The rules for an eco-friendly and healthy baby room
According to Women in Europe for a Common Future, an association which conducted tests on 70 volunteering families in Greece, Germany, France and the Netherlands, 40% of baby rooms can reach a pollution threshold largely exceeding the recommended values. But don’t panic! Those numbers are worrying, but there are simple tricks to prevent your baby from being polluted in his bedroom, and here they are!
A product labelled “baby” is not always healthy and free of any toxic substance. You can find polluting components, including formaldehyde (a “verified carcinogenic” according to the World Health Organisation), inside the bedding, paints, the parquet, plastic toys and cleaning products. Makes you think about it twice when you realise a baby spends 80% of his time inside his bedroom!
Healthy floor for healthy room!
You couldn’t wait for carpeting the baby’s room with a fluffy material? Well, stop right here, because the carpet is a major source of formaldehyde and the glue used to fix it also contains toxic compounds. Ideally, choose a hardwood flooring, preferably oak, bamboo or sweet chestnut, with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label. The wood will be treated with vegetal oil or an ecologically labelled synthetic lacquer.
To choose the bed or furniture, make it simple!
Choosing the baby’s bed is often a source of headache. Just like the floor, it is better to choose hardwood instead of pressed wood or plywood, since it contains formaldehyde too. Also, in case you want to paint the wood, remember to choose water-based paint or natural lacquer rather than anything else.
The type of mattress is important too. Nowadays, you have mattresses manufactured only with natural materials. For instance, organic cotton, natural latex, coconut fibers or virgin whool. You can also procure a second-hand bed, even if it is made of pressed wood since the toxic substances already evacuated.
Note that you can apply these advices to the bedroom furniture: changing table, shelf and drawer.
Beware of the paints!
Paint is a prime factor of pollution inside our houses. On short term, meaning when applying and letting it dry, as much as on long term, since Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) can emanate from it for years!
Fortunately, various brands began proposing natural and ecological paints, made of linseed oil, natural pigments or limewater. We can only advise you to use these paints on every wall of your house, by the way.
Airing and cleaning with healthy products!
In order to renew the air inside a room, it is advised to open the windows for 15 minutes everyday, whatever the season. As young parents, we often fear the baby gets cold, and because of this, we tend to overheat the bedroom. Just know that the ideal temperature for a baby room is 18°, so prefer covering the child a little more rather than turning the thermostat up.
When it comes to the cleaning, using the most natural products possible is the best habit you can take, for the baby, and yourself. First, dust with a microfiber cloth before vacuuming. Then, clean the floor with, preferably, black soap,
Joone’s advice: you can make your own cleaning product by mixing 1 litre of warm water, 1 tablespoon of backing soda and some white vinegar.