New Doesn’t Mean Safe
New baby advice creeps up you every where all the time, and you might assume that ‘the newer the better’ when it comes to furnishing and textiles for your baby and child, but it’s worth knowing that not all that glitters is gold.
Research has shown that even brand new carpets, furnishings and textiles you might expect to see in shiny new nurseries can be harmful.
Mums and dads need to know…
One thing that doesn’t get a mention from your lovely carpet salesperson: volatile organic compounds (VCOs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and phthalates, causing everything from eye irritation to asthma and eczema. No joke.
Unless your carpet is a complete write-off, you might be better off re-conditioning and deep-cleaning your existing carpet.
So what can you do to keep your furnishings and upholstery fighting fit and in tip top shape?
And what to keep in mind for that phase when your sweet immobile baby suddenly fills you with horror when they start coasting along furniture and walking!?
I’ve put together the list below to give you some helpful ideas for consideration.
So whether it’s early baby prep or full on toddler tantrum phase, your home will be ready for the pitter patter and all the associated splatter of baby and toddlerhood.
I’m with you all the way, my friends!
Breathability: if you are buying a new rug or carpet, you should be looking for the non-toxic variety. The higher the density (or how tightly the weave of it is), the better it will wear and as a result the longer it will last. But new carpets/rugs can carry harmful VCOs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and can result in headaches, respiratory and eye irritations and dizziness.
- Some tips: if installing new carpet, avoid carpet adhesive (or use the water based/low solvent kind) when installing and if possible, roll the carpet out thoroughly to air it out before the room is occupied.
If deep-cleaning your existing carpets, pick a time as close to your due date as possible. Choose a low-water, natural clean which will use low-impact but effective methods and products suitable for pre and post birth.
Ventilation: although tempting to ensure the nursery and house are very warm, rooms can become stuffy and evidence shows that overheating can be a factor in SIDS.
- Some tips: Air your house at least once a day by opening a window. The ideal temperature should be 18C and some parents can increase ventilation in warm rooms by opening a window or using a fan.
If you buy new products like furniture/curtains, air them out outdoors (weather permitting) or even in a garage/well ventilated area first before bringing them indoors, to prevent potentially harmful VOCs from becoming harmful – give them time to acclimatise to the space.
Durability: Think about the footfall for the area in question – softer piles will work well in low-footfall areas like bedrooms but you’ll need something with a dense, tight, low-pile tuft in high-traffic areas like living rooms, play rooms and lounges.
- Some tips: Berber or frieze style carpets can be great in providing value for money and disguising stains and spills, while a traditional textured saxony-style carpet can help disguise footprints and vacuum marks.
Check that your new carpet comes with a stain warranty or ask your me about stain prevention treatments – ideal for babies and toddlers.
Products to avoid: Avoid plug in air-fresheners, freshener sprays and highly scented candles, which can release VCO chemicals and other toxins into the air your baby breathes.
- Some tips: If you want to freshen up your home, having your carpets deep cleaned is the best way to remove any unwanted smells. Strong bleach-filled cleaning/dusting products can be replaced with natural lemon pledge or vinegar/essential oil based solutions. House plants can also be effective in absorbing toxic vapours.
‘Nesting packages’: We offer a ‘nesting/new baby and toddler package’ for new and existing parents.
This includes sanitising, deep cleaning and protecting your carpet and upholstery from stains and soiling, ideal for blasting away harmful bacteria, bugs and germs.
- Some tips: Check that your carpet cleaning technician is using natural, low-impact cleaning products such as ‘Chem-dry’ to ensure the treatments are not invasive or harmful for your little ones and pets.