Even though it often feels the opposite is true, children spend a large percentage of their little lives sleeping. From birth through five years, children sleep over 11 hours a day to support their mental and physical development.
These five tips will go along way to reduce the toxins in your child's sleep space and help get the rest their body needs in a more healthful environment.
Whether it’s your room or their own, the place your child lays their head at night matters. A natural mattress made of organic cotton or wool or one that is GREENGUARD certified is best to avoid off-gassing of VOCs and potential exposure to other chemicals. If a natural mattress is not in your budget, let a new conventional mattress off-gas outside of your child’s sleep space.
Children’s exposure to chemicals doesn’t stop at the bed. Next to the mattress, we’re very intimate with our pillows, bedding and pyjamas. Organic materials rule when it these items. Start with looking for tight-fitting organic sleepwear that is not treated with flame-retardant chemicals, using this list of safer sleepwear which includes major retailers.
Do you know how your laundry detergent stacks up? Look up your brand in EWG’s database. Often regular detergent can include artificial fragrances which may contain phthalates, an ingredient known to impact the respiratory system and can affect those with sensitive skin. Consider trying a fragrance-free detergent or one scented with essential oils.
While assessing your laundry supplies, don’t forget to look at your dryer sheets. They too may contain ingredients that are less than healthful. Try using wool dryer balls to reduce static cling or follow this tutorial to make your own dryer sheets.
KonMari and minimalist fans will find this tip easy. The more stuff in a child’s sleep space, the more places for dust to accumulate. Dust mites can cause allergic reactions, so the less items to clean, the better.
Declutter the space and then take special care deciding which items deserve to be in the room. Keep extra toys and books elsewhere. A bonus to all this minimizing? Children may sleep better when their space is simpler since they are less distracted by their environment.
Indoor air gets stale and VOCS can build up inside from cleaning products and more; plus, there’s that faint smell of diapers in the rooms of the un-potty-trained. So throw open those windows, flush out the air and if the weather is right, consider sleeping with them open rather than turning on the A/C.
Or anywhere else in the house. Shoes track in all kinds of yucky chemicals, bacteria, and dirt. Enforce a household rule to leave shoes at the door. Children spent a lot of time on the floor; keeping shoes off of the spaces where they play and sleep will help make their environment healthier and your home cleaner.
The bedroom is meant to be a safe space to rejuvenate which is a good step towards eco-friendly sleep environment is key to a healthy sleep.