Pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and harmful dyes are all used to create standard crib mattresses and sheets. These chemicals are harmful to the planet in their production and harmful to your baby 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.
The materials used to make a modern conventional crib mattress pose a serious health risk to the sleeper. Take a close look at the small white tag attached to a crib mattress and you will find that it is labeled “Do Not Remove.” Mattress manufacturers are required by law to list the contents of the mattress, broken down by percentage, on this little tag. This label may tell you what your mattress is made of, but it does not tell you what those materials are made from. For example, polyurethane foam is one of the most common materials used to make crib mattresses. This material may be listed on the content label, but you will not receive any information about the potential hazards that can be caused by the chemicals that are used to make polyurethane foam. Nor is there any information about the byproducts of these chemicals, or what will happen as they break down over time.
All flexible polyurethane foam is created in either a mold or slab process 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.
You baby will spend the better part of his first few months sleeping in his crib, so it's important to be very selective when shopping for a crib mattress. The ideal choice 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 (www.lifekind.com), Eco Bedroom (www.ecobedroom.com), or Eco Baby (www.ecobaby.com) to find an organic crib mattress to suit your baby's needs.
Similar to baby clothing, the sheets you use in your baby's bed should be free of chemical pesticides. Lay your baby down on environmentally sound, organic bedding options that will ease your worried mind while he rests. Try Lifekind (www.lifekind.com) and Sage Baby (www.sagebabynyc.com) for organic cotton baby bedding in a variety of styles and colors.