Baby Safety Gates and Healthy Organic Sleeping Products

Bob reviews child safety gates and organic baby bedding products that will help keep baby safe and healthy.

Clip Summary

Bob talks with Jay Martel from the International Association for Child Safety about the Configure Gate product from KidCo. This baby gate differs from older gates in its safety features and expandability. The gate is a three-piece model that blocks off a wide opening and completely secures the room. The gate is affixed to wall mounts and is easily removable by adults. It is made of metal and plastic, does not have any sharp edges, and is configurable and expandable to fit hallways, entryways, or spaces with odd angles. Bob talks with Ginny Turner of Ecobaby Organics and Pure Rest organic baby bedding products. Turner explains that many bedding products are made from synthetic materials, which are cheaper, but may negatively affect our health. She explains that flame retardants known as PBDEs were used in manufacturing mattresses but have since been recalled and banned by states as their negative effects on health become more widely known. She then reviews a baby mattress developed by her company that can accommodate a child from birth to six years old. The mattress cover is made of organic wool, organic cotton, and natural rubber. Turner also shows Bob accessories, an organic crib bumper, and reviews other products such as sheets, crib ruffles, and baby clothes – all of which are made of organic cotton.


Hi, Bob Vila here. Welcome to the show, where our new baby nursery is very far along, and today we really have to get the finishing touches on, because our home owners have already checked into the hospital and delivery is imminent.

We're going to be showing you some finishing touches in the master bath, putting in a Corian tub deck. Also, we are talking about all sorts of safety features for the new baby such as gates, and plug covers, and all that sort of stuff, and we will be learning about the right types of textiles to use around a newborn. Stick around.

Well, we're looking all sorts of baby-oriented gadgetry. Hi, Jay.

Hey Bob.

What have you got here?

It's the Configure Gate by Kidco.

OK. I'm used to the little ones that you buy, that you kind of, well not used to, I remember, the little ones that you buy that expand.

Right, right.

This is pretty elaborate.

Well we got a wide spot here. We want to contain this room and make it as safe as possible. So to bridge this gap, the configure gate just works out very well.

So, it comes in three pieces like this. How did you just hook it up on the wall there?

The little mount goes on the wall. You can slide it out of the mount. So if you want to have it gone, it's gone.

I see.

We could also make it as wide as... Who knows?

So you're gonna have a cocktail party or something, you just quickly get this out of your way?


What's it made out of?

It's made out of metal. It's made out of plastic. We limit any sharp edges that it has. So it's metal and then plastic all over the place.

That's right.

And it can configure itself to just about any size that'll...

That's right.

We could change the angles for this application.

So, is this something you get from a catalog?

You can get it out of a catalog, you can get it online.
I know one step ahead has it, which is a very popular website.


Kidco makes it.

Great. And, so I know that this is one of the other things that your helping us out. And that you've got other gadgetry to show us in the kitchen, right?

Oh yeah. We want to keep those babies safe.

OK, we'll see you in a few minutes. Right now Jenny Turner is with us. Hi Jenny.

Hi Bob.

And you have developed a whole line of totally organic natural products that have to do with baby bedding and the like. Right?

Yes, yes.
What we've done is, we have taken a need for organic products because there a lot of synthetic products available.

Isn't the majority of the mattress industry all synthetic?

It is. Synthetic is very inexpensive to make of course , and it's mass marketed. So all the mattresses that are made generally will contain things like vinyls, they'll contain chemical contaminants which we call flame retardants. And so we have developed...

What are some of the problems with using products that have flame retardants and chemicals and so forth, health-wise?

Health-wise there are some major chemical contaminants that are very popular in mattresses, both children and adult.


These are are the PVDE's, and in August of 2003 we became very aware as a society about this chemical, and how bad it is for our health. In the meantime, of course, all the states have been trying to recall and ban this chemical. It's taking a very long time to do this.


So, in the meantime we still have these chemical flame retardants in all of our mattresses that we sleep on, including the ones that our babies sleep on.

Right. So this is a very important alternative to learn about and to have. This is a baby mattress , and what are some of the features? What are we looking at?

Well, some of the features, and this is one our highest-end mattresses. We've developed this mattress for parents that are going to use a mattress for a very long time. Children can be in a mattress from when they're born until they're about six years old they use a toddler bed.

Really? Well the size of it works but, I notice there's several layers here. What's the story?

What we've done is we've taken three different firmnesses, firmness levels, for the baby. We put the firm one on top for a newborn baby.
So that you want the firmest for the newborn baby.

Absolutely. And that gives him that firm surface that is recommended for newborns.


As the baby grows, they no longer need that firmness level.

Yeah, they get heavier too.

Yeah, they do get heavier. And so they're going to displace, this is going to feel very firm to them here. They'd want more softness. And this is a comfort thing.

So, they want to put one of the other layers, either the medium layer or the soft layer, on top.
You could even flip this mattress over, if that's easier, and you don't want to change the plates.

So, you've got from firm, to soft, to softest?


I see. And then is the cover just natural materials?

In this industry, people are using organic wool, organic cotton, and natural rubber.

But what about fire retardants?

We use the organic wool; it's the layer right under the organic cotton that you see on top. And this is your natural flame retardant. Not only that --

So, the wool is actually a natural flame retardant?

It is.

How expensive are they?

They run anywhere ... You can get an organic mattress anywhere from about 250 up to about 400 dollars. OK, and then there's a whole line of accessories that go for, for the crib, right?

There is, one thing they want to do obviously is protect your mattress.


So you put a wool puddle pad on top.

Not rubber.

Not rubber. Rubber's not breathable.


So you want to put wool on top. That gives you the breath-ability, the natural flame retardant and the natural moisture resistant.

But, it could be a little scratchy on baby's face, right?

Right, the baby wouldn't lay directly on this, they don't need to.
You can put an organic cotton pad on top and this will absorb urine especially with a toddler.

You can put this on top, and then you cover all that with a sheet.

OK, so when you say organic cotton it means it's grown without any kind of chemical fertilizers or pesticides being used in the growing operation?

It is, yes.

Yeah, yeah.

Yes, not only that, organic cotton goes a step further. It goes into the processing of the fabrics because we grow them with pesticides, generally and then they're processed with more chemicals added.


So what we do in the organic industry is we don't add any of those chemicals. Every thing is naturally processed so there's no chemical residue to affect the baby.

Fabulous . And then you've got all the other things that, what do you call these things you put around the...?

This is a crib bumper, to protect the edges of crib.


So that's organic cotton.


Then you have things to dress up your crib of course, we got various sheets, there's crib ruffles. We've done the whole ensemble, everything organic cotton.

Wonderful, and then you've also got a line of clothing that you're demonstrating.

Yes, yes, we do. These are some of the clothing you'll use with a brand new baby. These are layette items.


So you've got kimonos. These are called snap kimonos.

Oh it feels great.

This is a great take me home item.

Yeah. I remember these things here. It's a great idea to market products like this that are all natural. Ginny, thank you