The Importance of Infant Safety
Infants are, without a doubt, the most vulnerable group of human beings on the planet. So much deliberation, attention, care, and love has to be put into raising our future successors of tomorrow. But it is more than worth the trouble. Particular attention has to be put into preventing the disturbing occurrence of what is known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the sudden and unexplained death of a seemingly healthy baby typically less than a year old. The death usually happens during sleep and is often related to the sudden cessation of breathing. Sometimes SIDS is known as crib death because it often occurs to infants in cribs.
Needless to say, the importance of picking the safest crib possible is of the utmost importance to any parent. SIDS is the nightmare of many parents. It is hard to predict, yet preventable. And it often leaves the parents into feeling that more could have been done to save their precious child. Here we present valuable advice for parents, new and seasoned, for picking the safest, and simultaneously, the best crib mattress possible for your child.
The most important thing to consider for your child is the part of the crib that will most often be put to the test. There are as many different mattress types as there are children and each has their own pros and cons. Let’s quickly call out some:
Foam Crib Mattress: the most common and lightest option. Available in different thicknesses, typically 3–6 inches. Be sure to pick a firm one, if you go for one of these. Too soft and it can conform to your baby’s shape, leading to possible suffocation.
Organic Crib Mattress: As the name implies, such mattresses are made of organic materials, and absent of any chemical and industrial compounds — flame retardants, PBDE, vinyl, polyurethane foam, latex, etc., in the fear of them causing unwanted harm to their occupants.
Innerspring Crib Mattress: These are exactly like the typical kind of mattress most people own, just made to fit the dimensions of a crib. The better gauge steel the springs are, the heavier, more durable, firmer, and more expensive the mattress will be.
Which Is The Best Choice?
All of these mattress types have their own claims to fame; their own benefits and quirks. But really, you want to make sure the mattress comfortably meets a few criteria for you to be sure it is as safe as possible for your child. Here are a few guidelines mattresses should abide by:
Firmness: You want to make sure any mattress you buy is firm enough to stay flat when your child lays down on it, whether on their back or on their stomach.
This will reduce the likelihood of suffocation by preventing the mattress from shaping itself around your baby and its air passages during sleep. Having a firm mattress will also help to support the bone growth of your child.
Size: Of course, any mattress you buy should properly fit the dimensions of your crib. But making sure to double-check the dimension of your mattress won’t hurt. Be sure that the mattress fits flush against the frame of the crib.
Freshness: This is especially important to consider if you’re thinking about buying used mattresses, or reusing one or your children’s. Mold and bacteria build-up are a serious danger to your child, especially if they like to sleep on their stomach. And the risk of mold or bacteria build-up is higher in second -hand mattresses.
If you don’t know the history of the mattress, or you want to reduce the risk of exposure as much as possible, it is simply best to avoid used mattresses whenever possible. But if you consider this a viable option, consider any incidents that might have involved the mattress in the past that could put it at risk for mold growth, such as flooding, frequent bed-wetting, neglect, improper storage, etc.. Speaking of mold;
Mold Growth: Mold and bacteria can quite easily grow unnoticed underneath a mattress. The risk of mold growth can be especially high if the inside of a mattress has even gotten wet. Many crib mattresses are designed to combat mold growth by being made waterproof.
Such waterproof mattresses often have a vinyl or polyethylene surface. However, recall earlier that an organic crib mattress is absent of artificial compounds like the aforementioned vinyl and polyethylene.
Organic materials may be considered by some to be healthier, but naturally decay faster, and are less resistant to the elements than other types of mattresses. If you do go organic, be sure to buy a waterproof cover for it.
With so many options and choices, new parents can be overwhelmed by the complicated factors necessary to consider, with so many things putting their child’s health at risk. However, like with most important decisions in life, simply doing a bit of research will make it much easier to make the best possible choice you can make, to buy the best crib mattress you can buy for your child’s needs.