She Says… Poison? In my crib?

If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that Benjamin and I are committed to reducing, as much as possible, the amount of fake ingredients and unnecessary chemicals to which we are exposed (remember this post?). I make the vast majority of our food from scratch, including bread. We eat mostly whole foods and spend money on quality ingredients. We support companies (like UppaBaby, who makes our stroller) who are committed to global sustainability and create “green” products in hopes that they will someday outnumber the big box stores that are wasting resources and using dangerous materials in everyday products.

Don’t get me wrong… we still love our Doritos and Gap clothing and non-hybrid car. But we try. And it’s all about balance.

Anyway, in searching for a crib, I was conscious of the fact that many well-known brands have some very dangerous characteristics (formaldehyde and VOC’s in finishes of engineered wood products, lead or other toxins in paint that children can ingest, drop sides that have caused serious injury and even death to babies, etc.). I was really, really excited to find a solid wood, non-toxic crib for a fantastic price at Walmart (of all places). 

I thought the hard part was over. But  then we had to find a crib mattress to go inside the crib.

Do you let your baby girl smoke cigarettes in her crib? Do you allow your son to light up in his stroller, after a tough morning at daycare? Do you nurse your child while puffing on a Marlboro Light?

If not, you may be interested in what’s happening in a few top research labs around the world, where scientists have found evidence suggesting that chemicals designed to prevent fires are getting into your children’s blood and rewiring their brains, leading to attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, hearing problems, slow mental development and, possibly, cancer. They’re not great for adults either — men with high blood levels of flame retardants had a decreased sperm count, and women took longer to conceive — but because children’s nervous systems are still developing, they are even more vulnerable.

– Kaplan, author of “The Poison Crib”

That is an excerpt from a very scary, but very important, article that highlights some of the dangers of flame retardants in crib mattresses. While “fireproof” sounds like a good thing, the chemicals used to make things like mattresses that way are shockingly harmful… and we (consumers) don’t even know when they are being used! One company, Savvy Rest, is working hard to spread the word about this issue and offer a solution. They use only nontoxic, natural materials to make natural latex, organic cotton, and organic wool mattresses. No off-gassing chemicals, no pesticide residues, and no flame retardants. So when Savvy Rest offered to send me an organic crib mattress to review, I was overjoyed! Check out the Savvy Rest website to see why their organic crib mattresses are so great.

The people I worked with at Savvy Rest were incredibly helpful and shipping was superfast. And although I haven’t slept on it myself (it’s a bit too small for a pregnant lady!), I highly recommend the Savvy Baby if you’re on the market for a crib mattress without all the harmful chemicals. They also offer organic mattresses for adult beds 🙂


14 responses to “She Says… Poison? In my crib?

  1. You are such a prepared and well-informed mom. Nice research and thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Yikes! I’ve been thinking alot about this too. In my journey to become more natural the one thing I haven’t done is replace bedding. I figure when it needs replacing I’ll replace it with the right thing.

    Since I’ll be getting new bedding in this case though I’m definitely going to jump on the right thing first!

  3. So funny that you were thinking about this too! It’s nuts how much crud is out there, and I’m so glad I have a while to sort through it all. A lot of baby toys have this stuff and worse…

    I think many people are more conscientious about this now, so hopefully these products will become more commonplace.

  4. My bestie’s brother designed UppaBaby. We have one and love it. Even comes with a bassinet that our 2 month old baby has been sleeping in. We were lucky to get a friends/family discount but even without it, it is soo worth it!

  5. Thanks for sharing. I had never thought about that stuff. We already have a crib and mattress, but I’m definitely going to look into all of this more.

  6. Make sure you consider what sleepwear your child is sleeping in as well. There are some funky guidelines out there about what clothing is allowed to be called “sleepwear”. “Sleepwear” has to be flame resistant or retardant (can’t remember which) in order to be labeled as “sleepwear”. Often, that means LOTS of nasty chemicals.

    Something to keep in mind, anyway. My house MIGHT burn down, true, but I’d rather not do something DEFINITE, like putting poison directly against my child’s skin!

    If I remember right, 100% cotton stuff that is labeled “wear snug fitting” (to fit within the law), and stuff by Hanna Andersson and Carter’s do not have chemicals in them.

  7. We got an organic crib mattress from Walmart – DaVinci Willow Natural Crib Mattress. Strangely, it looks like they’re not selling it anymore although we ordered it only a few months ago. I think Amazon has it though.

    Hope you’re feeling well in this heat! I can tell you, it’s no fun to be “overdue” in 90 degree weather so I hope your munchkin comes out on time!

  8. We have been looking into this too. DaVinci brand cribs are safe and we found one we liked. I hadn’t even thought about the mattress or clothes!

  9. Well frig!! It was just today I was buying our crib and mattress and I have no idea if it has any harmful fire retardants! It isn’t organic I know that. It’s strange too because I’ve been so meticulous about everything I came faced with buying the mattress and thought the price ranges were a major rip off. That said, the ones I was looking at were all just variations of the same materials and none of which were organic. I’m going to have to check into this though! Jeeeez that’s scary! :-/

  10. I had not heard of the Savvy brand! We bought a Naturepedic organic crib mattress and I’m happy we made that decision. The SIDS Alliance believes that the chemicals in mattresses contributes to SIDS cases, so this contributed to our decision, too. Thanks for sharing all of this!

  11. When I was pregnant w/ my first son 6 years ago, I discovered the dangers of toxins in crib mattresses and how they can contribute to SIDS. I ended up buying a mattress cover from a company overseas (Australia, I think).

    The website is The cover prevents the toxins from leaking out of the mattress and was less than $50. I called the company when I was pregnant w/ my second child and they assured me I could use the same mattress and cover. I had read to replace the crib mattress w/ each child, but because mine was covered, I didn’t need to. So I actually saved money in the long run.

    Thanks for writing about this. Many of my friends and family thought I was nuts when I was going through this. It’s nice to know I’m not alone!

  12. Wow – so scary! I’m going to have to look at this some more and show it to my husband!

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