ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Guide To Planning An Organic Baby Nursery

Updated on March 21, 2011

Deciding on the decoration of a nursery - or any new room - is exciting. What color should it be? What kind of floor should it have? How much light should come in through the curtains? These decisions undoubtedly take on new weight when the room is for a baby. After all, we want our children to feel comforted by their surroundings, and since a tiny baby can't choose her nursery or know yet how to keep herself safe in the world, her parents must make these decisions for her. This means paying attention to the air quality, what she sleeps in, and what touches her skin. Choosing ecologically doesn't mean that the nursery can't be beautiful; in fact, the beauty of natural products might be surprisingly inspiring.

The Room Itself

Two major decisions for a nursery are the color of the walls and the type of floor. Our instincts are not only to make the room peaceful, but also soft and comfortable. For this reason, carpeting on the floor initially seems like a great option; it is soft on little hands and knees and muffles sound. But carpet can retain all kinds of bacteria that aren't removed when vacuumed. For this reason, natural flooring - wood floors, cork floors, or all-natural carpet and carpet backing - are healthier. Safe and beautiful area rugs can be spread over them, made from materials like jute, cotton, or silk that are untreated, non-dyed, and unbleached. Wall-to-wall carpets made of wool with hemp backing are also available.

Choosing the color of the nursery is up to you, but care should be taken in deciding what kind of paint to use. Conventional paints can release chemical vapors for up to three years, and this won't give your baby (or you!) good air quality. But the choices within the healthy paint market aren't as limited as you might think. When examining your paint choices, compare levels of Volatile Organic Compounds, and aim for the lowest levels (zero is best) you can find. If the paint you need does contain VOC's, try to choose one no higher than 250 grams per liter for latex and no higher than 380 grams per liter for oil-based paint. Milk paints are another healthy option, and can be used to create special decorative effects as well as be used like traditional paint. In a similar vein, using safe paint thinners and brush cleaners will help keep the house (and the earth) safer. These can be found, along with other eco-paints, at most hardware stores.

Organic Swaddling Clothes and Bassinet Blankets

A swaddled and sleeping baby is a wonderful sight, and keeping your baby from sleeping with chemicals next to her skin seems like the most desirable choice. Organic cotton is soft and no pesticides are used to grow it, which means that none will be in the sheets or blankets a baby spends so much time bundled up in. Organic, cotton, and wool bassinet and organic crib mattresses, blankets, and comforters can be purchased from companies like Coyuchi (which has a great line of organic baby products) and Eco-baby.

Likewise, organic cotton baby clothing will keep any chemicals and pesticides away from your child's skin. According to the Organic Trade Association, the sale of organic products increases each year, which means that the selection is growing all the time. Ask at your local health food stores and check on the web.

What Surrounds Baby

In addition to the color of the room your baby will sleep and play in, the toys and plants, wall hangings, mobiles, and curtains are also important. These, too, should be safe; organic toys should be made for the appropriate age of the child, plants should not be harmful if ingested, and curtain and shade strings should be tied high up and out of reach of children.

Toys are important throughout a child's life (and often through adulthood as well). What the baby touches, hears, smells, tastes, and sees each day gives life to his senses and helps his motor skills develop. This is the work that babies do: they play. Each day a baby should have all of his senses stimulated, but many toys and learning devices are made with toxic finishes and other unsafe materials. Remember that babies don't know not to put things in their mouths, and will likely chew on anything they can get their hands on when they are teething. For this reason, natural and organic toys are a great idea, and since the nostalgia of your first pull-toy might not ever go away, buying long-lasting toys makes a lot of sense. If you decide not to keep them, they can always be made new again by passing them on as hand-me-downs.

Bringing plants into a nursery will improve air quality, but some plants can be harmful, and even fatal, when ingested. When baby-proofing your house, don't forget to check on what you have growing - not just in pots in the windows, but also outside in the yard. In some climates, plants like deadly nightshade, a strong poison, grow wild. Local nurseries should have this kind of information, or you can check online. A chart of common poisonous plants is available on the web that identifies many poisonous plants as well as the symptoms of poisoning. There are many other such sites specific to certain areas of the United States, maintained by Universities and scientists.

Finally, curtain and shade strings can be a choking hazard. Make sure that sashes and blinds are kept out of reach and at safe heights from a child's head.

Simple Green Cleaning Products
Simple Green Cleaning Products

Cleaning Up After Baby

For the same reasons that organic materials are best to sleep in and on, and because air quality is so important, home cleaning products that you use around your child should be safe and non-toxic. There are many homemade alternative cleaning recipes that are very effective, as well as store-bought products like Simple Green (available in most supermarkets), and similar solutions from other companies.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)