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Ditch the Dyes Cheat Sheets

Top 5 Non-Toxic Nursery Must Haves

By Kristie Turck •  Published 03/01/13 •  5 min read

Last updated on August 20th, 2022 at 09:16 am

Are you expecting a baby? Or know someone who is?  One of my most frequent questions is how to make a baby nursery safe without going completely nuts in the process.  Not easy to do when you start reading and learning about all the toxic chemicals we run into on a day-to-day basis.  Babies are small and developing fast, so they are ultra-sensitive to their environment, naturally!  To make things a little easier here are the main things that SafeMama’s focus on in their nurserys.

5 Ways To Make Your Nursery Non-Toxic

No VOC Wall Paint

You and your baby will spend a lot of time in your baby nursery and if you plan on painting it before your new arrival, consider the fact that wall paint, traditional paint, emit VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) into the air as the paint dries and after.  Other finishes, glues and adhesives, carpeting materials, and padding can produce them too and some VOCs are suspected carcinogens.  So keeping the air as clean as you can by selecting VOC Free paint is a good step.  The only reason I list this over carpeting is that some parents don’t have a choice about flooring.  If you can stick to hardwoods and a natural rug, great but not everyone has the option.  Painting is something a majority of new parents do.  So choosing something that won’t affect air quality is ideal.  There are many on the market, but you have to be careful because while the base paints may be free of VOCs, the dyes and colorants added to make that perfect shade of pale blue or pink, might.  One brand I trust is Green Planet Paints which I have inquired with and they assure me that their paints and colorants are all VOC Free.

Natural Crib Mattress

Ok, I know what you’re going to say.  “But they are so expensive!” and yes compared to commercial mattresses in baby stores they do carry a higher price tag.  BUT!  This is the one thing I think is worth the splurge.  If you’re going to do anything to make your nursery a safer environment, this should be it.  Your baby will be on it for up to 18 hours a day (babies sleep a lot!) and will continue to spend a huge chunk of each day and night napping on it.  Traditional mattresses can contain flame retardant-treated foams, phthalates, and vinyl.  It’s wise to choose a crib mattress that is made with a more natural approach.  My top choice is always Naturepedic Crib Mattresses.  Along with the major concerns that also avoid the use of potential allergen materials.  I have used a Naturepedic through TWO rough and tumble boys and it still looks brand new.  It will go the mile and outperform my expectations.  My youngest still sleeps on it as a toddler mattress.  I support this product not because they are one of my sponsors, but because I truly feel this is one of the safest options out there.


Baby furniture can also be a source of indoor air pollution if it’s made with pressed particle board or MDF which can off-gas formaldehyde and other VOCs. Hardwood is the best choice.  A used furniture is an option but beware when buying used baby cribs – check to make sure the crib has not been recalled and avoid drop-side cribs, which are no longer up to safety standards.

Safe Body Care Products

Skin care products are high on my list.  Babies have this thin and easily penetrable skin that is so vulnerable to chemical exposure.  Why would you slather your perfect newborn with synthetic ingredients, artificial fragrances, and potential hormone disruptors? Choosing safe skin care can be hard to do and of course, there is always a cost issue.  Brands free of as many parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, and synthetics are best.  My top choices include Earth Mama Orangics (I recommend ALL their products for mom and baby) and Babo Botanicals but there are also other great brands to choose from on the Skin Care Cheat Sheet that will meet your needs and price range.


This is a big topic which I will expound on in the very near future.  Diapers are on your baby all day every day, so why not have the least toxic thing next to them? I *know* this can be an area of contention with people who must use disposables versus cloth diapering but if you can swing it, there are tons of cloth diapering options that don’t have to be so messy and complicated.  I really like the GroVia hybrid system of diapers that allows you to only have to wash part of the diaper.  It’s less laundry and more manageable and has a disposable, biodegradable option. I used and loved them.  But, there are tons of cloth diapering options, (cloth diaper enthusiasts everywhere can tell you what to get) it’s just a matter of finding the system that works best for you. If you need regular disposables, and believe me, I get it, try to choose some of the more environmental brands just to avoid the fragrances and phthalates alone.

Of course, you can do many things to detox your baby’s environment.

I think the above five are some we can safely manage and invest in for the long term.  Car seats, home furnishings, and air filters are other things you can look into changing

What are your tips for making the home safe for you and your baby?


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