July 14, 2008,
A.R. asks from Chicago, IL on July 13, 2008
Brand New Wooden Baby Furniture Emitting an Odor
Early last week, I had my baby furniture delivered and since then the baby's room has had a strange odor. The odor is so strong that I can actually smell it as soon as I stand in the doorway. I called the manufacturer and they said to wipe out the drawer with soap and water...so, I did this 3 TIMES and I even wiped off the outside of the furniture with plain water. I have left the window open and used a fan to try and dissipate the smell, but it is still there almost a week later. Needless to say, I do not want to put my baby clothes in the drawers or even put my mattress or bed skirt in the room for fear that they will absorb the smell....not to mention a newborn baby! Does anyone have an idea what could be causing this or how to remedy it? Did anyone have a similar experience? Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.
So What Happened?™
Thank you so much for your responses! Based on the advice from other Moms and after much investigation and a call to the manufacturer, I discovered that the glue used in the furniture contained formaldehyde. (UGH!) I was shocked that they would even use this in anything that would come into contact with children. Nonetheless, as I started to research it on the internet I came across a study that was conducted in California about dangerous high levels of formaldehyde in baby furniture. (Shockingly, this furniture is still sold in stores and the glue can be emitted for years!) Apparently, in 2009 California will enforce a ban on the amount of formaldehyde that furniture can emit. (Contact me directly if you would like a link to the article. I don't think that I can post it here.)
I contacted the boutique where I purchased the furniture and they are returning the furniture. Although, I really wanted solid wood furniture it is nearly impossible to find these days. After much research, I found furniture that does not contain formaldehyde in the glue!
N.K. answers from Chicago on July 13, 2008
I know exactly what you're talking about! When I was pregnant, we bought some new dressers and nightstands from IKEA. The smell was very intense. I'm not sure if I noticed it so much because I was pregnant or if the smell has faded, but I can't smell it at all now (son is 17 months old.) How far along are you? I think the smell of your baby furniture will fade over time. I think you're smart not to put the mattress or bedskirt in the room until the odor dissipates because if you can smell it, it seems like the baby might be able to be affected too. But, I do think time will dissipate that smell. Congratulations!!!!
L.K. answers from Chicago on July 14, 2008
It is a chemical you are smelling. I would return the furniture . It will be emitting chemicals into the air for years . It can't be healthy.Good luck!
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A.S. answers from Chicago on July 14, 2008
My daughter received some wooden toys (doll bed, dollhouse) in the past couple of years that contained formaldyhide. The smell was horrible! It made us gag just being near the toys. I'd suggest returning for something else, as I'm not sure you really want your baby to be sleeping in or wearing clothes that have been infiltrated with these chemical smells. There are plenty of options out there for things that don't smell. If it's lingering paint or glue odors, I'd think it should have dissipated after a week of airing.
D.S. answers from Chicago on July 13, 2008
Being pregnant makes you sensitive to smells. Does this smell weird to other non-pregnant people? I couldn't stand the smell of coffee for my entire pregnancy and I love coffee. If the furniture is made of wood, it is the stain that smells. This should go away after a few weeks. If it is made of MDF or particle board, this stuff has a smell that takes awhile to go away. My bed smelled for what seemed like a year. It is made of fake wood/particle board. I try to get furniture made out of real wood which is becoming increasing difficult these days. Is it possible to return it? I know this is a hassle, but it might be worth it.
E.P. answers from Chicago on July 14, 2008
High humidity can cause the smell and also, so much of furniture purchased these days are just veneers, glues and even formaldyhide. But, like the first post said, I know my sense of smell in my second and third trimester were so distorted. My husband returned products at our grocery store because they were spoiled - then we discovered it was my distorted sense of smell. Anything with vinegar turned into an ammonia smell for me. Make sure someone else says the smell is bad - if they don't smell it. Do the baking soda or an enzyme spray or get an ionizer (you can't be in the room when the ionizer is on-check with the manufacturer's directions). Those things are great for eliminating smells. Good luck.
T.C. answers from Chicago on July 14, 2008
With the high humidity we have had lately I would try putting a box of baking soda in each drawer and closing it for a few days. It should absorb the odors! I know my wood (oak) dresser had a funky smell for awhile.... I did this and also kept the air conditioning low so no added humidity could get in there. Either that helped or I got used to it :) I also always place fabric softner sheets in all my drawers to keep them smelling fresh and to keep the clothes from picking up any of that weird scent.
Here is a link to help you get rid of all kinds of different odors in things, including wood!
Good luck finding what the cause is! If this does not work or another idea from people then I would return it. Make sure you know how long you have so you do not go over by one day before you call! (I have done that too often lol)
Many blessings to you and the new baby on their way!