How to paint your child’s nursery the green way

green_baby_roomWow only 10 weeks to go till grape will be here!!! Soon we’ll be doing up the baby room though I think we’ll wait till after the baby is born as we just seem to be running out of time. John was in our room for the first six months anyway so I’m guessing grape will be too. I wanted to share an article I wrote for GEMB.

A positive pregnancy test often means dreams of a beautiful baby room for your special bundle to play and sleep in. With small babies sleeping up to 10 hours per day their everyday environment can have a huge impact on their health.
Everyday we are surrounded by chemicals that enter our body through the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the environment around us. Reducing these chemicals in your child’s room by going “green” is one way to reduce the chemicals that your child absorbs into their body. As an adult our skin is our number one protector from the harsh environment we can live in, but for the first year of life a child has no protective skin barrier to protect them from every day chemicals. This means that every chemical that touches their skin, and is breathed in, becomes immediately absorbed into their blood stream.

When you are decorating the room your child will be spending most of their time in, whether this is your bedroom or their own room, the first thing you should think about is choosing a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC)-free or low-VOC paint. VOC free is better than low VOC but there are many great low VOC paints out there. These paints will still release some chemicals into the environment so it is best to paint the room a few months before your child is born to be on the safe side.
However, a completely natural and chemical free option is milk paint. Milk paint has been around for hundreds of years and is made from milk, lime and a pigment. Milk paint has a very short shelf life so must be used immediately, alternatively store it in your fridge for later use. Milk paint is completely biodegradable, VOC-free, and has no hazardous air pollutants or solvents added.

The colour of the room will have an impact on your child. Try to choose a neutral or pale colour as a bright colour can over stimulate your child which can result in making it difficult for them to get a good night’s sleep. Another benefit of choosing a neutral colour is that it reduces the amount of times you will need to repaint your child’s room as they get older.

If you want to decorate your child’s room maybe choose to do a mural on the wall, use stick on décor or put up paintings and photos that can be easily changed as your child gets older.
Finally, while you are pregnant do not do any painting, even with VOC-free paint, as low levels of chemicals can be breathed in and absorbed by your inborn child. A lot of old paint has lead in it so it is best to leave the preparation and painting up to someone else. If you have the option to stay with a friend or family while the room is being painted that is even better. Choosing greener paint means you and your child can breath easier.

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