Your baby is a precious gem and should sleep on a cradle mattress that offers them the right amount of support and comfort. This is incredibly important for getting their life off on the right foot.
In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that babies should sleep on their backs on a firm, flat mattress, without bedding under them, in order to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or suffocation.
The crib also needs to be properly assembled without any loose or broken components, in order to keep your baby safe. It also helps to use new or recently made cribs (under 10 years old) in order to ensure that they meet modern safety standards.
Mattresses in cribs have a few different options that suit different people and different budgets. Innerspring mattresses tend to last longer and keep their shape in the crib the best, useful if you are expecting more children, but also tend to be more expensive.
Foam and latex, on the other hand, can be less expensive but offer solid support. However, foam can have toxic chemicals that should be kept away from children and latex allergies can rule out that as a substance.
Organic cotton and wool are both excellent options, as well, though wool is often very expensive and some people are allergic to it, especially low quality wool. On the other hand, cotton does not have many of the benefits of wool including being resistant to dust mites and moisture.
No matter what type of cradle mattress you choose for your child, it should be firm enough to provide adequate support, unless recommended otherwise by your doctor. This means that, if using foam, latex, cotton, or wool, the material should be dense enough to keep your child safe.
For innerspring mattresses, higher numbers of coils (generally above 150) are better and result in a firmer mattress. The mattress should have an edge rod, which increases the life of the mattress, and the cover should have multiple layers.
Vents are useful for preventing the buildup of odors. The mattress should also be fire-retardant, a feature that requires dangerous chemicals for foam and innerspring mattresses and might be a reason to prefer organic latex, cotton or wool.
All major manufacturers make their new mattresses fire-resistant but older ones may not have that. Of course, you'll also want to make sure that the mattress is the right size for the crib.
A certified organic cradle mattress provides many benefits that parents may be looking for. Fabrics may not have toxic chemicals or even chemicals suspected of being toxic, which keeps dangerous chemicals away from your child.
All cotton must be grown organically and wool needs to be from sheep treated by organic standards, and cannot be processed at facilities that use polyester or chemicals, keeping substances like benzene, phthalates, petroleum, formaldehyde, arsenic, and lead out of the fabric.
Indeed, everything must be tested and if rubber or other materials include any concentration of those chemicals, they are not considered organic. This ensures that your baby sleeps on a mattress free of harmful chemicals.
Whichever type of mattress you choose for your child to sleep on, they should be comfortably supported, without the mattress breaking the bank. Each choice has its benefits and disadvantages, depending on what is best for your unique and beautiful baby!
Consumer Product Safety Commission, Crib Information Center, www.cpsc.gov
Consumer Product Safety Commission, The Safe Nursery, www.cpsc.gov/Cpscpub
The New Parents' Guide, Choosing a Baby Crib Mattress, www.thenewparentsguide.com