Finding the right baby bed mattress is more important than what most new parents realize. In fact, your baby’s life might depend on it. That’s right. Read it again if you need to. This is no exaggeration. Getting the wrong bed mattress set can be fatal, and many good and loving parents don’t know it. An incorrect baby bed mattress choice can cost a baby his life.
This page deals mostly with different kinds of crib mattresses. But many baby mattresses are made with unsafe chemicals. Although they meet all government safety regulations, there are some health hazards that even the new safety standards don’t take into account. Unsafe chemicals used in the manufacture of your baby’s mattress and crib can lead to dangerous diseases like infant cancer, leukemia or SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Organic baby mattresses are only briefly mentioned on this page, but for more complete complete information on this very important subject, please read the page about Organic Baby Bedding. It’s more important than what most parents think.
Innerspring Or Foam Crib Mattresses
Besides safety, there are some considerations that are important for your particular situation, and there are some facts that you should know. First, there are two different kinds of baby bed mattresses. You can choose between foam or coil inner spring mattresses. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Coil innerspring baby mattresses are heavier and more expensive than foam mattresses. A standard sized crib mattress will typically weigh between 25 – 35 pounds. However, they are usually firmer and give better support, which is recommended especially for newborns. A standard sized crib spring mattress will have between 80 – 280 coils. The more coils, the firmer the support. And though they usually cost more, they normally last longer. Whereas a foam mattress will typically have a 10-year guarantee, a coil spring mattress will often have a life-time guarantee.
A standard size foam baby bed mattresses might weigh as little as 6 pounds. That makes them a lot easier to manage when you have to change a crib sheet. They cost less, but they don’t last as long because they loose support as time goes on, especially as the child grows and learns to jump and bounce on it.
Some stores sell 2 in 1 crib mattresses. These are meant to accommodate your baby as he grows. One side has a very firm surface, which is recommended for newborns. The other side is a bit softer, which is acceptable for toddlers and older children.
Standard Mattress Sizes
There are different sized mattresses to fit different sized cribs, but the most common size is probably about 52 inches long by 28 inches wide by 5 or 6 inches thick. Current USA government baby crib safety regulations require a snug fit with a gap of not more than one inch between the mattress and the sides of the crib. That is about the width of two adult fingers. This is to prevent having a gap that is large enough for a small baby to slip through. If you buy the mattress with the crib, you are sure to have a correct fit. If you buy the crib and the mattress separately, or if you build your own baby furniture, make sure you keep these dimensions in mind.
Oval cribs will typically have smaller mattresses, about 47 inches long by 27 inches wide by about 3 inches thick. For an oval bassinet, the typical size will probably be about 30 inches long by 15 inches wide by 2 inches thick. Oval crib mattresses are, of course, foam filled. A typical size for rectangular bassinet mattresses would be about 33 inches by 15 by 1 – 4 inches. Typical dimensions of a cradle mattress would be about 36 inches by 18 inches by 2 – 4 inches.
Organic Crib Mattress
Using an organic crib mattress is the best way to protect your baby from toxic chemicals which could be dangerous or even fatal. Our modern society is full of products, like plastics and pesticides, made with poisonous chemicals, many of which affect our bodies in ways that we do not understand. What we do know is that, as the use of unnatural synthetic materials has increased, cases of cancer and other diseases have also been on the rise.
The mattresses on which members of your family sleep may be full of these toxic chemicals. Many of them can cause very serious conditions like skin irritation, respiratory disease, asthma, allergies, nervous-system disorders, and different kinds of cancers. Worst of all, credible studies show that off gassing from these chemicals are a major cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Since these toxins affect us over time, we may get sick with a serious or even with a terminal illness and have no idea where it came from.
Tests done on a memory foam mattress found that it emitted 61 chemicals, some of which are carcinogens like naphthalene and benzene. An adult body may be able to handle small amounts of these toxins, but a new baby, who probably weighs less than 10 pounds, will likely be more susceptible and absorb greater concentrations into his body. And since the baby spends between 13 – 16 hours a day in his crib, he is trapped for most of the day in a dangerous environment soaked in a cocktail of toxic poisons, and the effects could be disastrous. More about the dangerous effects of modern synthetic products will be discussed in the page on organic crib bedding.
Using an organic baby mattress is one of the most important things you can do to protect your newborn infant from these unseen dangers. True organic bedding is made of all natural materials, like cotton and wool, grown without pesticides and fertilizers. Water proofing is done with polyethylene, which is considered to be the safest, non-toxic plastics available.
Since the materials used in organic crib mattresses are so carefully grown and assembled, of course, these mattresses are more expensive than some cheap, carelessly made, foam mattress imported from overseas. But you can be sure that an organic mattress is much cheaper than a baby’s funeral, and it is not nearly as expensive as cancer treatments on an infant. There are some things which new parents can afford to buy cheap. This is not one of them. Invest a little more, and enjoy living with a healthy baby.