How Long After Painting a Room Is It Safe For Baby to Sleep?

If you are a parent asking how long after painting a room is it safe for baby to sleep, then you’re not alone. Caring for a child comes with lots of Dos and don’ts because of their fragile body system. Thus, extra care and attention are given to them.

As a caregiver or parent worried about when to allow your toddler or baby to sleep in a room after painting, this article is for you. As a matter of fact, you’re on the right track, it shows that you care about your baby.


How Long After Painting a Room Is It Safe For Baby to Sleep?

To give a direct answer to this question, it is okay to leave the room for at least 3 days after painting it before a baby can sleep in it. But then, the duration or number of hours you need to leave a room before allowing your baby or toddler to sleep in it depends on the type of paint you painted the room, the room’s temperature, and its humidity.

Amongst the various types of paints, zero VOC paint is the best for households. It dries faster than oil paints which take a longer time.

Generally, it’s advised that you allow the paint to dry perfectly before allowing your baby to sleep inside the room, and even when inside, open the windows to enable easy airflow to avoid suffocation.

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Is It Safe to Stay In House After Painting?

Sleeping in a freshly painted apartment is suicidal, most especially for toddlers, older children, and the elderly ones. This is because, paints are manufactured with high volatile organic compounds that are capable of damaging the nervous system, as well as causing several allergic reactions and cancer.

It’s expedient that you wait for at least three days before sleeping in a freshly painted house. By the third day, the paint must have completely dried no matter the kind of paint used. If you default, you will be introducing your body system to following health implications:

1. Damage to the Nervous System

When you sleep in a freshly painted room, you inhale the volatile organic compounds that were used in making the paints. These chemicals clog in the brain and affect the work of the central nervous system.

The bad part of this, is that you might not even get the effect or sign as soon as possible. This might occur long after you forgot what you subjected your brain cells to. This results in dizziness, amnesia, and impairment in coordination.

2. Damage to other Organs

Volatile organic compounds when inhaled can pass through the bloodstream into some vital organs of the body which include the lungs, liver, and kidney. Apart from inhaling, they also penetrate the skin and move to these organs where they launch their attack causing several health challenges such as difficulty in breathing.

3. When you sleep inside a room after painting, you will have close contact with these chemicals which will result in certain allergies which can manifest as asthma attack, itchy and watery nose/eye, difficulty in breathing, severe headaches, nausea, and sometimes vomiting.

4. Sleeping in a freshly painted room might seem like an innocent act but in reality, it’s suicidal. It causes diverse forms of cancer and if a pregnant woman gets involved, it results in leukemia in the life of the newborn.


Can a Baby Sleep in a Freshly Painted Room?

No, it isn’t. Sleeping in a freshly painted room isn’t safe for anyone; babies, older children, pregnant women, and adults inclusive. No one deserves to be subjected to factors that can limit longevity.

Before a baby can be allowed to sleep in a painted room, you must allow the paint to dry very well. The period or length of time a paint takes to dry depends on the type of paint used.

There are different types of paints that can be used but it’s very important that you use paints that the fumes will disappear within a short period and has zero VOC. Paints like low VOC are the best for your children’s room.

To help you understand further, below are the various types of paints that are in use, ranging from the highly desirable to the ones with high VOC.

1. Zero-VOC Paint

This is the best kind of paint you can use for your children’s room. This kind of paint contains no volatile organic compounds and as such, does not release toxic chemicals which are harmful to the body when inhaled. The paint is also odorless compared to other kinds of paint.

The good news attached to this paint is, since it lacks VOCs which are harmful, you and your baby can sleep in the room you painted that same day. There’s no need to vacate the room for 72 hours.

2. Organic Paint

Just like zero VOC paints, organic paint is totally none toxic and doesn’t harm in any way. The bad side is that the paint isn’t as durable as others but it’s safe for you and your child.

3. Low-VOC Paint

Unlike the zero VOC paints, low VOC like the name implies contains VOCs but in very low content. Usually, it comes with a green seal logo for easy identification. You can use the low VOCs paint for your room, but it isn’t advised that you sleep in it the same day you painted. Research has it that children sleeping in rooms painted with low VOC paints are likely to develop certain allergies and even asthma.

Low VOC paints aren’t totally odorless, the fumes can last for as long as 2 to 3 days before disappearing. Hence, it’s advised that you stay away from the room and open the window to encourage airflow.

4. Latex Paints

This is another cool option for your baby’s room because of its characteristic of drying easily. Although it’s not totally harmless, it’s not as toxic as oil paints. When swallowed, it can cause stomach upset or vomiting, and it can also cause mild skin and mouth irritation.

5. Oil-Based Paints

Oil paints take a longer time to dry and it is manufactured with toxic VOCs. The good part of this paint is its ability to withstand moisture, unlike other paints. This is why it’s often used as exterior paint.

