How to choose a crib mattress for your baby

How to Choose a Crib Mattress for Your BabySelecting the right mattress for your baby’s crib might not be the most exciting aspect of parenting, but it is essential for the child’s safety and comfort. Before purchasing a crib mattress here are a few things you should consider:

Determine a Budget

Before anything else, it is a good idea to come up with a budget for your baby sleeping products. Most infant mattresses are inexpensive when compared to adult mattresses, so you can usually find a durable one for less than $100.

Hypoallergenic mattresses cost more, but can prevent allergies from keeping your baby awake at night. Organic mattresses are made from natural fibers and provide an added level of safety. Organic crib sheets should also be purchases to prevent exposure to harmful toxins.

Firm is Better

For a newborn, the firmer the mattress, the better. This is because the baby cannot move herself from one position to another and if the mattress is too soft, it can hinder her breathing. For example, it is recommended that parents put their babies to sleep on their backs, but a soft mattress can actually make it easier for the baby to roll onto her stomach. Once on her stomach, she might have trouble getting to her back, which can cause breathing difficulties.

When you press down on the mattress, it should bounce back up immediately when you move your hand. A mattress that stays pressed down can be a potential hazard for your child. Also, remember to keep the crib completely empty, as anything that is left in the crib could become dangerous.

Proper Fit

Finding a mattress that fits properly in the crib is also very important. Make sure that you do not have any gaps between the crib and the mattress, as the child could get stuck in these locations.

If he were to get his arm or leg stuck in a crack, it could wake him from sleep and be dangerous. The mattress should fit snugly into the crib to avoid these problems. Bring a measuring tape with you when shopping to avoid potential problems. It is also a good idea to ask about the store’s return policy, just in case you make a mistake.

Type of Mattress

Infant mattresses come in both foam and innerspring. You will probably find that innerspring mattresses cost more money, but they do not always perform better. Select the mattress that you like the best and do not worry about the material too much.

Some mattresses are waterproof, which provides some added protection. Keep in mind, however, that you should purchase a vinyl cover to put on top of the mattress, even if it has this extra layer. Sometimes babies have accidents that leak through a diaper in the middle of the night and there is nothing worse than trying to get a mattress dry at 4 a.m.

For an organic mattress, look for something that is made out of cashmere. These mattresses breathe, which keeps the baby comfortable, and provide a great deal of support. Mattresses made from coconut fiber and lamb’s wool are also organic options.

[About the author: James White is a freelance writer and father of two adorable children. Read more articles from James on his blog Image: valentinapowers]

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