One of the most exciting things to do when you are expecting a new baby is to design a nursery. It’s the room where you and your baby will be spending a lot of time, so it needs to be a place where you feel comfortable and enjoy being. There are so many cute themes and nursery design ideas that it can be tough to choose just one. Something that is becoming increasingly popular with nursery design is not only choosing a pleasing aesthetic but also making eco-friendly choices. But why should someone plan an eco-friendly sustainable nursery? There are actually many benefits – health, environmental, and economic. Here’s why you should consider planning an eco-friendly nursery along with some adorable and eco-friendly recommendations! (Plus we’re doing an amazing nursery giveaway [CLOSED] that you don’t want to miss out. Keep reading!)
What is an eco-friendly nursery?
Eco-friendly means “not harmful to the environment.” So an eco-friendly nursery is one in which the chosen products are good for the environment and for your family. The three pillars of sustainability are: environmental, social, and economic. Unfortunately, there are a lot of chemicals and toxins in many consumer products – including baby products. By being mindful and choosing to design an eco-friendly, sustainable nursery, you are actively choosing to create a healthier and safer space for you, your family, and the environment.
Why would I want an eco-friendly, sustainable nursery?
When some people hear “eco-friendly, sustainable nursery” they think raw, stale, and boring. But, thankfully, creating an eco-friendly and stylish nursery today has never been easier! And, yes, you can have both. There are so many companies who are choosing to create clean, safe, and stylish pieces so you don’t have to sacrifice your style for quality. By doing your research and choosing products that are eco-friendly and sustainable, you are helping to protect our natural environment, the people living in it, and reduce the resources we consume. It’s ultimately better for everyone.
Products that are Beautiful and Eco-Friendly for Your Baby’s Nursery
To pick out some of the best eco-friendly products for your nursery, we chatted with Stephanie DeBrincat, interior designer and founder of Rockabye Mommy. Stephanie specializes in healthy nursery and children’s room design. She is passionate about creating a safe and healthy space for your kids.
“Your little ones will spend countless hours sleeping and playing in what’s supposed to be their safe haven, so doing what you can to keep toxins to a minimum is incredibly important,” said Stephanie. And we couldn’t agree more.
As a designer, her goal is to create the healthiest, safest, most gorgeous, and cozy environment for your little ones to thrive in. We couldn’t think of a better person to talk to about nursery design. Here’s what to think about when designing an eco-friendly sustainable nursery and some products we highly recommend.
1. Sleep Space
Babies spend most of their days sleeping, especially as newborns. So the best place to start when creating an eco-friendly nursery is choosing a quality crib mattress. Get a mattress made of organic materials and look to see that it has received quality safety certifications. By doing this, you are helping the environment and protecting your baby from harmful chemicals that may be present in artificial mattresses. We love how every one of Naturepedic’s products is certified to the highest organic and non-toxic standards. We also love that they do not use any of the questionable materials found in many crib mattresses such as vinyl, PFCs, polyurethane foam, flame retardant chemicals and barriers, formaldehyde, pesticides, GMOs, and glues/adhesives. Here are a few certifications to look for:
- Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
- Forest Stewardship Council / Rainforest Alliance
- MADE SAFE® Certified Non-Toxic
- Organic Content Standard (OSC100)
Without certifications, it is up to consumers to do their research and to ask the right questions. By reading labels and looking at safety certifications you can determine if the item’s production standards are acceptable for your family.
Also, for furniture pieces, like the crib, confirm that the manufacturer is only using water or food-based, non-toxic glues. Adhesives can contain chemicals that emit toxic VOCs into the air. This is something that we want to avoid, especially in your newborn’s room.
