If you’re a mom, you know having a community of mom friends is so important! You can bounce ideas off one another, commiserate in the hardships that come with raising kids, encourage each other and share what you’ve learned about keeping kids healthy. One area we’ve recently learned about that we are inspired to share with you today are changes to make at home like organic kids’ bedding in their rooms to make it an even safer place for them. We’re not saying you need to run out and replace everything today because let’s face it – beds, mattress, sheets, etc. are pricey! But we feel this is something that’s important to be aware of and to start making changes where and when you can. Our babies, toddlers and kids spend 10-12 hours a day sleeping (ok wellll maybe not all babies! But don’t worry – one day they will sleep!) so it’s important that they have a healthy sleeping environment.
Most mattresses and some pillows and sheets are treated with PCB’s and/or PBDE’s which are flame retardant chemicals sprayed on these products. While it may sound like a good idea in theory, medical research has found these chemicals to be harmful to neurological development, body regulating hormones, reproductive organs and metabolic functions. Links have been found to exist between exposure to flame retardants and cardiovascular disease, cancer and other endocrine diseases. Kids and babies are especially at risk! It’s impossible to avoid these chemicals nowadays – they’re sprayed on couches, cars, car seats, pajamas, furniture and so on. So when assessing how to limit exposure, we decided to first focus on the beds because our kids spend such a big chunk of their day there. Here are some of the brands we’ve swapped in to help reduce the risk to our little ones –
Avocado Mattress – the mattress will be the priciest swap you make! If you think of it as an investment in your kids’ future health it makes it absolutely worth it. We love this mattress because not only is it not sprayed or treated with flame retardants, it also is made with organic materials (limiting exposure to pesticides) and is certified Green Guard Gold. This is the highest certification a company can receive for off-gases; it basically means that the VOCs (chemicals released from products in a gas form) are low from this product. It also is a very comfortable mattress! When reading books with our kids we often fall asleep and don’t wake up for hours because we are so comfy. And this mattress isn’t for kids either – if you’re sleeping on a low quality mattress now is the time to upgrade yours too!
Newton Wovenaire Crib Mattress – in addition to being free of harmful chemicals, we also wanted our babies to have a breathable mattress. We love this one because it’s not made like a traditional mattress, if you open it up you’ll see it almost looks like a nest! Which is helpful for so many things – it’s completely breathable, washable (you can remove the cover and just rinse it off in the shower) and great for regulating temperature and reducing dust allergens in the crib.
Happsy Pillows – pillows are another great swap to make to help your kids chemical exposure at night. These are pricey, but they are one of the only pillows we found that have organic stuffing. Most of the time “organic pillows” will have an organic lining, but the stuffing is still really bad.
My Green Mattress Pad Protector – kids have accidents, it’s a fact of life! Whether they wet the bed, throw up when their sick, spill a drink, color with marker on their sheets, etc the likelihood of their mattress getting stained is very likely… and after making the investment in a quality mattress you want it to last a long time! Plus after that investment, you don’t want to put a chemical filled mattress pad that completely defeats the purpose! Just like pillows, most mattress pads have an organic lining, but are filled with cheap and low quality stuffing. This one is also Green Guard Gold certified, made with organic cotton and is not sprayed or treated with flame retardants. They have both regular bed sizes and crib matress size.
Organic Bedding – now that you’ve got your safe base (mattress, mattress pad and pillows) you’ll want to top it well too! We’ve found our favorite organic crib sheets from Burt’s Bees and our kiddos sleep on the grey stripes and flowers. They are the softest!! For our older kids we found super cute designs at Pottery Barn Kids! We let our kiddos pick out their own and they picked construction, rainbows and a fun garden print.
Organic Pajamas and Underwear – last but not least, it’s good to swap our pajamas! If you’ve ever bought fleece pajamas you most likely saw the tag letting you know they are treated with flame retardants – ugh! In our opinion, this is the first swap you should make since pajamas are right on the skin. If you’ve ever looked into organic clothing you know it can be EXPENSIVE. But thankfully there are some cost effective pajama options! Our favorite brands include Burt’s Bees, Lamaze and Skylar Lunar. Gap also has cute options!
Organic underwear is also so important for little girls!! Once you’ve gone through potty training consider making the switch. Their privates are some of the most absorbent parts of the body, so pesticides and chemicals used to treat the cotton and fabric can be absorbed into the body. Two brands we regularly use are Burt’s Bees (although note that they are not 100% cotton – they are 5% spandex) and Lucky and Me. And this isn’t just for kids – it’s important for all women to make the switch to organic!
Bonus Change: Baby Monitor – obviously this isn’t bedding related, but monitor systems are omnipresent in kids’ rooms so we thought it was worth mentioning! Studies are also showing the harmful side effects from constant exposure to WiFi radiation. If you use a camera that connects to the monitor screen over WiFi, consider switching to one that doesn’t. WiFi will likely still be present in their room from your computer’s router, but it at least won’t be a strong and direct signal. We like the Infant Optics set.