Are you aware of all the chemicals that come in contact with cotton as it’s manufactured? I wrote a post about organic baby products and in it I included a few pieces of information about the chemicals:

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies five of the top nine pesticides used on cotton crops as the most dangerous; they are cyanide, dicofol, naled, propargite, and trifluralin – and they are probable carcinogens.
  • As cotton becomes clothing, it is exposed to more toxic chemicals – silicone waxes, harsh petroleum scours, softeners, heavy metals, flame and soil retardants, ammonia, and formaldehyde.

When it’s been time to purchase new cloth items for our family we’ve been trying to buy items made from organic cotton, especially bedding. With your face and body touching those sheets for many hours a day, it seems logical to want the purest cotton. And with the green movement becoming more mainstream, it’s becoming easier to find organic cotton items. We purchased organic cotton sheets for our bed from Macy’s online. (I’ve since seen cheaper ones at WalMart.)

Then came time to buy a few things for our son. He needed a toddler pillow, nap mat for school, and a blanket. I was happy with the products I found – and even happier when I saw how much more available (and cheaper) organic cotton items for babies and kids are.

Here are a few ways you can green your child’s sleep:

Toddler Pillow and Pillow Case

There were several online stores that had organic toddler pillows (small pillows or travel pillows), including Amazon.com and kidbean.com. But I ended up getting our son’s pillow and pillow case from a seller (SK Naturals) on Etsy.com, a great place to buy and sell handmade items.

Nap Mat

Our son needed a nap mat for his preschool and we didn’t want the plastic ones that are so common. I looked all over and besides buying the materials and making it myself, the only organic one I found was also on Etsy. I love that site! The seller I purchased from is baby momo and here is the organic nap mat. And I just saw another vendor on Etsy have an organic nap mat as well. If there is demand, they will make it!

our son posing for me on his new organic nap mat

our son posing for me on his new organic nap mat

Crib Sheets

Organic cotton crib sheets are more available now than ever. When my son was born almost 2.5 years ago, I don’t remember seeing many organic cotton choices. Just last week I went into my local Babies R Us store and saw a whole section (albeit in the back of the store) for organic bedding items, such as crib sheets, blankets, changing pads, etc. I thought that was great! And they were a great price, too. Of course, you can find many organic crib sheets (at varying prices) on Amazon.com and Pottery Barn Kids has more to choose from as well. Target has organic crib sheets as well as crib sets.

Mattress

Many parents want to know why you should buy an organic crib mattress. They wonder if it’s worth the extra money. According to Absolutely Organic Baby, the mattress layer just under the top vinyl layer in most regular (not organic) mattresses contains a fire blocker.

That fire blocker is actually 7.5% boric acid, which is used for killing roaches, and 2.4 % antimony, which is most similar to arsenic. In Europe, researchers have found that antimony actually leaches through the vinyl and can be absorbed by a baby’s body. They have directly related high antimony levels to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

The price of organic cotton crib mattresses has gone down a bit and they seem to be more available in more places. Amazon.com has a great selection and you can also find a few at Babies R Us. If you do a search online you can also find stores like The Organic Mattress Store, Savvy Rest, The Organic Mattress,

And don’t forget organic mattresses in other sizes, like twin and bassinet.

Stuffed Animals and Lovies

Don’t forget those blanket lovies and stuffed animals that become your child’s security item. They chew on them and snuggle with them and they spend many hours next to their faces. It makes sense to have some organic options.

MiYim has a good assortment of organic stuffed animals, lovies, rattles, and other toys. Under the Nile is another good brand, too.

Laundry Detergent

Now that you’ve purchased organic cotton bedding items, don’t forget to wash them with eco-friendly options! Amazon.com has many organic laundry detergent options. We use soap nuts, which is a super eco-friendly option, and great for those with skin sensitivities like eczema (like me and my son).

Please leave a comment and share your good finds for greening your child’s sleep! Sweet dreams!

-Wendy – ParentingTips365.com

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