Healthy Green Nursery

Finding out you’re pregnant can be one of the most exciting times in your life. And many expectant parents experience the instinct to “nest” almost immediately. One of the first things you may think about when planning a baby nursery is how the room will look. And while it is certainly important that the room is beautiful and expresses your style, it is also important that it is healthy. Many common products found in our homes and used to decorate the nursery, including certain types of paint, finishes, carpeting, mattresses, curtains and particleboard, contain harmful chemicals. Through a process called “off gassing” these chemicals are in the air we breathe. In fact, studies from the EPA have shown that the air inside our homes can be 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside our homes regardless of whether we live in a rural area or in cities. Pound per pound babies breathe more air, eat more food, drink more water and are therefore exposed to more toxins. Babies’ immature organs are less able to cope with the toxins in their environment than those of adults. Children enjoy touching everything around them; eventually either their hands or random objects wind up in their mouths, exposing them to even more chemicals. If you want to make your home green and healthy, your baby’s room is probably the best place to start.

We understand it can be overwhelming to weed through all the “stuff,” you are told one needs for a baby and when you add green and healthy to your list it can be even more stressful. We wrote this book to help simplify the process. Included is a shopping checklist of items to consider for the nursery, as well as links to our favorite green products. We also offer simple steps you can take to make your home healthier as well as tips on everything from helping the baby sleep, to how to use color, to how to organize the nursery.

We created this book so expectant parents can easily create a healthy, organized and functional baby’s room, so they have time to focus on what’s really important — the arrival of their baby!

Excerpt from the book:

Preparing your home and life for a baby can be one of life’s most exciting and heartfelt journeys. I love spending time at home and enjoy the process of “nesting.” When I was pregnant, my nesting instinct was heightened and my home became central to the process of preparing for my baby. Just a few months after I found out I was pregnant, I turned my attention to the nursery. The desire to create a safe, warm, beautiful place for our babies is instinctual. The power of our homes to inspire, nurture, protect and soothe was never more evident than when I was pregnant.

Even though I was very excited to prepare my baby’s room, I had no idea what to put in it! I knew people registered for baby gifts and my friends with children often talked about all the “stuff” that you need to care for babies, but I didn’t have a clue what that stuff included. So I did what many women do and asked my girlfriends who already were mothers—and like magic—they produced “lists.” I was grateful to be introduced to the world of baby lists— other expectant mothers’ detailed, thoughtful advice on what you will need for your baby that have been passed from friend to friend.

The amount of stuff on these lists was incredible, but even more surprising was the fact that I was completely unfamiliar with many of the things listed. What was a Diaper Genie? A wipes warmer? A bumper pad? And was it really all necessary?

But even with my friends’ advice one thing was clear, I was overwhelmed by all the stuff. Since simplicity and organization is important to me, I became determined to have just the right amount of stuff that would support me, but not weigh me down and clutter my home.

So I started by comparing my friends’ lists—what did Pam have on her list that Kari and Kristen didn’t? I then made my own list and tried to sort through all the various products. I started with the obvious—I knew I would need a crib mattress—so I purchased my first item for the nursery! I then put the mattress in a closet to store until I had everything else I would need to start decorating. Little did I know that the simple act of storing the mattress would add a whole new dimension to the process.

A few months later when I opened the door to the closet I was overwhelmed by a strong chemical odor. My first thought was that someone had spilled paint thinner. But I soon discovered the smell was the result of fumes being emitted by the crib mattress. Common sense told me these fumes could not be good for a newborn, so I began doing some research. A little time online and my suspicions were confirmed; the fumes were a result of a process called off-gassing and were indeed toxic. In that moment, I committed to buying only natural, healthy, green products.

At the time I had no idea how much time and research creating a healthy, green nursery would require! And in 2003, natural options were not readily available and were very expensive. Non-toxic paints, BPA-free bottles, and organic mattresses were not discussed among my friends, weren’t on their lists and, in those days, were hard to find!

So I turned to my best friend, and support system, my sister Alison. We co-own a home and lifestyle consulting business and decided to add green and healthy to our list of essentials for creating an inspirational home and life.

My sister and I started doing a lot of research and consulted with green experts. But even with Alison’s help, it took a great deal of time to find healthy, green (and stylish!) versions
of everything I would need—from a PVC-free bathing tub to organic wool puddle pads to fragrance-free diaper creams, to a solid wood crib with a non-toxic finish. Realizing just how time-consuming and overwhelming this process could be inspired us to write our book, The Peaceful Nursery and this guide. We also created The Peaceful Nursery iPhone App and Android App.

My sister and I developed these tools to support others so the process of preparing for your baby is graceful, inspired and streamlined and your nursery is functional, organized
and healthy. This way, you can enjoy your pregnancy and focus on more important things like sleeping, taking care of your body, meditating, spending time with your partner, and preparing mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually for the miracle to come.

Alison and I hope our experience and research remove any stress from the process and make creating a nursery an enjoyable, special time for you and your family.
—Laura

Click here to buy the eBook now and it will instantly be delivered to your inbox. And if you like this you may also like our iPhone App Peaceful Nursery: Green, Healthy Tips for Your Baby’s Room. Check out the app by clicking here!