How to Select a Crib Mattress


While selecting a crib mattress may not be the most fun and exciting item in the nursery, nothing else will have more direct contact with your baby. Newborns sleep up to 18 hours a day. And most babies will use this mattress for two to three years. Therefore, selecting a quality mattress should be one of your top priorities.

The two most popular types of crib mattresses are foam and innerspring. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Following is a comparison.

Foam Mattress

1) Usually less expensive

2) Usually not as durable and generally lose their shape over time

3) Usually lighter weight which makes changing sheets easier

4) Many offer a denser foam to provide more thickness and support

Innerspring Mattress

1) Usually more durable, thus lasts longer

2) Typically maintain their shape and support for longer periods of time

3) Heavier thus make changing sheets more difficult

4) Usually are firmer

The most important thing to remember when selecting a mattress is that the firmer it is, the better. Some cases of sudden infant death syndrome have been linked to soft bedding. When purchasing a foam mattress, the thicker the foam is, the more firm the mattress. With innerspring, the more coils there are, the firmer it will be.

Additional considerations when buying a mattress include:

-Always buy a mattress that is fire retardant

-Make sure the mattress is the correct size. The standard crib size measures 51 5/8″ by 27 1/4″. Most new mattress fit in standard cribs. When checking the size, check to see if you can fit two fingers comfortably between the mattress and the side of the crib. If so, the mattress is too small and can cause a suffocation hazard if your baby falls between the mattress and the side of the crib.

-Look for a mattress with vents on the sides. The more vents there are, the fresher smelling the baby’s mattress will be.

-Make sure that the ticking is sturdy. Ticking is the material that wraps the mattress foam or innersprings and padding. Though it may appear to be a matter of taste, there are different styles, quality, materials and benefits. You can get a mattress that is antiallergenic, anti-microbial, anti-dust mite, and that remain hygienically clean to help keep the baby’s sleeping environment clean.

You can also get quilted vinyl covers or a double laminate. You can get knits, natural cottons, triple laminated, and nylon reinforced covers. If you are concerned with water-resistance, look for double- or triple- laminated ticking reinforced with nylon. This composition is also more resistant to tears and holes.

One thing to keep in mind is to never use a hand-me-down mattress. Some scientists believe that the fire-retardant chemicals in a mattress can break down over time. It is suspected that a baby who breathes these chemicals is more at risk for sudden infant death syndrome.

There are accessories that you can purchase for your mattress. These include:

-Waterproof mattress cover which will help protect the mattress when your baby’s diaper leaks.

-Crib sheets which should be fitted. You can get them in cotton or flannel. Most people purchase the sheets to match the rest of the nursery.

-Bumpers which are considered as part of the crib will help your infant from banging his head on the crib.

-Decorative quilts can be purchased as just that, decoration. Even though they are a great compliment to the nursery, decorative quilts poses a suffocation hazard and should be removed from the crib while the baby is sleeping.


Source by Sandy Rajsic

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