Chemical Free Living:
5 Easy Swaps for a Non-Toxic Nursery
Parenting alone can lead you down an internet rabbit hole from which you could never return. Add non-toxic and chemical-free to your search query and you could spend the rest of your life combing websites and blog posts, often just to get even more confused than you were when you started! So, while we could wax eloquent about toxins and chemicals for days, today we’re keeping it simple with five simple swaps for a non-toxic nursery.
Five simple tips to help you create the non-toxic nursery of your dreams
When it comes to choosing safer options for your baby, it makes sense to start with the products that they will be exposed to most often.
1. Choose diapers wisely
Cloth diapering might sound onerous, and there is a definite appeal to disposable diapers, because let’s face it, you have a lot of laundry to do already. Modern cloth diaper brands (like these) offer great products and tons of support and information to make the process manageable. They come in great prints, your baby’s fluffy cloth diaper bum is ridiculously cute and, best of all, you know they’re not being exposed to some of the scary toxic chemicals found in conventional disposable diapers.
Just can’t wrap your head around it? That’s okay too. There are now a variety of great choices in the disposable diaper world (like these and these). For more information, check out this great post on disposable diapering from Gimme The Good Stuff.
2. Wipes too!
Next to diapers, nothing will touch your perfect baby’s perfect skin more than diaper wipes. The bottom (see what we did there?) line here: this is an easy place to make a safer choice as there are really great reusable and disposable options.
These disposable wipes make it easy to keep a nontoxic nursery as they contain just two chemicals (one of which is good old H20!). They work just as well as conventional disposables without the endocrine disruptors and irritants.
If you’re up for reusables, get ready to save yourself a chunk of change in the process. Whip up a simple baby wipe recipe and pick up a stack of super soft reusable wipes. We love these Marleysmonsters for their fun, colorful print options and how they get softer with every wash.
3. Choose non-toxic bedding
If your head wasn’t spinning already, here’s where it happens. Baby bedding is a hot-button topic and heavily debated by pediatricians, sleep experts and parents. Looking at this from a purely nontoxic angle, here’s what you need to know.
Avoid bedding and mattresses that contains petrochemicals (as mattresses are often petroleum-based), plastics, vinyls, flame retardant chemicals and synthetic latex which contains styrene (a carcinogen). Crib mattresses are often covered in a vinyl layer for waterproofing. Look for organic wool, 100% natural latex (not latex blends), and untreated organic cotton.
To learn more about mattresses and the best organic mattress certifications, check out Gimme The Goodstuff’s incredible Safe Mattress Guide and this post from Real Food Liz on safe and nontoxic baby bedding. Smart Mommy, Healthy Baby also has a great roundup on nontoxic nursery options including bedding like this brand.
5. Wood for the win!
Plastic toys are everywhere and they’re cheap, but unfortunately they come with problematic toxic chemicals like dioxins, phthalates and BPA. Luckily, the push towards nontoxic products means a host of beautiful toys that are well made and fun to play with are now available, even from larger retailers. Looking for wooden toys like these and these is one way to ensure your baby is getting a safer option to play with and, inevitably, chew on.
6. Just say no to fragrance.
We’ve been trained that babies smell a certain way, like powder and sweetness and everything delicious. Unfortunately, the companies profiting from that nostalgic nose memory are not always on our side when it comes to keeping babies safe. Talc has recently been in the news for its link to cancer and baby favorites like Johnson & Johnson are under scrutiny for including harmful ingredients like formaldehyde and 1,4 dioxane in their baby products. We could tell you about the dangers of fragrance until we’re blue in the face, but the takeaway is: babies smell delicious all on their own. So, keep it simple! Choose unscented baby bath and body products or make your own. Coconut oil makes a great moisturizer and look for a safer diaper cream to use for your baby when necessary. Less is more when it comes to putting products on our babies.
When it comes to keeping your baby safer in the nursery is to keep it simple. Don’t use three products when one will do, and use the fewest ingredients possible whenever possible. And when messes happen, and they will, we’re here with our Force of Nature cleaning system. It’s as powerful as bleach and safe enough to spray on your high chair trays, pacifiers, cribs, nursery rockers, wooden toys and pretty much everything else in your non-toxic nursery.