Once you start researching the toxins in our everyday environment, it can be scary and mind boggling for any new parent! What is unhealthy for adults is 10 times more toxic to a sensitive little body. Below, I’ve summarized the most important areas of concern, giving you healthy options.

The Framework: Crib, Furniture, Paint and Flooring

1. Crib

Make sure your crib is solid wood and formaldehyde-free. When shopping for a crib, look for one with a metal mattress support. Particle board contains formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals that will off-gas as your baby sleeps. If you already own a crib with particle board support, you can use Safe Coat Seal to prevent off-gassing.

2. Furniture

After you take new furniture out of the box, let it air out for at least a few weeks to allow off-gassing. Do not purchase particle board furniture if possible, instead make sure to use solid wood, wicker, metal, or formaldehyde-free furniture. Another alternative: Avoid toxins and save money by buying used, solid wood furniture for a classic look!

3. Paint

When painting it is very important to choose low or non-VOC paint that is are certified by Green Seal and Scientific Certification Systems. VOC stands for "volatile organic compound." These unstable chemicals let off gasses that are very harmful to people and the environment.

4. Carpet and Flooring

Wool or hemp are great alternatives for new carpet, instead of a synthetic one which will off-gas VOCs. FLOR and Nature's Carpet are two great brands. If you choose hardwood flooring get one with a non-toxic sealant and no UV protection. Try an organic cotton or wool rug as an accent and as a great place for your baby to crawl and play!


Avoid commercial brands and switch to cloth or disposable alternatives. Commercial brands may contain traces of Dioxin, which is a carcinogenic. It is even listed by the EPA as the most toxic cancer-linked chemical. Other toxins are Tributyl–tin (TBT) which causes hormonal problems in humans in animals, and phthalates which produces a gel-like substance when wet. Some healthy alternatives are Seventh Generation (free & clear disposable diapers), gDiapers (hybrid & biodegradable diaper), GroVia (cloth and biodegradable diaper).

Bedding, Sleepwear and Mattress

 1. Switch to GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Bedding! When you consider the number of hours your baby will be sleeping, especially as a tiny newborn, organic bedding is at the top of the list. According to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), 25% of the world’s insecticide use and more than 10% of the world’s pesticides are for cotton crops. Much of the world’s cotton is Bt cotton, which has been genetically modified to grow its own toxic pesticide. These chemicals can be toxic or allergy-inducing for babies. Avoid the risks of these chemicals by using GOTS certified organic cotton.

2. What is true for baby’s bedding is true for her sleepwear. Cambria Baby will get you off to a good start with organic gowns, hats, mitts and swaddles.

3. Choose a mattress made of natural materials. Toxins to avoid in mattresses are PBDEs and chemical fire retardants. Instead look for a mattress made of Organic Wool, Natural Latex and Organic Cotton.

Cleaning Products

1. Many conventional cleaners contain toxic chemicals. Instead use natural, eco-friendly cleaning products (which clean just as well as conventional cleaners without the added toxins). Meyers and Seventh Generation are two of our favorite natural cleansers.

2. Disinfecting: The two most effective natural disinfectants are vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. For a terrific guide on using vinegar and hydrogen peroxide for disinfecting (separately, never mixed), visit davidsuzuki.org


Avoid plastic toys that contain toxic chemicals such as dioxins, phthalates, and BPA. There are many beautiful wooden toys with non-toxic paint that are well made and fun to play with!

Bottles and Food Containers

1. To help reduce exposure to the chemicals found in many plastics, try switching to products made without the toxic chemical Bisphenol-A or “BPA,” which can disrupt hormones and may lead to a number of health problems.

2. The safest bet is to use glass bottles to store breastmilk and to feed your baby with. Most plastic baby bottles use #7 plastic which has been found to contain hormone disruptors!

3. Pyrex is a good choice for food storage, and goes from the freezer to the microwave or oven.

Teethers and Pacifiers:

1. Pacifiers: The best Non-toxic pacifier is made of natural rubber, available from Natursutten.

2. Teethers: Avoid plastic by choosing organic cloth dolls and cloth teethers, or wood teethers with a non-toxic finish.

Last but Not Least, Fresh Air!

Open your windows for fresh air and fill your home with houseplants, which help clean the air! If you live in the city, an air purifier can be helpful, but even on smoggy days indoor air is often found to be as much as ten times more polluted than what’s outdoors! Be sure to ask at your nursery which are baby safe, then keep them up high, away out of reach by little hands.