where green living, parenthood, and interiors intersect

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rest Assured

(My little angel, now 5 years old, sleeping in organic pureness since Day One.)

I have watched my son buzzing around the playground countless times, daydreaming of ways to bottle his energy. I would certainly be rich if I could. If there are other parents out there working on this, email me and perhaps we can partner up. ;)

I know his vitality is partly contributed to the rock solid sleep he gets each night, his uninterrupted sweaty slumber that reinvigorates him to meet each new day of toddlerhood full of zest (sleep he gets while I'm up finishing the dishes, paying bills, or preparing for the next day or the hours I rise before him to get a half day's work in...all leaving me with about the same amount of total energy that he possesses in his elbow alone).

But during the hours that I do sleep, I rest a lot more soundly knowing how safe, pure, and natural the bed is that stages his dreamtime renewal, from the all-natural mattress to the organic cotton bedding. Since he was a tiny newborn, he has rarely slept on anything but the purest cotton, wool or bamboo. And not only do I believe these conscious choices are better for him, greatly contributing to his peaceful rest, but they are also for the health of the planet that he will spend his all his waking and sleeping hours on.

A few scary facts: the world's conventional cotton crops, grown in over 80 countries, consume roughly 25% of the insecticides used on our planet and are responsible for roughly 10% of the pesticides released into our air. Many insecticides and pesticides are highly toxic and 5 of the top 9 types used contain probable carcinogens. It is believed that in the 1990's, nearly 50% of Egyptian Cotton workers suffered from chronic pesticide poisoning, including neurological and vision disorders.

Don't know any Egyptian Cotton workers personally? Well, a significant number of crops are dusted domestically affecting our air, national water supplies and ecosystems, even those that are nowhere near a cotton field. The toxic growing process permeates every single production stage, no doubt winding up in the end product: the actual pillowcase you rest your head on every night.

While conventional cotton still undoubtedly dominates the bedding market, there are more non-toxic, organic choices than ever for your little one's room, a remarkable improvement from the sleepless nights of my 3rd trimester when I surfed the internet finding little more than boring, solid natural, baby pink, and powder blue organic cotton crib sheets. Now what's best for our children and the earth can now also be the focal point of a pretty stylish boudoir.

The folks at Q Collection Junior have been leaders in the organic baby market for years now and their Animal Crib Set (available in Sweet Lime, shown, or Cardamom) is the perfect marriage of adorable design and truly authentic eco-friendliness.

To ensure a restful night's sleep for your littlest night owl, Honeyami's Night Owl Organic Crib Set is free of toxins as well as frilly design: clean, serene, yet playful pale blue owls and blue-on-white patterns are a unique eco-friendly design statement.

I love the ease of purchasing a crib set, but as a decorator I tended to mix and match, a la carte, when purchasing my son's bedding. This was also a result of budget, the fact that I didn't use a cribskirt and paired all the sheeting up with a solid white bumper cover over an organic cotton bumper insert. So I stocked my son's dresser drawers full of fitted sheets; with diaper leaks and drool, we needed back-ups for the back-ups. Nowadays, there are just as many bedding 'separates' as there are cute sets. Here are a few of my favorites, miles away from the boring organic cotton solids of yesteryear.....


Giggle's Better Basics Line would have saved me many nights of sleepless prenatal web surfing. This simple, crisp stripe (available in blue, shown, as well as pink and orange) could be incorporated into virtually any color palette and design style.

As a longtime fan of Serena & Lily's bedding, I am thrilled to see an infusion of organic cotton crib bedding and textiles-by-the-yard into their line, all in the design-friendly patterns and colors their collections are infamous for.

Geometric lines of chocolate and a lighter mocha hue live in contemporary harmony on the DwellStudio Zig Zag Chocolate Organic Fitted Crib Sheet.

As children grow into energetic tots, safe and restful sleep remains just as vital, so I'm pleased to find adorable modern options in the eco-friendly twin size bedding category too.....

Pixel Organics adhere to relentless organic standards for children's apparel, which they have carried over into these cheery, abstract Stalk of Wheat sheet coordinates.

The gender-neutral design and vibrant color palette of the De-Vine Collection is a versatile, organic choice from mass market retailer Pottery Barn.

My son knows that sunsets are my favorite things; I'll pull over the car and pause in their beauty on a regular basis. What better way to end your child's day than by snuggling under this beautiful abstract sunset print from Amenity Home?