When we first went shopping for baby furniture and supplies, I thought picking out the crib was going to be the hardest part. Colour, style and quality were all concerns obviously, but at the end of the day as long as they were all safe they weren’t really all that different, right? For me, the true test was in choosing a mattress. There must have been 20 different options – breathable, waterproof, organic, cotton, pebbled, non-pebbled. What the heck did it all mean?! Well as the knowledgeable salesperson rattled off the benefits to each and every mattress, I started to think – “I didn’t even think this hard about purchasing our mattress! And here I am feeling like a bad mother for not wanting to shell out for the organic version. Where does one draw the line? Will my baby be inhaling toxins? What else am I not thinking about?”
When it comes to our wee ones, we want nothing but the best. And as we start to think about the environment, all-natural products and chemicals, it’s a whirlwind of options. With Earth Day just around the corner, we wanted to share some environmentally friendly tips and products to create a green, healthy, sleep-friendly bedroom to help your babe sleep and put your mind at ease! Helping the environment is just a bonus 😉
Sustainable Sleep Solutions
The best way to take care of yourself and your wee one is to get enough sleep. If you can do it on an all-natural organic mattress that’s even better. Conventional bedding is often made from questionable materials. Whether made from pesticide-laden cotton or synthetic materials, we can never be quite sure what’s hiding beneath the fibres. The next best thing you can do for your sleep health is to sleep on all-natural products – they are breathable, soft and gentle on the skin (Aden & Anais are a favourite of our sleep consultants).
Air temperature and quality are key to creating the best environment for a great night’s sleep. Bedrooms can harbour dust mites and grime and create a “sleep smog.” Clear the air by using all-natural cleaners – The Honest Company has a fantastic line of baby-safe products including cleaners and laundry detergents – because poor breathing means poor sleep. To combat the pesky mites (which I know no one wants to even think about – yuck!) cover mattresses and pillows with allergen-impermeable zippered covers and wash bedding weekly in hot water.
Clear the air with an air filtration system that suits the needs of your household or decorate with some plants known to purify the air such as areca, lady, dawarf date and bamboo palms, ficus aalii, Boston fern or peace lily. Keep it cool – as global warming creeps up, we must make sure the temperature of our homes and especially bedrooms don’t keep pace. In order to have quality sleep, make sure the room is a comfortable temperature (our sleep experts recommend between 68–72°F or 20–22.2°C). Dial down the thermostat, promote better sleep and conserve energy.
As if you need another reason to hit the light switch (between sky-rocketing hydro bills and global warming) it has been shown that excessive light at night is toxic to our sleep. Dim the lights in the whole house a few hours before bed and use blackout curtains to maintain consistency in your babe’s circadian rhythm – night is dark and morning is light!
Earth Day is a time to celebrate our beautiful planet and re-evaluate our purchasing decisions and their impact on the Earth and ourselves. By thinking twice about how and what we go to bed in, we can help our families’ sleeping environments and the planet. Earth and your baby will thank you.
For more tips on how to live chemical-free in other areas of your life, check out:
10 Frugal Ways to Live Chemical-Free