Your baby crib is the best area to keep your baby safe from hazards, but what many parents overlook is the importance of buying a safe baby crib mattress. The baby crib is vital to keep safe boundaries around your new baby, but the crib mattress is what your baby will have direct contact with most of the day and at night. That is why it is so critical to buy the perfect crib mattress that is comfortable and safe for your baby to sleep on. Below is a checklist on what you need to look out for in a baby crib mattress:
- Types: You will typically find foam or innerspring mattresses. Both work well, however foam is usually less expensive and lighter in weight. Innerspring mattresses tend to be a bit more expensive, but are known to last longer. Many parents opt for organic crib mattresses which are the most expensive, but are made with all natural materials. They are free from industrial chemicals and compounds that are used as flame retardants, water repellants and preservatives.
- Firmness: Ensure the crib mattress is firm. You do not want the mattress surface to conform to your baby’s shape as it can become a suffocation hazard and increase the chance of SIDS. You can test firmness by pressing down in the middle of the mattress and edges, and see if the mattress snaps back to original shape.
- Perfect Fit: Make sure the crib mattress fits tightly in the crib. If you can fit more than two fingers between the side of mattress and crib, the mattress is too small and you are putting your baby at risk.
- Mattress Cover: It’s good practice to make sure the mattress cover, or ticking, is sturdy. Double or triple laminated ticking that is reinforced with nylon is good for water resistance, against tears and holes, and will help keep the mattress clean from soiled diapers and spit up. Organic mattresses will usually have natural, cotton covers.
- CPSC Certified: The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) have set forth strict manufacturing and testing guidelines for crib mattresses. Make sure you check labels to see if it is CPSC Certified.
- Ventilation: Check if there are small ventilation holes on the sides of the mattress. This allows air to leave and enter the crib mattress which will help the mattress smell better, especially from leaks and stains.