Decorating a nursery for your new arrival is a true labour of love, and one of the most exciting parts of being an expectant parent. Our guide to non-toxic nursery products will help you create a space that will protect the health of your newborn by keeping chemicals to a minimum.
Introducing Pure Earth Collection
Pure Earth Collection is a growing company that creates natural, non-toxic and biodegradable children’s products perfect for your baby’s nursery. Founded by Emma Bianco and previously trading as Little Earth Baby, Pure Earth Collection are passionate about keeping our little ones safe, as well as being kind to the environment. All of their products are beautifully designed to a very high standard and are free from formaldehyde, BPA, phthalates, EVA foam, polycarbonate and other nasty chemicals.
We take a closer look at their range of non-toxic, organic and eco-friendly products, as well as throwing in a few tips on how to prepare your baby’s room.
What to consider when choosing non-toxic nursery furniture
When choosing furniture for your baby’s nursery, make sure you look at the materials each piece is made with before you buy. Avoid vintage, antique or older pieces that might have been varnished with toxic chemicals.
Flame retardants can still be found in many baby products, from mattresses to car seats. While you might think flame-retardant furniture sounds like a good idea, the truth is it’s really important to avoid flame-retardant chemicals. Make sure you choose furniture made without highly flammable materials, so there’s no need for flame retardants to be added.
We recommend choosing nursery furniture made from sustainable materials, such as wood or bamboo. Choose solid wood instead of wood that’s been made into a pulp and mixed with nasty chemicals.
Opt for safer flooring
When considering the best flooring options for your baby’s nursery, choose wooden floors with a non-toxic and polyurethane-free varnish. If you’re considering a new carpet or rug, choose one made with naturally-sourced organic fibres, such as wool, cotton, sisal or jute. Always avoid synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester that contain toxins. The carpet underlay is also important as a lot of them will leach chemicals into the air. It’s best to choose a natural carpet underlay such as wool.
When it comes to eco-friendly alternatives to wood, look into bamboo and cork flooring. Bamboo is durable, scratch and water-resistant, making it a fabulous option for kids. Cork flooring is an eco-friendly wood flooring made from the bark of the cork oak tree, which can be sustainably harvested time and time again. It also makes a fabulous base for your toddler to crawl on.
We recommend investing in a play mat for your new nursery, as you’ll end up spending quite a bit of time on the floor with your baby.
These natural playmats from Pure Earth Collection are both sustainable and biodegradable and contain no nasty chemicals. They’re made with natural rubber foam with cork on top for an antibacterial, non-slip unique looking play mat that will look fabulous in your nursery or living room.
Pure Earth Collection’s natural play mats are a great alternative to conventional foam mats which are made from either PVC, EVA or polyurethane. All of these are very toxic plastics that give off nasty chemicals into the air.
According to The Lullaby Trust, it’s important to make sure that your baby is a comfortable temperature at night. Not too hot or too cold. This is because the chance of SIDS is higher in babies who get too hot. You should look to ensure your baby’s room temperature stays between 16-20°C together with light bedding or a lightweight, well-fitting baby sleep bag.
These organic bamboo baby sleeping bags by Pure Earth Collection are great for all seasons because they’re thermoregulating.
Most sleeping bags on the market contain polyester wadding, which means that they are only suitable for a very small 2-3 degree temperature change, and why they’re given a tog rating. Pure Earth Collection sleeping bags use only organic fabrics with innovative bamboo wadding, which is super clever when it comes to helping babies regulate their own temperature. These sleeping bags are ideal for room temperatures that range from 13-27 degrees and are perfect for hot summers and cold winters alike.
We love that every sleeping bag also comes with a detachable comforter.
Non-toxic lighting for your baby’s bedroom
Your baby’s nursery should be kept dark during nighttime and nap times, and any nursery lighting should be soft and dim. It’s important to avoid blue light in your baby’s nursery, as overexposure can put children at risk of developing issues with their eyesight.
Blue light is emitted by sunlight, digital screens and LED bulbs and as children’s eyes are very sensitive, they absorb more blue light than adult eyes.
Pure Earth Collection’s blackout blinds offer a safe alternative to the PVC blinds currently available and are a great way to block out any sunlight that might creep through the curtains.
PVC blackout blinds give off hundreds of toxic chemicals into the air every second, especially when they are heated up in direct sunlight (you can actually smell the toxins coming off of them when they’re in a sunny window – which is why they come with warnings not to leave in direct sunlight).
These blinds are made from 100% organic cotton, so they’re totally safe and non-toxic. What’s more, they’re stickier than most blinds we’ve tried on the market. This means they’re really easy to put up and they stay in place for weeks (in fact, infinitely!) without falling off.
Another product Pure Earth Collection are really passionate about for healthy babies is organic toys.
Their range of sensory toys are made from 100% organic fabrics, including the stuffing and labels which are totally natural and biodegradable. It’s so important for babies to have toys made from natural fabrics as they spend a lot of time sucking on their toys. Polyester plush sheds a lot of microplastics and so when babies put it in their mouths they’re potentially ingesting thousands of tiny plastic particles each time.
These sensory toys are made from biodegradable bamboo fibre filling and their cotton labels are made with safe, non-toxic inks. With crinkle fabrics and a recycled rattle in the body, these super-cute sensory toys are suitable from birth and can be hand washed when required.
Pure Earth Collection’s gorgeous bunny comforters are made from 100% organic cotton plush with organic bamboo inner ears. With a biodegradable fill, they’re super soft and fluffy to touch.
These comforters are designed to be suitable from birth but don’t forget, you must never leave loose items in your baby’s cot when they’re newborn.
It’s so important to make sure your baby’s teethers are non-toxic, for obvious reasons. These cute bush baby teething rings are made with natural, organic fabrics and safe dyes on a natural maplewood ring. They’re brushed with organic coconut oil so they’re safe for both babies and the environment.
A quick guide to materials you should avoid in nursery furniture and accessories
- VOCs short for Vol Organic Compounds and is often found in paints, lacquers and varnishes. VOCs are gases emitted into the air from products or processes. Some are harmful by themselves, but others can also react with other gases and form other air pollutants after they are in the air.
- Formaldehyde is a colourless, strong-smelling poisonous gas. It’s a known carcinogen that has been found in the fabrics of mainstream baby clothing brands in concentrations of up to 18,000 ppm (parts per million). That’s 900 times over what is considered ‘safe’ for baby clothing.
- PFAS chemicals is often found in stain-resistant carpets, rugs, and furniture. A growing body of science has found that there are potential adverse health impacts associated with PFAS exposure, including liver damage, thyroid disease, decreased fertility, high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression and cancer. These chemicals can easily migrate into the air, dust, food, soil and water.
- Flame Retardant chemicals have been linked to endocrine and thyroid disruption, impacts to the immune system, reproductive toxicity, cancer and adverse effects on fetal and child development.
- PVC contains dangerous chemical additives including phthalates, lead, cadmium, and/or organotins, which can be toxic to your child’s health. These toxic additives can leach out or evaporate into the air over time, posing unnecessary dangers to children.
- Harmful phthalates Phthalates can sometimes be found in children’s toys and some skincare products. They’re a family of industrial chemicals used to soften polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic and as solvents in cosmetics and other consumer products, can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system.