It’s really never too early to begin babyproofing your home. Not only can the unexpected get in the way of your preparation, you’ll also find there’s more to consider than simply bumper guarding sharp corners and lifting breakables up high.
If you haven’t yet detoxified your home of household cleaning products, furnishings, bedding, utensils and indoor air pollution, for many of us, preparing for a new baby is often the catalyst that accelerates this transformation.
Here’s a few ideas from Hello Charlie to help you work towards a safe and non-toxic home for your baby.
Given that you’re usually only in the bedroom at night, your windows are probably shut most of the time. You’re not actually shutting pollution out; you’re probably shutting a lot of toxins in. So in addition to opening the windows for at least 15 minutes of fresh air a day, apply the following tips to both your bedroom and also when preparing your baby’s nursery.
- Add plants or an air purifier to remove toxins from the air.
- Choose organic essential oils for your diffuser or natural, chemical-free candles and apply this to any room of the house, including the air freshener in the bathroom.
- Minimise the electronics in the bedroom.
- Dust your room regularly with a damp cloth.
- Choose organic cotton bedding or 100% linen or cotton.
- Finding an eco-friendly mattress is tricky here in Australia, but you can improve this by choosing an organic wool or cotton mattress protector.
- Choose furniture made with low emission materials if you buy new. Alternatively, buy second hand wherever possible, or real wood furniture that has not had stain resistant treatment.
- Choose wooden floors with natural fibre rugs over carpet.
- Choose low or no VOC paint, or eco-friendly wallpaper.
- Opt for natural fabrics in curtains and blinds, cordless blinds are a safer option for baby’s wandering hands.
Begin to purge all household cleaners and opt for eco-friendly cleaners, or start to make your own natural cleaners.
- Choose a hand wash without the unnecessary antibacterial.
- Quit holding your breath whilst you clean the shower and choose an eco-friendly brand or make your own using vinegar and essential oils or lemon juice with baking soda.
- Same goes for your dishwashing products, general kitchen and bathroom cleaners and laundry detergents.
OK so baby’s first solid food isn’t for a while yet, but start now with yourself as you are feeding the little one growing inside you.
- Choose wood, bamboo or stainless steel utensils.
- Choose cast iron, stainless steel, glass, enamel or ceramic coated pans for cooking. No more non-stick cookware.
- For food storage, opt for glass, ceramic or stainless steel, or BPA free plastics.
- Ditch the microwave.
- Invest in a good water filter.
It’s baby time
- Put the state phone number for the poisons information centre on a list on your fridge. You may have detoxified the house, but there will still be toxins that babies and children can get hold of. Add to this all your local emergency service numbers and trusted healthcare professionals.
- Avoid buying flame resistant clothing – these have been treated with chemicals. Opt for organic cotton or wool clothing, pyjamas, bedding and blankets wherever possible.
- Opt for BPA-free dummies and baby bottles, as well as toys that are BPA-free, avoiding PVC, phthalates, lead-based paints and flame retardants.
- Secure all tall and unstable furniture to the wall.
- Baby gate the stairs and any entrance you do not want your baby wandering through.
- Ensure all garbage bins, pet litter trays and other rubbish is out of reach.
- Ensure all electrical cords are out of reach and unused outlets are covered.
- Double check all smoke alarms.
- Bumper guard all sharp corners.
- Baby proof doorways where tiny fingers may get pinched.
You can never be fully prepared for the joys and the heartache of parenting, but this checklist will surely get you well under way!
Visit the Hello Charlie blog for more extensive information on detoxifying your home – the first step to baby-proofing your home.