[The following is a piece I wrote for Project Nursery, and you can see the original post here.]

We’re a few weeks into the new year now, and it’s about the time when all the holiday gifts are finally put away, all the bits of wrapping paper have been thrown out and all of the leftover indulgent food has been eaten. This is the time when everyone is finally getting around to starting those pesky New Year’s resolutions, and for many people, that means getting healthier. In addition to improving your personal health, it’s also a great idea to clean up your whole house, especially the nursery since babies are so much more susceptible to household toxins. If you haven’t already, here are a few easy ways to clean up your nursery in 2016.

Get a plant. Indoor plants are a wonderful way to add color, life and vibrancy to any space, and they are great in a nursery because they act as natural air filters. Palms, ferns, English ivy and peace lilies are all great plants that can grow indoors and help to clear the air of toxins and chemicals. If your baby is crawling or walking, just make sure the plants are in a safe place and won’t be knocked down.

Mid-Century Modern Nursery with PlantsModern Lime Green Nursery

Switch to natural cleaners. There are undoubtedly a lot of things to clean up in the nursery, so the cleaning products you use should be as safe as possible. Many standard cleaning products have harsh chemicals, even if they smell nice and fresh. Look for products that don’t have a long list of unpronounceable ingredients and are free from sulfates, parabens, phthalates and artificial fragrances. When in doubt, you can always make your own. One of my favorite homemade cleaning spray recipes contains vinegar and lemon and basil oils, and it works like a charm.

babyganicsImage from Babyganics

Buy organic crib sheets. Every time I design a nursery with a new client, I talk to them about the safety of crib mattresses, and I always suggest an organic crib mattress since baby spends so much time breathing near it. However, if you don’t want to invest in an organic mattress (or you already have one), upgrading to organic crib sheets is the next best thing. Just make sure to wash your sheets with a non-toxic laundry detergent.

Organic Crib Sheets from CoyuchiPercale Crib Sheets from Coyuchi

Get an air filter. Good air circulation can help fight SIDS, but having a HEPA air filter will also help to remove dust, allergens, mold and other toxins from the air in your nursery. There are a ton of air filter options on Amazon—just make sure to check the square footage allowance against the size of your nursery.

Hopefully you’ll be able to breathe easier knowing that your nursery is a healthier and safer environment for your baby. Happy New Year!

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