How to Choose a Crib Mattress

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  • 5/26/11
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  • Baby Crib Mattress
    Selecting the right baby crib mattress ranks as one of the most important buying decisions parents face. Mattress selection is as important as choosing the right baby crib since babies spend up to 18 hours a day sleeping. The right mattress will not only help your child sleep better, it will keep the child safe. Primary concerns in mattress selection include size and firmness. Since most of the components that make a good mattress lie out of sight, do your homework to ensure the mattress you buy is suitable for your baby.

    1. Measure the mattress to make sure it fits the baby crib properly. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should not be able to fit two fingers between the mattress and crib. Larger gaps may allow your baby’s head to become trapped in the space between mattress and crib, risking suffocation.

    2. Check the firmness of the mattress. Mattresses for babies require a higher degree of firmness than mattresses for adults in order to decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation. When you press your hand into the mattress, the mattress should spring back quickly, showing no evidence of your hand impression. Buy the heaviest, firmest mattress you can afford.

    3. Choose foam or innerspring coils. Both of these materials are suitable, provided their quality is good. Both foam and innerspring coils provide adequate support for babies and toddlers. Foam mattresses are made from polyurethane and tend to weigh less than innerspring mattresses, making them easier to change. More parents buy innerspring mattresses, most likely because they themselves sleep on similar mattresses. Twenty-five years ago foam mattresses broke down relatively quickly, but modern foam mattresses last just as long as their innerspring counterparts.

    4. Ensure that the manufacturer or retailer has supplied adequate information concerning the components of the mattress. Check to see that the mattress material is fire-retardant.

    5. Search out mattresses with visible ventilation holes. Poorly ventilated mattresses may be a cause of SIDS.

    6. Select a mattress with a waterproof cover. Even if your mattress is leak-proof, a waterproof cover will make the sleeping surface more comfortable. The coldness of a vinyl cover will most likely transfer to your child without the extra barrier provided by the waterproof cover. The cover also serves to draw the moisture of diaper leaks away from your baby.

    7. Resist the impulse to spend extra money for an antimicrobial cover. Microbe growth is easily prevented by wiping the mattress with water and soap after accidents. Don’t spend money on a feature you don’t need.

    8. Ignore one-year, seven-year and lifetime warranties. They are not worth the extra expense. A quality mattress will last as long as you are likely to need it under conditions of normal use. Most baby mattress warranties exist as inducements to parents to spend more money. Quality mattresses tend to run $80 to $140.

    9. Purchase your baby crib mattress new, not used. Recycling is generally a great idea, but when you purchase a second-hand mattress you run the risk of getting a mattress with mold growth. It is also more difficult to determine the quality and components of a second-hand mattress. Remember that your purchase has the potential to directly affect the health and safety of your baby.

    Questions:

    1.  Whats your tip on choosing a crib mattress?

    Image Credit:  Liz
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    3 comments:

    My Urban Child said...

    Thanks for sharing this one. I really love those tips.

    Baby Mattresses

    Florence Carole said...

    Never buy a second-hand crib mattress. An improperly handled and stored mattress can harbor fungus and bacteria that poses a health risk to babies.

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    Roderick Parker said...

    I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
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