Keeping Sleep Time Toxin-Free – Part I

Keeping Sleep Time Toxin-Free Part I

Original photo courtesy of La Lumiere Photography (www.lalumierephoto.com)

While researching ways to help heal our son’s immune system issues, we quickly learned that nighttime sleep is an especially important time for children and adults alike to recharge their batteries and repair any damage and insults to cells. Children are much more susceptible to toxins in their sleep state, so it became very important to me that my kids’ bedrooms were as toxin-free as possible. Here are a few things I did to keep our children’s sleep time as toxin-free as possible (please note, this post contains affiliate links).

First up were the pajamas. Did you know that many kids’ pajamas are treated with fire retardant chemicals and made out of other synthetic materials that off-gas? I found that a lot of the pajamas I had for my son were made of fleece or a polyester blend, and a lot of of them also said “flame-retardant” on the label. They were cute, of course, but not exactly toxin-free. Definitely not the type of fabric I wanted off-gassing continually while my child slumbered. After some research, I found that all cotton pajamas that had not been treated with flame retardants were the thing to buy. If you’re confused, look for pajamas whose labels specifically state “For child’s safety, garment should fit snugly,” and you’ll know it was not treated. Of course, try and get organic cotton whenever possible, if it’s in the budget. If not, at least aim for all cotton.

For affordable all cotton pajamas, we generally buy from Old Navy and the Gap. We sometimes buy from Carter’s and The Children’s Place, but it’s important to check the labels to make sure they are not flame-retardant (some of them are) and that they are definitely all cotton, since these two companies are more apt to blend fleece and polyester into their PJs. For more high-end pajamas with organic cotton, we buy from Hanna Anderson (they also sometimes have their pajamas at Costco, though the quality is not as good) and this great little company I found online called New Jammies. I especially love their lobster print pajamas.

For children still in the baby and toddler stage, we are big fans of using sleep sacks in the crib. For my younger child, we use these sleep sacks from a company called Baby in a Bag. We love them. They are a great price for organic cotton sleep sacks, which weren’t so easy to find (and afford!). Once again, for any sleep sack, make sure they have no fleece or polyester in them and that they have not been treated with flame retardants. Aden and Anais makes nice sleep sacks, though their materials seem better suited for cooler temperatures. I also know parents that have liked the Merino wool sleep sacks, although they are admittedly expensive. It looks like they now offer a less expensive organic cotton version.

Sheets and comforters are also important. All cotton or wool is the way to go here too. If you don’t want to shell out the money on all new organic bedding, at least go for all cotton, which is usually affordable. For my son and daughter we have hand-me-down all cotton sheets from Pottery Barn. Since they are completely cotton, I did not feel the need to replace them. But if I were to buy new ones I would go organic. There are several great options online from many of the common stores like Pottery Barn Kids, Babies “R” Us, and Bed Bath & Beyond. The good news is that, in general, there are now more organic options out there than ever.

As for covers, my daughter is still in her sleep-sack. It was a little harder for me to find a toddler size comforter for my son that met the all cotton standards, but I got lucky when I came across an Etsy mom named Vickie from Punkey Monkey. She makes 100% cotton toddler comforters that are low allergy and completely non-toxic. The added bonus is that she offers a number of prints to choose from that are sure to match your room decor.  I love that the filling for the comforter is made out of pure cotton and that I was able to pick the print I wanted. When my son graduates to a regular-sized bed, I will look for an all-natural down comforter with organic cotton cover.

Next up on the list are mattresses. After all, that is where our children actually lay every night. For our son, we already had an organic mattress that we had purchased from Costco before his birth. I don’t actually recommend it, as the quality isn’t all that great. However, the second time around, with our daughter, we found the Naturepedic mattress to be the best. We ended up getting this one and added this mattress protector. I must add that organic mattresses are an expensive proposition, for sure. It seems crazy that we needed to spend that much for a mattress that a child would only use for a few years. We tell ourselves, however, that the crib mattress can be used in a toddler bed as well, so it can last up to 5 or 6 years, which is a pretty good run for a mattress. If you just can’t spend the money, there are mattress covers you can add, such as this one, which will help keep any chemicals, harmful allergens or irritants from being released from the mattress.

An organic pillow is also a good way to go. We use these toddler pillows, by Green Buds, and love them. You might also consider these toddler pillows, by Naturepedic . For the bigger kid (or adult), Bean Products makes a great organic Kapok pillow.

Have I exhausted you yet? Because I’ve exhausted myself. But just remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a healthier sleep environment. Don’t stress yourself out trying to make too many changes at once. One thing at a time. And if you’d like to make healthier choices for your child’s bedroom, decide for yourself which aspects are most important to start with. For one person, it might be the pajamas, and for another it might be the mattress. Whatever you can do is great!

We may not be able to detoxify our entire house, but the bedroom is a great place to start.

Please note: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. To keep true to the spirit of this blog, I only recommend products or services I personally use and/or truly believe will add value to my readers.

Next up, the second part of “Keeping Sleep Time Toxin-Free”.