If the home was built before 1978, the walls are likely to contain lead paint. To keep baby safe, this paint must be completely removed and the walls sanded. Expectant mothers, however, should not be doing this work. Anything that is accidentally inhaled by a pregnant woman affects the unborn child as well. In fact, if you are expecting, you should not even be in the home while the paint removal is occurring.
Likewise, the mother-to-be should avoid painting the new room and allow family or friends to complete this task instead. If the mother is exposed to the paint fumes, the baby will be as well. Timing is also very important; ensure this work is finished at least a month or two before baby’s arrival. This allows the paint to dry completely, which helps eliminate the toxins from the fumes.
Another consideration in redecorating is flooring. Newly purchased carpet, especially those that have been treated with stain-resistant materials, should never be added to the nursery. The chemicals with which the carpets are treated are toxic; they can cause breathing difficulties and other health problems to the newborn. It is much safer to keep older carpet in the nursery for a time; the fumes from these carpets have had time to disperse.
If the carpet is a disaster, and you must change the flooring, consider using materials such as natural linoleum, or pre-treated hardwood flooring. One consideration when using hardwood flooring is that water-based stains and finishes are much safer than those that are oil-based. This is because those that are designed with oil bases are more toxic. Ask the supplier; use only the safest materials in this precious child’s room!
If there are windows in the nursery, beware of curtains that are made of flame-retardant materials. Most of these materials contain a chemical called PBDE, which has unfortunately been associated with thyroid disorders as well as developmental delays in laboratory animals. Protect your baby by avoiding any fabrics or clothing containing these harmful chemicals!
Nursery furnishings can also be dangerous to the baby unless the expectant parents take care to avoid this hazard. First, older cribs are not safe. Many cribs have been recalled in recent years, and knowing which ones are considered harmful can sometimes be tough even for experts. Purchase your crib new, or look for a relatively new used crib that conforms to safety standards.
Furthermore, use mattresses, blankets, and other linens made of natural rather than synthetic fabrics. Synthetic materials may contain PBDE. Alternatively, they may have been designed to contain phthalates or formaldehyde, which can damage various body systems, including the liver, the brain, the respiratory system, or the kidneys. Start caring for baby now, even before he or she arrives!
This article provided courtesy of the artists and designers at PebbleArt Coasters