Learning How to Set Up a Healthy and Safe Room for Baby

Project: Babyproofing the House, Episode 1, Part 2

Bob is in Melrose, MA, to update a 100-year-old home in preparation for a new baby.  Since home building and remodeling can introduce hazards into the home, Bob is looking at how to reduce unwanted toxins and select healthy alternatives.  He visits the American Lung Association’s designer showhouse in West Palm Beach, FL, where EcoDecor’s Bernadette Upton reviews healthy choices like using no-VOC paints, choosing natural, washable throw rugs instead of synthetic wall-to-wall carpeting, buying natural bedding and mattresses, avoiding treated fabrics, purchasing formaldehyde-free furniture, using non-vinyl wall treatments, and airing wallpaper before applying non-toxic glues.  Back in Melrose, Bob talks with homeowner Nick Beasley about the decision to purchase a two-family home and use the upper two floors for their primary residence.  Maggie Beasley shows Bob the main living areas, the kitchen they hope to safety proof, the upstairs bedrooms that need insulation and renovating, and the original beadboard room that will become a child's bathroom.  Nick shows Bob the demolition and new partition wall for the master bath.  Joe Arrigo from Resource Development Partners explains the challenges of insulating an old house and how loose-fill fiberglass insulation is blown in to achieve an R-value of 4.25 per inch or R-30 overall.


Part 1: Remodeling Before Baby and Insulating the House
Part 2: Learning How to Set Up a Healthy and Safe Room for Baby
Moving to the baby's room, Bob continues to talk with Bernadette Upton of EcoDecor about the materials used in an ideal room for baby. Although the room is designed for infants, Upton reviews safety procedures to put in place when the baby becomes a toddler, such as removing tablecloths, anchoring furniture, removing climbable furniture, and safeguarding electrical outlets. Upton discusses the treatment-free fabrics used in the window treatments, including washable cotton and solid wood to avoid the glues and formaldehyde found in pressed woods and particle board. The exposed edges and surfaces of particle board and pressboard should be completely sealed with a non-toxic sealer to stop off-gassing. The sofa is an eight-way hand-tie, which can only be constructed using solid, formaldehyde-free, wood. Upton recommends using wallpaper over vinyl, using a minimal amount of it, and airing it before hanging. When selecting a crib, Upton advises selecting one built after 1991 because the crib bars are a safe distance apart from one another and harmful chemicals were banned from the manufacture of children's furniture after that date. The baby's mattress is an organic, chemical-free mattress. The house has natural wood floors with throw rugs.
Part 3: Touring a Designer Showhouse and Baby's Bathroom
In Melrose, MA, Bob Vila helps a young couple expecting their first child to prepare their home. The focus is on creating a safe place with a strong emphasis on indoor air quality and a healthy living environment. Bob reviews child safety products with industry specialists, as they outfit the home from top to bottom in preparation for the new baby.