We can all agree on the fact that babies are adorable right? But they’re also fragile and it’s only normal to want to surround them with the best things in this world. However, when it comes to crib safety, you must restrain yourself from buying the fluffiest blankets and crib mattress on the market.
While it may look cute, a fluffy bed can easily transform into a deathly trap for a baby. Not to mention that a fluffy mattress doesn’t offer the best back support for a growing baby. Now, since most parents make this mistake, I thought it’s best to offer some helpful tips when it comes to the main features that matter when choosing a mattress for the crib.
You can also consult an expert like Catherine Thompson baby sleep consultant for more tips on the best sleeping practicies for your little one.
Since the baby will spend his or her first few months in bed, it’s important to get a mattress rated for infant use. These are firm and remain flat even if the baby rolls over onto the stomach. This way, even if the baby will be on their face, they will be able to breathe avoiding any suffocation risks (the risk is very high with fluffy mattresses).
A baby will wet the bed at least once in its life regardless of how cautious you are, which is why it’s best to choose a waterproof mattress. If the mattress gets wet and you don’t have the time to perfectly dry it out, this makes it easy for mold and fungi to develop. Once this happens, the mattress can be a health hazard for the baby, especially in the first few months when the immune system is still developing.
You’ll recognize a waterproof mattress by the vinyl or polyethylene surface – these materials don’t allow liquids. On the other hand, if the mattress you find has a fabric surface, you should at least try to use a waterproof cover.
The Right Size
Size may not seem so important, given that the baby is smaller than most mattresses on the market. However, a mattress that is smaller than the crib frame is another trap for the baby. If the gap between the edge of the mattress and the frame of the crib is big enough, a baby can become stuck in-between, which can lead to health problems or worse.
On the other hand, if the mattress is too big, the baby may feel uncomfortable and this leads to troubles sleeping. And we all know that a baby who doesn’t get the right amount of sleep is a fussy baby!
The type of materials available for baby crib mattresses can be divided in two: synthetic and natural. Natural fibers such as latex, wool, or cotton are more expensive but many parents opt in their favor because they fear the chemicals in synthetic materials may affect the baby’s health. However, the only difference between synthetic and natural is made by your baby’s reaction to allergens.
Natural fibers are less prone to gathering dust and fungi, but this doesn’t mean synthetic materials are growth environments. However, if your baby is allergic, a natural fibers mattress is the best choice.
You should check for the materials to be 100% natural as some producers write ‘natural’ on their labels even though the mattress is a combination of synthetic and natural fibers.
Finally, if you decide to go with synthetic materials, I recommend a foam mattress like the ones on RestRightMattress. If the foam is dense (choose one with 5lb density), the foam is resilient and won’t keep the baby stuck in the same position for hours. This tends to happen if the foam is of low density – because the foam doesn’t change shape quickly, the baby doesn’t have enough power to change position.
Overall, the first mattress for your baby should be firm, of the right size, waterproof, and made of high-quality materials. Also, given the fact that your baby will outgrow the crib pretty fast, you shouldn’t go for the most expensive product in the store. As long as it follows the features mentioned above, your baby’s first bed will be amazing!