This March, The Chalkboard is pleased to have Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan from The Honest Company as our Guest Editors. Every week, these two eco-innovators will be sharing some of their wisdom—last week they told us the story behind their family-friendly brand—and today we’ve got their top 7 tips for creating and maintaining a healthy nursery! We hope you enjoy it and use these helpful hints in your own home.
A child’s nursery is a sanctuary of sorts – a safe, peaceful place away from the hubbub of the household and the din beyond its doors.
Most parents pay close attention to detail as they create the space, lovingly choosing just the right shade of paint and decor to reflect their child’s budding personality, and bedding that hopefully helps promote long hours of tranquil slumber.
But one thing that’s often overlooked is creating an environment that helps protect and support your baby’s health. Here are 7 honest tips for making sure your baby has a healthy nursery:
1. Make a better bed. Your new baby will spend an average of 16 hours sleeping every day (if you’re lucky), with her face nuzzled into her mattress and bedding. Invest in an organic mattress if possible and organic bedding, as well.
2. Select safer furnishings and decor. Anything with that “new smell” can potentially off-gas risky chemicals into your indoor air. Air things out in your garage or outdoors. Alternatively, buy furnishings and decor made from solid wood with non-toxic finishes & natural textiles.
3. Avoid the apps. Parents are increasingly turning to smart phones for apps that monitor their babies or purportedly help them sleep. But cell phone radiation could pose a serious risk to your child’s developing brain. Use a traditional monitor or sound machine if needed and place as far away from your child as possible. And if you have younger ones inclined to use your smartphone, turn OFF the cellular reception and put it on “airplane” mode.
4. Crack a window. Indoor air is often far more polluted than outdoor air. Opening a window for even a few minutes a day let’s the bad air out and better air in. If you live near a busy road or a facility that emits a lot of air pollution, wait until down times when air quality is best.
5. Bust dust. Household dust is often contaminated with chemicals, allergens, mites and more. Babies breathe it in and also ingest it through “dust to hand to mouth” behavior. Dust with a damp cloth and vacuum with a HEPA filter regularly.
6. Clean with a conscience. Most conventional household cleaners contain risky chemicals that are linked to everything from asthma to cancer. Clean with a conscience using safe, non-toxic options like The Honest Company’s All-Purpose Spray and Honest Laundry Detergent (we know that’s a shameless self-promotion, but it’s good stuff!).
7. Grow some green. Plants are natural air filters (and they’re a beautiful addition to any room). NASA studies recommend that you use one good-sized houseplant in a 6 to 8-inch diameter container for every 100 square feet of your home. Just be sure to choose a non-poisonous variety.
Here’s hoping your baby grows healthy and sleeps easy!
Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan
Founders, The Honest Company