When I was expecting there were so many things which, to me, seemed difficult because of a minefield of conflicting information about how best to approach the issue at hand....one of those tasks was purchashing a crib mattress.
So with that in mind, I thought that the below information may be useful to some of the first time mums to be out there....
How to choose your first crib mattress
Buying your first mattress for a baby’s crib is an initially daunting task. You’ll have all sorts of worries about what is best for your child and what makes the perfect mattress.
This guide should help alleviate those concerns by breaking down what you should to be looking for. Safety is paramount but the rest is a matter of preference towards cost, comfort and durability.
Here are the essential points you need to consider.
First thing you’ll want to do is get out the tape measure and determine the width and length of your crib. You will need a mattress that fits snugly, with no more than an inch of space between the crib frame and side of the mattress. Any more than this and it could be a potential suffocation or entrapment hazard for your baby.
The firmness of the mattress you choose is also incredibly important. If a crib mattress is too soft it can conform to a baby’s shape and create a suffocation and SIDS hazard. Baby Center have put together a very informative article on how to reduce the risk to your baby. If you can press down on the centre of the mattress and it doesn’t conform to the shape of your hand, then it should be of adequate firmness.
Foam vs. Innerspring
Foam mattresses tend to be less expensive but you must ensure they are firm and dense enough. Density can be a hard thing to determine as it’s often not listed on the packaging. A good tip is to look at the weight. If you compare it to a mattress of the same size, you’ll know which one is denser by looking at which one weighs more.
Innerspring mattresses cost more but offer much higher durability. Get a mattress that has between 135 to 150 coils and a gauge lower than 15.5. If the coils are a lower gauge that means they are much thicker and stronger as a result. This makes for a firmer mattress.
If you are concerned about manmade chemicals found in mattresses you may want to consider going green. Organic mattresses tend to be more expensive but a lot of people agree that the peace of mind makes them worthwhile. They are made from all-natural materials – usually cotton or wool – and are chemical free. TheLittle Green Sheep supply a number of organic cribmattresses that come in a variety of sizes. The thick layers of organic wool help to prevent the growth of bacteria and dust mites, which can be associated with foam mattresses.
Ticking and vent holes
Have a look at the sides of the mattress for small holes. These allow air to flow easily in and out so bad odours can escape.
A good mattress will have multiple layers of laminate coating. This makes them very durable and easy to clean down from wet nappies. If your mattress doesn’t come with this layer, separate covers can be purchased.
I hope this information helps out some of you mums to be!