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Let's take a look at how to choose a crib mattress!
We are often asked about our preferences for crib mattresses and what we look for when we choose a crib mattress. Moms want to know if there are mattresses that are not too heavy for them to lift when changing the sheets or what exactly they need to look for when choosing a mattress
This comprehensive crib mattress buying guide will help answer those questions and help you choose the best crib mattress for your little bundle of joy.
A baby spends as much as 16 hours a day sleeping on his or her crib mattress. Hence, the process of choosing a crib mattress deserves as much thought and understanding as you would when choosing a crib.
A good crib mattress needs to not only meet the required safety standards but also provide a comfortable surface and a healthy sleep environment for your baby to sleep on. The risks associated with having a less than ideal crib mattress surface are great since a surface that is soft has the potential to increase the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or suffocation.
CRIB MATTRESS SAFETY STANDARDS
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a mattress used in a full-size crib must be at least 27 1/4 inches x 51 1/4 inches .The thickness should not exceed 6 inches, to prevent baby's head getting trapped between the mattress and the crib. The retail carton for the crib and the crib itself must contain a specific warning statement that notes these dimensions. The standards also require non full size cribs to be sold with an accompanying mattress.(Consumer Product Safety Commission)
THINGS TO LOOK FOR WHEN you choose A CRIB MATTRESS
Besides the crib mattress safety standards, there are some other important features to consider. The American Academy of Pediatrics(APP) guidelines for Sleep Safety and SIDS Reduction, recommends that you put your baby to sleep on as firm a mattress as you feel comfortable. Also, given the likelihood of leaky diapers, look for a mattress that has a strong waterproof mattress cover. Another thing to look for in a mattress are small vent holes on the sides of the mattress. The holes will help ventilate the mattress and allow odors to escape out.
TYPES OF CRIB MATTRESSES
There are two different types of crib mattresses-foam mattresses and innerspring mattresses. The most obvious difference between the two types is the material inside the mattress. Foam mattresses are mostly made from polyurethane. While innerspring mattresses are made with a steel coil innerspring support system, consisting of various foams and fibers on top to provide comfort at the surface.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FOAM AND INNERSPRING CRIB MATTRESSES
Aside from the composition of the mattresses, there are certain other differences between a foam mattress and an innerspring crib mattress. An innerspring mattress is considerably more heavier than a foam crib mattress because of the steal coil and the many layers. Another difference between the two is that an innerspring mattress is springy and provides a great surface for baby to jump on, later down the road, much to the chagrin of the parents.
FEATURES OF A GOOD QUALITY FOAM CRIB MATTRESS
A good foam mattress should provide a firm surface for your baby to sleep on. Here's a quick way to determine if the mattress is firm -press on the mattress in the center and at the edges. If the mattress is firm, it will snap back promptly into shape without conforming to the shape of your hand. Another important thing to consider is the density of the mattress. The rule of thumb is that the heavier the mattress the better it is.
FEATURES OF A GOOD QUALITY INNERSPRING CRIB MATTRESS
An innerspring mattress consists of a steel coil and several cushioning layers consisting of foam or other materials. A good quality innerspring mattress would have a greater number of coils as well as a larger amount of steel. The coils should be thicker and the mattress should have a border rod. A border rod adds firmness and prevents the mattress from sagging.
A good quality innerspring mattress should also have an insulator layer to prevent the soft cushioning layers from sinking into the coils .The best insulator is a coir fiber pad made from coconut shells. An insulator made of fiber pad or cloth pad, would not hold up over time.
MORE THINGS TO CONSIDER when choosing a CRIB MATTRESS
- A study from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas found high levels of chemical emissions from crib mattresses. The team of researchers used 20 mattress samples taken from 10 different manufacturers. They found that the the foam padding in crib mattresses release significant amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), potentially harmful chemicals also found in household items such as cleaners and scented sprays.
- Due to the high flammability of polyurethane foam, certain mattresses contain fire retardants. There are some retardants such as PBDEs and PentaBDE that have been banned in Europe and California. A report by Environment California Research and Policy Center found that PBDEs might be especially harmful to babies.
ECO FRIENDLY CRIB MATTRESS OPTIONS
Due to the presence of chemicals mentioned above in baby crib mattresses, more parents than ever before are looking at Eco-friendly crib mattress options.
When it comes to baby crib mattresses there are many Eco-friendly options. However know that they are not all equal and you need to read the label carefully to ensure that all the materials used are Eco-friendly or organic. Also, expect to pay more for a good quality Eco-friendly baby crib mattress.
BEST BABY CRIB MATTRESSES
Considering the fact that babies spend so much time sleeping and the known presence of certain chemicals in regular crib mattresses, choose a quality crib mattress for your baby. Here are our top picks for best baby crib mattresses.