Always, always on your mind is the safety of your children. Call it instinct, call it common sense, but don’t forget to call it what it really is…love. From the moment you meet your child you realize that the feelings you have are the most indescribable in any language.
So, having said that, we know that from the moment they awaken in the morning to the moment you put them down for the night, you are protecting them, starting with their comfort.
What makes good sense and can determine the day you will have with your baby, is their sleeping time. That sleeping time leads to what they will sleep on and needless to say, a good mattress can be the reason for the big smile you receive in the morning. And, there are steps in choosing the right mattress for your crib. You want to make sure it is a firm mattress and that it specifically made for a crib and/or your baby, keeping in mind that a soft mattress may be a suffocation danger. A good crib mattress is a comfort for your baby, so you would want to consider durability, comfort and of course cost.
There are two types of mattresses for your baby’s crib:
Foam: These are the least expensive and come in different thicknesses. The thickness of the foam mattress can range anywhere from three to six inches, however the density is far more important than the thickness, and this is something you won’t see listed when purchasing a crib mattress. It’s good to remember that 1.5 pounds per cubic ft. is the better foam.
The usual foam mattress will weigh between seven and eight pounds. Try to avoid getting a mattress that is too heavy, simply because this is what you will be lifting out of the crib each and every time you change the baby’s crib sheet. As well, keep in mind that the memory foam can sometimes weigh as much as twenty pounds.
When looking into a foam mattress, try to test the resiliency before you purchase. When you push down on it and remove your hand (usually in the middle of the mattress), check to see how fast it regains its shape. The faster it reshapes, the better the mattress for your baby. Imagine a small baby, especially in the first stages of life when that child can hardly lift its head properly, makes an impression and is unable to change positions because the mattress didn’t regain its shape quickly enough.
Innerspring Mattress: Now these are usually a little more expensive, but can be more resilient than the foam mattress. However, what counts here is the number of coils and the gauge of wire, as well as the number of turns per coil. A lower gauge will mean that the wire is thicker and therefore stronger and firmer. So, if you can, find a mattress with 135 coils, or more, and a gauge of 15.5 or less.
Let’s now talk about the latest craze out there. Should we go organic or non-organic? A good number of parents are health conscious today, so mattresses made of organic materials are very attractive to them and they are usually made of wool or cotton. And these will come in both foam and innerspring mattresses. However, an organic crib mattress may be more expensive but will give you peace of mind if you are certain you want organic. When a product claims to be organic by its manufacturer, it can mean a number of things, so if you can, check for an Oeko-Tex Standard, which is a global uniform certification. It assures that heavy metals were not used when manufacturing your crib mattress as well as PVDEs.
Avoid, if you can, a second hand crib mattress. Bacteria from a baby’s fluids can lodge itself within the mattress so when your baby begins sleeping on it, he or she will be susceptible to contract that bacteria which may be linked to an increased risk for SIDS. However, it was never concluded that a used mattress was a direct cause.
- Make sure it is the right size – A crib mattress need to fit snuggly inside the crib. The space between the crib and its frame should be no more than two fingers. By law, these mattresses must be approximately twenty seven by fifty one inches and no more than six inches in thickness.
- Make sure it is firm – If a mattress is too soft for baby, it can conform to your baby’s shape and cause a suffocation hazard. Keep in mind that the firmer the mattress is, the better it is. Baby will adjust.
- Make sure the mattress cover is sturdy to prevent water problems. You want double or triple reinforcement of nylon.
- There should be enough venting: You should see small vent holes on at least two sides of the mattress to let air run in and out. Diapers do leak and cause and odor so this is vital.
- Lastly – make sure it is certified!
This should cover some of the more important aspects of purchasing a crib mattress for the most important person in your life. Keep your baby safe and comfortable and they will awake with a smile for you.