Whether you want it soft and serene or fun and whimsical, you know you definitely want it to be toxin-free and safe for baby to sleep and play. So how do you find the safest and cleanest things to make the baby’s nursery everything you dreamed it would be? Easy peasy, as we’ve found the best organic baby nursery decor–everything we love not just for aesthetics and comfort but for safety and security too.
When I was planning my first son’s nursery, I had absolutely no idea that I needed to be picky about everything from the paint to the floor. At the risk of aging myself, information about volatile organic compounds (VOC) and chemicals in flooring materials was just becoming mainstream and spoken about, and I’d not yet known much.
All it took was stepping in his newly painted nursery, though, for me to feel like something wasn’t right. The smell was overwhelming, and I didn’t think it was because I was pregnant. That set me on a research trail about the dangers of VOCs. They’re found in many building materials and let off unstable chemicals in the form of gas. NOW they’re more regulated, but then? Even finding VOC paint was tough, much less really having facts about what it and other toxins can do in a baby’s nursery. Babies have immature lung and respiratory systems, so it’s crucial everything you put in his or her nursery is toxin-free and lets them (and you) breathe easy.
Plus, you want to make sure that what you’re buying is made responsibly and sustainably. Too many baby manufacturers use the excuse that babies grow so quickly and outgrow things so quickly. They feel it okay to use cheaper, unsafe materials in the name of quick consumption. We’re not okay with that, and we know you’re not either.
So, check out what must-haves we’ve found when it comes to organic baby nursery decor and let your imagination run wild (and clean)!
Like we said, finding low VOC paint in pretty colors and from companies committed to the earth isn’t an easy task. But, once we found Montage Eco-friendly interior paint, we won’t look anywhere else. There are a ton of gorgeous colors, many of them soft and nursery-inviting and it’s a simple water-based paint that goes on with really nice coverage. It has a low-sheen finish, so it’s easy to wash and keep clean (for little hands that like to touch walls) and get this? It’s upcycled paint. Yes, upcycled, so it’s actually a better-quality that’s more cost-effective and affordable AND saves the earth in the process. Every single gallon of upcycled paint saves over 100-kilowatt hours of energy, and this pain helps keep free-flowing liquids out of solid-waste landfills. It’s a solution for your family and for the earth.
The Jayden 4-in-1 is a really basic but elegant crib design that has solid wood slats. The 100% natural solid New Zealand pine wood is sustainably sourced and the crib is GREENGUARD Gold Certified. This means that it’s been screened for 360 VOCs and over 10,000 chemicals. It converts to a toddler bed, a daybed and then to a full-size bed. (Pro parent tip: buy conversion kits when you buy the crib in case they’re not available when you’re looking to convert). The paint is lead and phthalate-free, and it’s finished in a non-toxic multi-step process that meets ASTM international and U.S. CPSC safety standards. It comes in several different colors and is really reasonably priced when it comes to finding a safe and non-toxic crib.
With any luck, your baby will be spending a good bit of time sleeping, and what they’re putting their bodies on and snuggling up to when they do is important. That’s why we love the Emily Natural Crib Mattress from My Green Mattress. It’s a family-owned business that came to be because the owners’ daughter, Emily, was having reactions to lots of different environmental things. Her dad wanted only the best of the best for her (and don’t we all?) and so he created this mattress. It’s made with GOTS certified organic cotton, GOTS certified organic coconut and wool layered over an overspring and it’s perfect for the sweetest of dreams. It’s naturally antibacterial and allows for even weight distribution for posture and comfort. Best? There are no flame-retardant chemicals. It has a 10-year-warranty so that you can use it for a couple of kiddos!
In 2015, Erin Holohan started Dream Evergreen with the desire to make nursery bedding that was safe for baby and the environment. She started her shop originally on Etsy, and also began the Hearts of Hope Program for NICU parents as they went through their NICU journeys with their babies. All fabric is made in the United States and uses biodegradable inks for safe and personalized bedding and nursery goods. All their scrap material (the less than 5% they don’t use in the construction of their baby items) ends up being used for the Hearts of Hope program so they don’t clog landfills and they work hard to reduce their global carbon footprint. Beautiful boutique items that care about your baby and our earth. We love!
We love these gliders from Dutailier. Not just because they’re beautiful, reasonable and comfortable, but because Dutailier works diligently to produce products that are good for the earth and better for your baby’s safety. They work with and use local suppliers from their headquarters in Canada to reduce transportation pollution. They use wood that comes from carefully chosen suppliers who meet standards for sustainable management. And, they make sure their products have no sharp edges, no lead, no heavy metals, no formaldehyde and nothing carcinogenic in them so rock-a-bye-baby is as safe and sweet as it can be.
The safest, most non-toxic rugs for a baby’s nursery are those made from wool or cotton. Odds are baby will be on the rug for tummy-time and play, so you don’t want to expose her to anything that will off-gas VOCs. You want to make sure you look for hand-made/hand-knotted rugs. A popular flat-weave style is called Kilim, and Safavieh’s gorgeous ivory wool rug is perfect for a baby’s nursery. The wool will repel water and stains (more so than cotton), and a hand-woven wool rug is soft and durable. It will last many years (maybe make it to college?) if you like, but it will be perfect for right now too.
Um, we love this diaper changing pad from Keekaroo. It’s non-toxic–free of BPA, PVC, latex and phthalates. It’s super easy to clean–the impermeable shell just needs a quick wipe down after use and limits the growth of bacteria. Because it’s water-resistant, there will be no mold or deterioration, and it’s soft for baby to lay on, even without a blanket/pad cover. It’s durable and safe for baby and one of our favorite nursery items.
Speaking of playing on baby’s tummy, you’ll love the Lovevery PlayGym. It’s like a year’s worth of play and learning all in one and it’s created with 100% baby-safe materials. The wood used is FSC certified and the organic cotton teether is perfect for little mouths. It’s convertible and with a guide for age-appropriate activities that help baby’s brain develop and grow. The accessories are removable for the stage-based learning and because there are five different developmental zones that either show or hide different things, there’s no need to worry about overstimulation while you’re teaching baby to focus, make sounds and explore all the sensory opportunities. It’s perfect for newborns working to lift their heads, littles trying to turn onto their backs or tummies and toddlers who are learning colors and cause and effect. It’s on sustainably sourced wooden legs and is super easy to fold and store. The legs and focus zone are detachable so if it needs a big clean, you can put the whole mat in the washing machine too.
Bathtime is such a fun and special time for you and baby, so you want to make sure you have the right tub. We love the Stokke Flexi Bath Bundle. It is perfect for those first eight months with the included newborn support, and you can use it for up to three-years-old for safe baths and portable bathing options for your little one. It’s designed to fit baby’s natural body shape.
Stokke’s whole collection is free of toxic chemicals–BPA, phthalates, toxic perfumes and dyes, PVC, formaldehyde, heavy metals and pesticides and they’re committed to creating products that are safe for baby and the planet. The Stokke Flexi Bath folds up super easy for storage and transportation and can even be used as a toy receptacle or other container when your little outgrows it.
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.