic and affordable – at least, compared to other organic mattresses. Another good thing is that the mattress we got is “2-stage,” meaning that one side is made for infants and as your babe grows up and becomes a toddler, you can switch the mattress to the other, softer side.
As for our crib, I suggest getting one that’s 100% sold wood if you can afford it. This blog has great information on cribs depending on your budget.
After doing quite a bit of research, we decided to buy the NEST crib from Room and Board. This crib is made from 100% solid wood. I sent Room and Board an email to learn more about their crib, and their customer service department emailed me back right away. They said their manufacturer, El Greco, provides non-toxic furniture for their children’s collections and that in El Greco’s 40 years of crafting heirloom quality furniture, that they had never had a recall on a product – which was VERY comforting. You can find a list of retailers by visiting El Greco’s website. I exchanged several emails with Room and Board – I’m including our email exchange so that you can get an idea of what type of questions to ask when shopping for a nontoxic crib.
Ashley: If finished with paint, is the paint used water-based and completely VOC-free? Or do you use low VOC paint?
Room and Board: All paint and finishes used by El Greco are waterbased, non-toxic, no-lead, phthalate-free, and formaldehyde-free. Their paint and lacquer finishes are third-party tested and GreenGuard certified. After curing – which takes 30 days in warm, moving air – it no longer off-gasses, as all the solvent has dissipated and the coating is now chemically inert. This all occurs before the piece is in our customer’s home, so there will be no VOCs.
Ashley: you say there are no VOCs present once it gets to a customers home – how is this tested?
Room and Board: As for the VOCs, all curing occurs at the manufacturer prior to shipping to our warehouse. The lacquer on the natural wood options is pre-catalyzed, Greenguard Certified with zero emissions after 14 days of curing in warm, moving air. The paint finish has a longer cure time of 30 days in warm moving air. After curing neither finish off-gasses as all the solvent dissipates and the coating is now chemically inert.
Ashley: Are your cribs completely lead and phthalate free?
Room and Board: Yes. Additionally, our kids and baby furniture meets and exceeds the latest CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act), CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) and CARB II requirements as well as the voluntary standards of the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials).
Ashley: Is the glue you use non-toxic and formaldehyde-free?
Room and Board: The glue El Greco uses is an aliphatic resin emulsion adhesive similar to white glue like Elmer’s. That means it evaporates very quickly and there is no presence of formaldehyde in its evaporation/emission as it dries. It is water-based. In the MSDS it says “There are no ingredients which are hazardous to health or the environment.” There are no Benzene, Phthalates, nor Formaldehyde named on the MSDS.
Ashley: is the NEST crib 100% solid wood? Does this also include the crib mattress supports? I want to be sure there’s no plywood or fiberboard used.
Room and Board: Yes, this piece is all solid wood. The crib mattress support is made of metal and connects to the wood with bolts – there is no plywood or fiberboard in the Nest crib.
And that’s it! Are there any non-toxic baby items you recommend for creating a more nontoxic environment? If so, let me know by leaving a comment!
Disclaimer: I’m not a scientist or a doctor, so I can’t give you any expert health or medical advice. I’m just a blogger who likes to eat and talk about mom stuff. The information on my blog should not be construed as professional medical advice. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. If you have any health concerns, contact your physician or another health care professional.
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