Preparing for a new baby is one of the most exciting times in life. Decorating the nursery, buying a stroller, and picking out WAY too many cute newborn clothes can be really fun. However, one of the most important purchases is often overlooked — buying the right crib mattress. Although this might not be as fun, it is critical for the safety and well being of your newborn.
There are a lot of crib mattresses available. Unfortunately, not all of them are safe. Because a baby spends more than 16 hours a day on the mattress, it is important to find one that provides comfort and safety. There are several things to look for when purchasing a mattress. For your convenience, I’ve narrowed it down to 3 questions you should always ask prior to purchasing a mattress:
Mattress Size Reference
#1.) Is the mattress the right size?
When purchasing a mattress, it is important to know what size you need to fit your crib. I can just picture a soon-to-be father trying to convince the mom-to-be that it fits as he is shoving it into the crib… not good. Most crib mattresses come in a standard size, but it’s helpful to know the specific size your particular crib requires before making the purchase. If the mattress fits snugly to all four sides of the crib, without any gaps, it is the right size.
Mattress Firmness Reference
#2.) Is the mattress firm enough?
One of the most important factors in helping prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), according to The National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, is using a firm mattress, as opposed to a soft mattress. There are two types of crib mattresses: innerspring and foam. Both have their pros and cons, but it all comes down to the quality of the mattress and personal preference. If you go with an innerspring, look for a mattress with 135 or more coils and a gauge of 15.5 or lower. If you prefer a foam, remember that the denser the mattress is, the better. This Lullaby Earth foam mattress is a great example of a firm mattress that will meet all your requirements, and its all natural!
Mattress Certification Lullaby Earth
#3.) Is the mattress certified?Make sure your mattress is certified and complies with the safety standards defined by The CPSC and the American Society for Testing and Materials. If the mattress is not certified then it probably does not meet the minimum requirements and is not safe to use. Some other things to consider when purchasing a mattress are:
- Never buy a used mattress because you don't know what it has been exposed to
- Check to see if the mattress has ventilation
- If you purchase a mattress cover, make sure it is waterproof and machine washable