You wouldn't know it to look at them, but more newborn babies sleep a lot ... as much as 16-20 hours a day for the first few weeks and about 14 hours a day after that throughout their first year. Slumber makes up a big part of their lives for their first developmental year of life, so it makes sense to provide your baby with a safe and healthy place to rest her weary head.

Cribs, bassinets, and co-sleepers

If you can get a secondhand crib from a reliable source that meets all of today’s safety requirements, you have hit the jackpot when it comes to finding a crib, bassinet or cosleeper for your baby! You will save money and the environment. If you do need to purchase new, be very selective. Cheap furniture, while tempting for the budget, typically contains formaldehyde and high-VOC particle board. Steer clear of products that carry the label “known to the state of California to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity,” as it likely contains these toxins. If your budget allows, look for products made from organic, recycled, and/or sustainable materials.  Check out Lifekind, Ikea and Sage Baby for non-toxic cribs and baby furniture.

Crib mattresses

Polyurethane foam is one of the most common materials used to make crib mattresses. This material is created by reacting chemicals known as isocyanates and polyols with other chemicals that act as stabilizers, catalysts, surfactants, fire retardants, colorants, stain repellants, and blowing agents. Each of these chemicals is associated with a host of environmental and human health hazards.  The ideal choice when selecting a crib mattress for your baby is an organic wool mattress that is naturally resistant to dust mites and mold and made without the use of synthetic pesticides. Check out Lifekind, Eco Bedroom, or Eco Baby to find an organic crib mattress to suit your baby’s needs.

Bedding

Pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and harmful dyes are all to create standard crib mattresses and sheets. These chemicals are harmful to the planet in their production and harmful to your baby’s each time she sleeps. In a recent report published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers found that the use of bedding that contains no synthetic materials appears to reduce the risk of developing wheezing in infants. Lifekind and Sage Baby offer organic cotton baby bedding in a variety of styles and colors.

Photo by xymonau

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