Pin It

How To Pick the Perfect Baby Mattress

000WordsImagesCLOSED / iStock /

000WordsImagesCLOSED / iStock /

Gone are the days when you could buy a crib, assume it came with a mattress, and be done with it. We now know that the type of mattress your baby sleeps on matters and that care should be taken when considering this big purchase. Whether you’re expecting your first child or just feel like you need to upgrade, check out this handy guide to help you pick the best baby mattress for you and your babe.

Make Sure Its Fits
Yes, this might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many well-intentioned parents have to run back to the store when they realize that the mattress they thought to be perfect doesn’t fit in their baby’s crib. Fit is important, not just for the sake of convenience but for safety, as well. A too small mattress will leave gaps which can be extremely dangerous. Before making the purchase, measure your crib and consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for mattress size. Some cribs (such as the Stokke Sleepi or Bloom Alma Mini) require special mattresses that may have to be special ordered. Even if you’re pretty certain your crib is a standard size, it never hurts to be sure.

Buy New
Babies are expensive, no doubt about it. In an effort to save a bit of cash, parents often scour Craigslist and yard sales to score some great deals on gently used baby gear. A great idea but when it comes to your baby’s sleep surface, you should always buy new. You want a firm mattress that doesn’t have any give that could pose a suffocation risk. New mattresses are manufactured in accordance to strict safety standards which means that you know what you’re getting when you buy. Used mattresses, even ones that seem to be in great shape, just aren’t worth the risk.

Choose Your Type
Like adult mattresses, baby beds come in a  sometimes dizzying array of options. The standard (and typically least expensive) option is foam. These mattresses tend to be durable and firm and provide a solid sleeping surface for your baby. The downside to foam is that it is more likely to begin to sag over time and can be a bit of a pain to clean. Coil spring mattresses are an excellent option if you’re looking for good support and longevity. When purchasing, you can choose the coil count (aim for between 135 and 150) as well as the gauge of the steel. Pocketed spring mattresses are generally the same as coil springs except for the fact that each spring has its own pocket, which means that the support tends to last a lot longer. Finally, you have the option of going natural and choosing a mattress that incorporates materials like natural latex, organic wools and cottons, and coconut. These mattresses boast increased air circulation, a long lifespan, and for a lot of parents, the reassurance that their sweet babe is surrounding by only the purest and best. A great option but be forewarned: these mattresses are pricey.

Fuse /

Fuse /

Consider the Cover
Mattress covers (called ticking) are what you’re looking at when you strip the sheets off your bed. More than just a floral pattern, the ticking actually matters when you’re choosing a bed. Plastic-based options are common and have their benefits, such as they’re easy to clean and tend to be antibacterial. Their drawbacks are that they’re not super breathable, and if you don’t opt for a high quality plastic-based cover, it can puncture or tear. The second alternative is cloth, which can be made from either synthetic or natural materials. Cloth mattress covers offer more breathability and are typically more durable. Their drawbacks: harder to clean and usually more expensive.

Babies by their nature are messy, even when they’re sleeping. When selecting a mattress, be sure to inquire as to how waterproof the surface is and be sure that it’s easy to wipe clean. That being said, when you’re setting up your crib, don’t forget to add a waterproof pad between the mattress and the sheet. Trust us, you’ll be happy that you did.

Keep It Safe
According to resources such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, less is absolutely more when it comes to your baby’s sleeping environment. Resist the urge to purchase the elaborate crib bedding sets because all that should be in your baby’s crib is a mattress, a snug fitting sheet, and your baby. Blankets, decorative pillows, stuffed animals, and bumpers may look adorable but they pose suffocation and strangulation risks. Babies should always be placed on their backs to sleep (unless otherwise advised by a medical professional) and measures should be taken to avoid overheating.

like downlinens