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Greening the Nursery

How to create a safe, natural environment for your little bundle of joy

Thanks to the magic that is the Internet, I learned a lot when I was pregnant the first time around. Google has an answer for every question, doesn't it? And one of my favorite topics to research was natural and sustainable baby products -- everything from cribs to stuffed animals. So if you want a nursery that's as natural as possible, start with these key elements:

1. Choose a zero-VOC paint. Conventional paints contain VOC's (volatile organic compounds) that linger in the air for years after a room is painted. Choose a zero-VOC option (check out brands like Yolo and Safecoat), and you and your baby will breathe easy.

2. Opt for organic cotton and bamboo clothes and bedding. Dyes and fragrances can irritate a baby's sensitive skin. Natural fabrics that are treated in an eco-conscious way are a better choice. Bamboo is particularly green because less water is used in the production process -- you'll help keep your baby's tiny carbon footprint even smaller.

3. Buy bottles and toys that are free of BPA (bisphenol A). You've probably heard about the problems with plastic bottles. BPA that's in the plastic leaches into whatever the baby is drinking. Toys often find their way into a baby's mouth, too. There are plenty of surprisingly light glass bottle options out there, and more and more toy companies are taking BPA out of their products.
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