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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

(Editor’s note: Melissa has some ideas to manage allergies naturally this post. Thanks Melissa!)

Looking for that extra special baby shower or toddler birthday gift? Giving special furniture for their rooms not only is a great gift for them, but a wonderful gift for their parents as well.

Before buying any furniture for a baby or toddler’s room, consult with their parents. You don’t want to buy something they already have, unless you can improve it in any way. If they or their parents have allergies, or are concerned with the dangers of synthetic or farm raised materials, offering to buy organic versions of some of the bigger items will be very welcome.

Because I have seasonal allergies, and am affected by the synthetic materials used in many children’s toys, children’s and adult clothing, and bedding and furnishings I always buy organic. I make my own natural remedies for allergic rhinitis, because I don’t want to add chemicals to my body.

It only makes sense for me to go with organics, but a lot of my family members and friends have seen the great benefits of natural materials. At first I felt funny about asking friends if they would like a crib, bassinet or crib bedding made from natural materials. Now I am completely comfortable with it. I can explain many of the hazards of the chemically treated fabrics and plastics used in commercial non-organic items.

The Hazards of Non-Organic Bedding and Furnishings

The fabric materials you want to stay away from most are acrylic, rayon, triacetate, nylon and polyester. Also any items with wrinkle-resistant, fire-resistant, static-resistant, stain-resistant and permanent press are also bad. They sound like great ideas, but all of the above resistances are created through the use of chemicals and even Teflon, a chemical the EPA deems hazardous and cancer-causing.

These products have been known to produce symptoms often un-noticed or misdiagnosed as common illnesses such as sneezing, headaches, stomachaches and things like that, but can also cause serious diseases such as immune system damage, hormone disruption, behavioral problems and of course, the aforementioned cancer.

My list of the 6 best gift items for infant and toddler rooms is:

  • Chairs
  • Workbenches
  • Beds
  • Tables
  • Changing tables
  • Highchairs

What to Look for in Organic Furnishings and Bedding for Kids

Look for natural fibers made from organic cotton, hemp, silk, wool and cashmere. For furnishings eco-friendly, and organically made bamboo and cork are excellent choices. Unfinished hardwoods are good as well, but not as eco-friendly because hardwoods take so long to regrow.

I look for all natural herbs to make my hay fever remedies. Natural materials are just easier on the system, as well as cleaner and safer. I look for the same natural ingredients used in any dyes to color organic linens and furniture.

At first I was worried that as my girls got older they would feel funny having all-natural, organic clothing, toys, furniture and eating organic foods. They don’t though. In fact, they told me they are proud to tell all their friends about the differences when anyone does ask about it.

That makes me proud as a parent. I know I am teaching my kids to live healthier, and as the great Greek dramatist, Menander said in the 3rd century, “Health and intellect are the two blessings of life.”

I know for me, I’m happier when I feel better. I also know that living better and cleaner is better for my kid’s concentration levels and learning ability. That’s 2 for 2: healthy and intelligent. Happy is just a pleasant side benefit.

About the Author:

As a mother of two girls, and busy wife, Melissa Cameron has developed healthy and natural ways to deal with her allergies. By using natural remedies for allergic rhinitis, and organic foods, clothing, toys and cleaning supplies around the house she is able to stay energetic enough to also be a full-time work from home freelance writer. She lives with her husband and girls in Austin, Texas.

Earnest Parenting: Tips for parents who want natural materials in baby’s room.

Image courtesy of filmchick3 via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.