The Crib and Bedding: My “Green” Nursery Challenge

By Jessica Provenz | Updated Jun 30, 2015 4:06 PM

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In week two of my “green” nursery challenge, I purchased the “Rolls Royce” of organic mattresses.  Now I needed a crib and bedding worthy of it. The crib needed to be baby-safe, eco-friendly, and fit for the prince of the nursery.  Plus, it must meet Federal Safety regulations, be free of lead and phthalates (substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity), have a non-toxic finish, and be made of sustainable or recyclable materials.

As if that wasn’t a tall enough order, a crib designed to “grow” with the stages of the baby’s development made the best fiscal and environmental sense.  I wanted a design where the mattress could be raised for easy access to my baby (Stage 1); lowered when he was able to sit unassisted  (Stage 2); and, eventually, converted into a toddler bed (Stage 3)—with guardrails.

Since I robbed the piggy bank purchasing an organic mattress, I needed to be fiscally responsible this week.  But first, I got mired in crib envy:

Vetro baby crib

The Vetro crib (shown above) is 100% acrylic, see-through, and recyclable.  Who could recycle it, when it costs $3,500!?

Stokke Sleepi Baby Crib

Stokke’s sleek, oval-shaped Sleepi crib (shown above) is made of Beechwood.  It’s $800 including their custom-fitted foam mattress—so my organic mattress won’t fit; neither will standard sheets.

Sam Crib

Sam Cribs (above) are country chic with a replaceable decorative panel.  American-made of sustainable maple, they retail for $1,175—not including the toddler conversion kit.

These cribs are adorable and eco-friendly but far exceeded my budget (and likely that of any parent who uses the word “budget”).

DaVinci Kalani Baby Crib

DaVinci’s Kalani baby crib (shown above) is #1 on Amazon.  Made from sustainable wood, it adjusts from infant to a full-sized bed (yes, you can spend your entire life in this one!).  It’s just $249, but that got me thinking…

If my priority was safe, cheap and cute, why not go to the motherland of safe, cheap, and cute?  Ikea!  Their Somnat crib meets U.S. and Canadian standards, adjusts from infancy to toddlerhood, and it’s made of sustainable wood with a safe acrylic finish.  Plus, it’s sleek-n-cute and comes in 3 colors.  For the $99 price tag, I could buy one of each.  Since my dad volunteered to assemble it, I opted for one: green.

Ikea Somnat Baby Crib

Most nursery bedding and accessories are considered potentially unsafe, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  To prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) the Commission says “Bare is best.” No pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, or bumpers.  And, no sleep positioners.  These items are widely sold (I received two as gifts), but all have been linked to infant suffocation.  I opted for “breathable bumpers” ($20), which provide padding without any risk. Plus, they come in eight colors to dress up the crib.

For sheets, I wanted organic cotton—free of dyes or chemicals.  But the pickings are slim; mostly all-organic cotton sheets are white or natural.  Where were the teddy bears or ballerinas?  I did find stylish, 100% cotton, American-made nursery bedding by a company aptly named “Inspired.”  For $193, I purchased two sets of sheets and changing pad covers, and a decorative pillow and blanket.

By week 2 of the nursery challenge, baby had a place to sleep—and nothing else!  I had $1,209 and six weeks left to tackle the hard stuff… like VOC-free paint.

My budget was set at $2,000.  Here’s where we stand this week:

Organic Crib Mattress & Protector: $479

Breathable Bumpers: $20

Baby Crib: $99

Crib Bedding: $193

Sub-total to date: $791

Budget remaining: $1,209

For more nursery-related content, consider:

Tour a Completed Nursery for the Newborn
Installing Insulated Windows in the Nursery
Finishing Touches: Childproofing a Kitchen and Stairs and Completing the Nursery