Sleeping in a room painted with oil paint immediately after the painting is dangerous for everyone. The effect is even more on babies and toddlers who have the habit of picking things from the floor and swallowing them. When they swallow this paint, it causes serious stomach complications and breathing problems because of the high level of toxicity of the paint.

Before allowing your baby to sleep in a room freshly painted with oil paint, you must ensure that the paint is thoroughly dried, with the fumes gone and that takes about 2 weeks.

6. Solvent-Based Paint

This is a no-no for your baby’s room, because it’s even more harmful than oil paint. It contains lots of VOC such as toluene and ethanol, xylene and can lead to death when swallowed by your baby. If you insist on using it, ensure that you ventilate the room and vacate for at least 3-4 days.

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Is It Safe for a Baby to Sleep in a Freshly Painted Room?

No, it isn’t safe at all. This is because most paints are produced with several high volatile organic compounds that cause harm to the body system when swallowed or inhaled.

If you freshly painted your apartment, you shouldn’t risk your life and that of your baby by sleeping in the room almost immediately after painting. You should leave the room or apartment open and ventilated for some hours or days depending on the kind of paint used.

If you’re not able to afford to leave your apartment for days, ensure that you use paints like zero and low VOC paints that take only hours to dry up.

If your desire is to make use of oil paints and solvent-based paints, then you must employ good strategies such as:

1. You can decide to move your kids to your parent’s home or any of your relatives for a holiday while you paint the apartment. You will be saving their lives because by the time they return, the whole place will be dried and the fumes disappeared. This can take up to 3 days, hence, the painting can be shifted to a weekend.

2. There’s another way though. If you are the type that doesn’t enjoy having your kids at grandma’s or any other place except your home, you can make use of this strategy which is painting the room one after the other.

Instead of having the whole apartment painted at once, you can alternate the rooms, that way, you will always have a safe zone for you and your baby. You must also ensure that you keep the paints and every other material out of your babies and older children’s reach to avoid health complications. You can just lock these items in the painted room and if possible, barricade the painted area to restrict passage.

3. Another way is painting at night when your children aren’t awake. This isn’t totally good though especially if you’re living in a compacted apartment. This works well if you live in a duplex where the distance between the painted room is far from where your baby sleeps. If you are going to go with this strategy, ensure you leave the room open for easy airflow.

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Can You Sleep In a Room After Painting It?

In the actual sense, you can but it isn’t a safe practice. Your health should be your priority. If you sleep in a freshly painted apartment, you will be exposing yourself to danger because the paints are made with volatile organic compounds capable of cutting the number of years you would have spent alive. That’s not a good move!

Can Paint Fumes Harm a Baby?

Children and babies are more easily affected by the fumes that emanate from paints than adults, and so you must shield your child from this dangerous substance. When babies inhale these fumes, it goes directly to their lungs causing respiratory issues which might lead to death if not properly attended to.

It is true that some paints like organic paints, zero VOC paints, and low VOC paints doesn’t bring out many fumes but it is expedient that you wait for at least 24 hours before taking your baby into the painted apartment.

Paints like oil paints and solvent-based paints emanate this fume more than other kinds of paints and they are really bad when inhaled by babies. The vapors from these paints can harm even an unborn child and sometimes, the pregnant mother.

If you painted your room with these two paints, you must leave the room open for at least 3 days before taking your baby in else, you will be endangering his/her life.


Is It Safe Breathing Paint Fumes While Sleeping?

Just so you know, paints are made with chemicals such as formaldehyde. This is a colorless and flammable gas that has a very strong and distinct smell. It’s well known that we are exposed to a little amount of formaldehyde here and there because it is produced by plants and animals, but the amount used in paint production is overwhelming.

When inhaled for a long time, it causes nose, throat cancer, vascular collapse, pneumonia, hemorrhagic nephritis, and even abortion among pregnant women.

When the paint is applied on the walls, whether interior or exterior, it emits fumes that only go away after some hours or days depending on the kind of paint used.

This is what happens after painting your room. The chemicals that are used to produce paints will restrain to room temperature and turn into gas.

When this happens, the gas will contaminate the air in the room and yield a very strong odor in the room, if not the whole apartment.

This gas or fumes when inhaled destroys the lungs gradually and also, causes irritation to the nose, eyes, and the skin which are basic organs of the human body. It also causes difficulty in breathing or asthma.

The answer to the above question is NO. What’s safe in taking in what will cut short your life’s span?

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How Long After Painting a Room Is It Safe For Baby to Sleep?


While you’d love to give your baby’s room a new look by repainting it, also put their safety at the back of your mind because to every parent, their children are their VVIPs.

Shield your baby and older children from fumes that emanate from a freshly painted apartment, you will be saving a life.

And as a parent, your life also matters too, hence you also strive to help yourself. Avoid sleeping in a freshly painted room for at least for 3days.