We get asked almost weekly about how to find green/non-toxic cribs and mattresses on a budget. And, it’s no wonder when you look at the premium prices on organic and eco-friendly options.
Of course you want the safest sleeping situation for your baby, but what should you do if it’s simply not financially feasible to buy all organic and sustainable stuff? Read on to learn how to prioritize the specific risks and how to reduce them on a dime.
Conventional crib mattresses are made using polyurethane foam, treated with flame retardants, covered in PVC, potentially treated with more flame retardants, and then maybe some stain guard for good measure. Thus, this seemingly benign sleeping surface potentially exposes babies to toluene, styrene, ethyl benzene, iso propyl benzene, antimony trioxide, vinylidene chloride, lead, phthalates, and other chemical nightmares.
Clearly, exposure to toxic chemicals in mattresses is a legitimate concern, but it’s also very complicated. It’s difficult to find out exactly what’s being used in most products; every individual can have unique reactions; and there’s little research on potential health hazards.
Since your baby will be spending 14-16 hours a day with her face buried in it’s fibers, the mattress should be your priority. If there is one product to splurge on, this is it. If you can’t, don’t despair – here are two ideas:
1. Make one request for your baby shower: have everyone pitch in on an organic mattress.
2. Make do with a conventional option.
- Look for a mattress that is not covered in PVC and has as few chemical treatments as possible.
- Air out a new mattress until there’s no longer any hint of chemical smell. This is no guarantee that all the chemicals have off-gassed, but it should be significantly less.
- Flame retardants are released from the mattress as it breaks down, so you’ll want to try to encapsulate the dust. A tightly woven cotton barrier cloth meant to keep in dust-mites can help with the dust.
- If you’re worried about on-going off-gassing, you’ll need an impermeable cover.There are mattress pads and covers made from a special food-grade polyethylene plastic that not only do not off-gas themselves, but also reduce off-gassing from mattresses. I know many moms may cringe at the idea of encapsulating their baby’s bed in plastic, but this solution will reduce chemical exposure and it is very affordable.
Read the rest of this post at HealthyChild.org to learn ways to find safer, budget-friendly crib and bedding options.
Source | WebMd