4 Things Baby Needs for Safe, Healthy Sleep

Sleep is the time when babies grow and develop. During their first year, babies may spend up to 10 to 16 hours a day sleeping. A safe and healthy sleeping environment is crucial to their well-being and development, which includes these four crib essentials:

1. Crib Mattress without harmful chemicals

What’s in a crib mattress matters. Why? The Children's Environmental Health Center points to scientific research that suggests toxic chemicals in flame retardants, phthalates in vinyl and polyurethane foam commonly found in crib mattresses and other home products, are playing a role in the increase of childhood diseases.

The good news is you can limit your baby’s exposure to these harmful toxins by choosing a natural crib mattress. Look for mattresses made with:

2. Organic Bedding

Fitted crib sheets and crib mattress pads provide comfort and protection but natural fiber options don’t always mean they’re chemical-free. Organic cotton and sustainably processed bamboo and wool are healthier alternatives to conventionally processed cotton or synthetics. We recommend:

3. Organic Sleepwear

Toxic chemical flame retardants are still being used on most baby sleepwear made from synthetic fiber. Like all fabric finishes, fire retardants can off-gas into the air children breathe and irritate their skin. Infant and toddler pajamas made of cotton are not required to meet fire protection laws as long as they are cut to fit snuggly. Use 100% certified organic cotton or sustainably processed bamboo sleepwear to avoid harmful chemical exposure.

4. Non-Toxic Crib

Safety is the number one consideration when shopping for a crib. Cribs designed and constructed to meet the CPSC crib standard ensures its structural safety. But there’s also another important safety consideration: materials.  To reduce chemical off-gassing and prevent baby coming into mouth contact with toxic finishes, choose cribs that are made from natural, untreated materials -- free of harmful glues and finishes. Opt for stains, paints and sealers that have zero to low VOC’s and inert when dry.