Here’s what you will need in baby’s sleep space in the nursery and some products that are eco-friendly and high quality:
- Crib mattress – Naturepedic organic crib mattress
- Crib sheets – Naturepedic organic crib sheets
- Crib mattress pad – Naturepedic organic waterproof pad or breathable protector pad
- Crib – Greenguard Certified Crib
- Blanket – Coyuchi Certified Organic Baby Blanket
- Rest pad – Naturepedic organic rest pad
- Air purifier – Austin Air Baby’s Breath Air Cleaner
Choosing natural and organic products is the best way to keep your nursery as eco-friendly as possible. Another good practice to make your baby’s nursery more sustainable is to choose pieces that will last. Changing tables are great for your baby’s first year of life, however, we recommend choosing a dresser or large chest instead. By choosing one of these multi-use products you can add a changing tray on top to be functional for diaper changes, but it will also be able to grow with your child and stay in their room for the long haul — well past the baby stage.
Here are the items that you will need in the nursery for diapering. We’ve listed some of our favorite products that are eco-friendly and high quality:
- Changing table pad – Naturepedic organic changing table pad
- Changing table or dresser – Greenguard Certified Dressers and Changing Tables
- Diapers – Healthy Nest Diapering Development Program
- Disposable Wipes – Water Wipes
- Reusable baby wipes – Mukin 100% Muslin Organic Cotton Baby Washcloths
- Cloth diapers – Esembly cloth diapers
- Diaper balm – Esembly skincare
- Diaper pail – Ubbi diaper pail
3. Feeding Area
You will feel like you are constantly feeding your baby. And that’s normal! Since you’ll be spending a lot of time in this area, create a space that is comfortable for you while you feed your little one. When choosing furniture, look for pieces that have a Greenguard Certification. These are products that have been tested for more than 10,000 VOCs and are certified low emitting for healthy indoor air quality. This will ensure that the materials are safe for your baby and you.
This is what you will need in your feeding area:
- Glider or Rocking Chair – Greenguard Certified Glider or Rocking Chair
- Nursing pillow – Organic Niche Nursing Pillow
- Side table – Greenguard Certified Side Table
Did you know that 20 percent of all industrial pollution comes from the textile manufacturing process? It’s true! Many fabrics produced use harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, flame retardants, VOCs, and heavy metals. Because of this, the factory workers and the environment are heavily impacted. They are exposed to these hazardous toxins which then pollute our water, soil, and air and ultimately lead to health concerns. This is why it’s best to avoid fabrics that have been chemically finished to reduce your exposure, such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, rayon, and silk. Instead, choose a natural, sustainable fabric for your nursing chair, seating, and drapery like recycled cotton, organic linen, organic hemp, flax, and Tencel.
And don’t forget what’s going on your floor! Your best choice for an eco-friendly, safe, and non-toxic purchase is with carpet or a rug made from untreated, undyed fibers and organic materials such as wool, jute, or seagrass. Here are some examples that we love:
- Paint – AFM SafeCoat Paint or ECOS Paint
- Area Rug – GOTS Organic Weave
- Storage furniture
- Toys – Oompa Organic Toys
As you can see, eco-friendly doesn’t mean boring! It’s beautiful and it’s safe so you can breathe easier knowing your baby is in a healthy home.
Nursery Giveaway! [CLOSED]
And guess what . . . we are partnering with Naturepedic to give one lucky winner an entire eco-friendly nursery makeover! Here’s what you could win:
- Virtual nursery makeover for a lucky mom-to-be with Stephanie from Rockabye Mommy — including a mood board
- Naturepedic organic crib mattress
- Naturepedic organic crib sheets
- Naturepedic organic breathable protector pad
- Naturepedic organic changing table pad
- Naturepedic organic rest pad
- Austin Air Baby’s Breath Air Cleaner
- Greenguard Certified Crib
- AFM SafeCoat Paint or Ecos Paint
- Area Rug – GOTS Organic Weave
- Greenguard Certified Changing Table
- Greenguard Certified Nursery Rocking Chair
- Coyuchi Certified Organic Baby Blanket
- Coyuchi Certified Organic Swaddle Blanket
- Healthy Nest – Diapering Development Program
Total Value of the Giveaway: $3,500! [CLOSED]
- Runner up will receive:
- Naturepedic organic crib mattress
Visit this link to enter to win! The giveaway closes on December 16, 2020, and the winner will be announced on December 18th. Good luck to all and happy, healthy designing!