Think back to when your mom raised you. She likely didn’t have to worry about what mattress to choose, which crib to buy, or feel overwhelmed about all the car seat safety protocols. In fact, if you ask your mom, she will probably tell you that she covered you up with a blanket and put you in your car seat with a bulky winter coat during the cold months, which is a huge “no no” today.
Although being a mom today can seem a bit more tense with all the “dos and don’ts” when it comes to your child, it’s all for a good reason. For example, choosing a crib mattress years ago was nothing that anyone second guessed. Today, it’s a whole different story. You will find that many mattresses contain chemicals or aren’t firm enough. Thanks to experts and in-depth research, you can feel reassured when choosing your baby’s mattress with a few different tips.
The Firmer the Better
Choosing a firm mattress is critical. Babies shouldn’t be able to sink down into the mattress because they don’t have good head control at first. In 2016 alone, there were around 3,600 sudden infant death cases in the United States. Out of those cases, 900 of them were due to accidental suffocation or strangulation in bed. A mattress needs to be taken seriously. If you’re doing your baby mattress shopping in the store, don’t skip out on one just because you think it feels “too firm” for your baby. What you think is comfortable likely won’t be safe for them. Many mattresses have coils, and if the one you’re looking at does, make sure it has at least 135-150 coils with a gauge of 15.5 or less.
Purchase Your Crib First
Pick out your crib first because the size of the mattress matters. When you place a mattress in a crib, there should be no gaps. If there is, it’s not safe enough for your baby. It’s easier to return a mattress if it doesn’t fit than to take apart your crib. Most mattresses are a standard size, but it’s best to be safe.
Don’t Buy Used
Crib mattresses can be costly; however, it’s important not to jeopardize your baby’s safety and sleep for saving some cash. Some people don’t understand the danger of purchasing a used crib mattress, so it’s important to provide awareness. As time goes on, a used crib mattress can become uneven and too soft, which can put your baby at risk. Additionally, a mattress may look clean but it could have fungus, mildew, and mold in its core.
If You Choose an Organic Crib Mattress
Many people are concerned about chemicals, and just like anything, a crib mattress is bound to have several chemicals. It’s a normal worry for parents, and it causes hesitation when it comes to choosing a mattress. If you want to go the organic route, there are some organic mattress labels to keep in mind to know which are legitimate.
- Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)- For this label to be added to a mattress, it means 95 percent of the materials are certified organic and prohibits the use of certain substances in the other 5 percent including chemical flame retardants and polyurethane.
- Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)- This label means that a mattress is made of latex and is 95 percent organic, as well as having restrictions for the other 5 percent of material. Natural latex mattresses must have both the GOLS and GOTS labels.
- Greenguard- This label requires testing of the finished product for specific emission limits of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde.
- Greenguard Gold- The Greenguard Gold label is much like the regular Greenguard, except it has stricter emission limits on the VOCs.
- CertiPur-US- This label only pertains to the polyurethane foam in mattresses. A GOL label would ban the foam; however, CertiPUR-US restricts specific substances that are found in several foams including flame retardants and polybrominated diphenyl ether. In addition, it requires testing for VOCs and formaldehyde.
- Organic Cotton Standard 100- This label is for the percentage of certified organic material and not flame retardants, colorants, VOCs, or dyes.