When I get to an issue like this one its tempting to avoid it. We all grew up and survived on ordinary cotton sheets. What could possibly be the big deal about using what we have always used? This is one of those decisions that is personal to you and your budget.
According to green resources, standard cotton sheets and bedding are coated with formaldehyde and the cotton is grown with so many pesticides that it still resides in the sheets. The off-gassing is at its worst with new sets of bedding, especially with plastic bed liners.
One piece of this I consider extremely important: the vinyl (PVC!!! –see post #8) mattress liners that we use to protect the kids’ mattresses from accidents during the night. These off-gas very hazardous chemicals and our children are breathing it all night long (and naps too.)Some alternatives:
- USE A COTTON (hopefully organic) MATTRESS PAD. I think many of the baby stores and catalogs carry these. They don’t cover the whole mattress but a good portion of it and I was usually able to position it according to the most vulnerable area. In case you don’t quite catch the accident, baking soda works wonders for eliminating the odors. Just pour on, leave for an hour and vacuum up. Mattress will be fine.(i give housekeeping advice too!!)
- FOR A CRIB—WOOL PUDDLE PAD — made out of wool, a natural material, no off-gassing, these can be washed and dried. These are great for cribs and I think they can be used for twin beds as well.
Some on-line retailers:
- Dandelion Summers — all sorts of organic and wool bedding
- Amazon– great price
- KidBean.com–good selection
- PristinePlanet–very imformative web site, great choices
- Daxstores.com–eco-friendly dept store, eco-friendly cribs as well
- OrganicGrace.com–i really, really like this site for greening your nursery, great ideas, great products, reviews mattress choices as well
This is one of those categories that is hard for me to write about because organic sheets and bedding tend to cost so much more than the ones we’ve always used. Stores like Target and Bed,Bath and Beyond are starting to carry organic / bamboo options and are definitely worth pursuing.