For new moms, creating a safe, comfortable and planet-friendly nursery on a budget can often be challenging! How can the average household stick to a tight budget and still provide a peaceful, “green” environment for the newest member of the household? The following tips & suggestions show that yes, it IS possible for the average household to create a space that is kind to baby, the wallet and the environment!
Choose Low to Zero VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) Paint
Olympic® Premium Zero VOC Interior Paint is the only paint available in any color, available exclusively at Lowe’s, making it easy if you want to live and decorate “green.” You can choose from more than 1,200 colors in Olympic Paint’s palette or custom color match any color for the perfect hue for baby’s nursery. Unlike traditional paints, Olympic Premium Zero VOC Interior Paint is virtually odorless, which means you can breathe easy and have a more enjoyable painting experience, while contributing to the health of your home and the environment. Olympic Premium® paint starts at $18 a gallon, so not only is it good for indoor air quality, but it’s great for your budget, too! www.lowes.com.
Opt for Natural
From the furnishings to the crib sheets to the mattress – natural truly is better. One of the best items to “splurge” on for baby is an organic crib mattress. According to Shannon Choe, Founder of Premier Baby Concierge, “New parents are usually shocked to learn that most traditional mattresses have a vinyl cover with PVC, which is one of the most toxic plastics, and are foam made from petroleum with the toxic additive polyurethane and that these are tied to respiratory issues and are known carcinogens. Babies sleep a lot and spend a lot of time in their cribs, so the mattress is obviously one of the most important purchases parents will make and they should definitely learn more.”
However, for those on a strict budget, this simply may not be an option in this economic climate! This is where Natural Mat comes in – they have created an Organic Top Mat that is 100% Organic lambswool in a quilted cover. The Organic Top Mat is an economical way to give your precious cherub the key benefits of an organic mattress, at less than half the price. It fits easily over any existing mattress, protecting baby from breathing in any toxic chemicals, and as it rolls up easily, it can be utilized as a travel mat for naps on-the-go! www.naturalmatusa.com.
For sheets, purchase two fitted organic cotton sheets for starters. Babies do not require a top sheet, and having two fitted sheets, one on the mattress and one clean in the drawer, is truly all you need. Kushies offers lovely, super-soft 100% Organic Cotton sheets, in a variety of hues for baby’s nursery. At just $25.49, two sheets will not break the bank, and will have everyone breathing easier! www.kushiesonline.com
Ronique Gibson, of Stagetecture, chimes in, “For inexpensive décor and baby toys opt for natural wood objects over plastic formed ones. Instead of choosing expensive out-of-the box toys, use simple household items, like wood kitchen utensils and pots and pans for noise makers.”
For bedding and furnishings, look for natural materials made from jute, seagrass, wool or cotton for area rugs and simple window treatments. Consider using sheets and simple materials from a fabric store to keep costs down for window treatments and wall hangings.”
Clean & Freshen the Nursery Without Chemicals
Keeping a handle on germs with a newborn in the house is top-of-mind for most parents! When cleaning baby’s nursery, choose non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning supplies that will not expose your child to harsh chemicals.
Munchkin offers a powerful, portable Arm & Hammer Nursery Freshener that contains the power of baking soda & scented with soothing lavender that can be placed in diaper pails, diaper bags, changing tables, hampers, and more to keep odors at bay! www.munchkin.com
For cleaning the nursery, Eco Clean is a non-toxic, child-friendly collection fragranced with fresh smelling essential oils (orange rosemary, spicy lavender and cool mint). Since Eco Clean is made of plant and sugar-based surfactants, no toxic gases or fumes are released upon contact with water. This is a delightful choice for the entire household, as well! All Eco Clean products are available for $4.49 at www.Alice.com and Duane Reade, and a little truly goes a long way!
To soothe and calm fussy little ones when the rocking chair just won’t do – a natural cotton carrier that will last from birth through 35 lbs. is a wonderful addition to any green nursery! The Baby K’tan® Baby Carrier is a 100% natural cotton, ergonomically designed & stylish soft hybrid baby carrier. Baby K’tan is a cross between a sling and a structured front baby carrier, offering the positions and benefits of both! The stylish and soft nature of the Baby K’tan® Baby Carrier will last as your baby grows – perfect for any budget-conscious parents. With the Baby K’tan infant carrier, your baby can be carried upright (facing in or out), and as they get older, they can be carried on your hip. www.babyktan.com
Your child’s nursery does not have to be expensive, with these simple tips. Scour consignment stores & online discount stores such as Overstock.com for the larger items, or repurpose pieces of furniture that you already own. Have fun, be playful, and don’t be afraid to use color! Remember, your child will all too soon be asking for his or her own style to shine through!
*Images provided by companies mentioned above.*