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How to find the right crib mattress for your baby

This post is sponsored and written by Sophie Turner. 

Having a baby on the way means that it's time to go shopping and buy everything that baby will need. The most important things to buy are a cot (crib), a mattress, and bed linen. Which babycrib mattress is better to choose for a newborn? In this issue, many young parents make many mistakes. Therefore, we decided to write a detailed guide for choosing the ideal baby mattress. 

How to find the right crib mattress for your baby

In our review, we will consider all the most popular types of children's mattresses, talk about the properties of stuffing materials, and touch upon the issues of rigidity. In conclusion, the recommendations of pediatricians will be given, which is also very important when choosing a mattress for a newborn.

Types of baby crib mattresses
Which mattress to choose for a newborn in the crib? This question puzzles many young parents. It is generally believed that it is best to sleep on a soft surface - it is comfortable, lush and warm. And such concepts are fundamentally wrong, since a newbornchild must sleep on a hard base - this ensures the correct development of the spine.

But before talking about the rigidity of mattresses, you should talk about their varieties. In our review, we will touch on the following types of mattresses:
  • ·         Spring-free;
  • ·         Spring;
  • ·         Two-sided;
  • ·         Mattresses are cocoons.

Springless Mattresses
Price Range: $40- $300
Simple springless mattresses for a crib will be the best choice. Their design does not provide for any springs, so they are absolutely safe. The basis of these mattresses is plastic fillers with different levels of elasticity. In addition, some models have orthopedic properties - this allows to ensure the correct development of the spine and bone system.

Springless MattressesModern springless mattresses for children are made of hypoallergenic materials and are equipped with dense covers of natural fabrics. Due to this, children sleep in a safe environment, on a fairly comfortable and dense surface. Also, when designing children's mattresses, attention is paid to the properties of the packing’s - they must retain heat and retain moisture well. The presence of excellent ventilation properties is a solid plus, because the child must sleep in a relatively dry atmosphere, without excess moisture.

Going a little forward, we can say that it is the springless mattresses that are the best choice for a baby crib. They are convenient, practical, well endure physical loads, do not cause allergies and provide the creation of a suitable surface for a healthy and comfortable sleep.

Spring Mattresses
Price Range: $30- $260
Spring mattresses for children are divided into two categories - classic spring mattresses and mattresses with independent spring blocks. The first category is absolutely not suitable for children's sleep. Classic spring mattresses form a strongly bendable surface, which harms the children's spine and does not contribute to its proper development. It is not surprising that after sleeping on such mattresses, children develop scoliosis.
Spring Mattress

As for mattresses with independent spring blocks, they are absolutely safe. They have orthopedic properties, provide good back support and are able to adjust to the shape of the body. But this entire splendor is underscored by one drawback - spring mattresses with independent spring blocks are not suitable for newborns. But older children can sleep on them - from about 12 years old.

Double Sided Mattresses
Price Range: $60- $400
Two-sided mattresses for newborns are universal options. They have at once two surfaces used for sleep. One side of them is rigid, just for newborns. As for the second side, it is of medium stiffness - for older children, from three years old. For what it is needed - will be said a little later. Also there are bilateral mattresses with a different ratio of the rigidity of the parties. For example, one side can be soft, and the other - medium stiffness.
Double Sided Mattresses

Close relatives of double-sided mattresses with different levels of rigidity of the parties are two-season mattresses. They are made in such a way that one side of them keeps the heat well, and the second one is freely blown, ensuring the creation of comfortable conditions for children's sleep.

Price Range: $60- $200
Cocoon mattresses are the development of French neonatologists. They have an oval shape, and their inner part is somewhat deepened, creating for the child a cozy space for sleeping and rest. Thanks to this design, the newborn's body is supported from all sides at once, as it happens in the womb of the mother.
The mattress-cocoon for newborns is often equipped with buckles and carrying handles. This ensures the safety of children and allows you to easily transport the cocoon from place to place. That is, it is not a full-fledged mattress, but a supplement that can be installed anywhere. The baby can sleep in the cocoon until four years, after which it should be shifted to the main mattress.

Cocoons provide soft support of the spine, slightly bending it - it is in the same position as in prenatal development. According to French neonatologists, this provision is the most optimal - the spine develops more correctly and harmoniously. In addition, a slightly curved back contributes to the normalization of muscle tone and reduction of colic.

What is the optimal mattress hardness?
Newborns should sleep on a fairly hard surface or on a medium-strength mattress. At the same time, many parents adhere to the opposite opinion that the child needs a soft and comfortable bed. This is fundamentally wrong, because on a soft surface the spine assumes a concave shape. And such a bend just hinders the proper development of the child. If the child sleeps on a hard surface, his spine will assume the correct S-shape.

Since the newborn has a small weight, it is possible to buy a baby crib mattress of medium stiffness for it. A good support is provided by the rigidity "below average". The stuffing materials can be any, preferably natural and hypoallergenic. The main thing is that they provide a suitable level of rigidity. But you should avoid buying mattresses with independent spring blocks, as they cannot ensure the creation of conditions for the proper development of the spine and bone system.

Choosing a mattress material for a newborn
The choice of a mattress for a newborn should begin with the choice of a filler mattress. As we have already said, we are boldly throwing spring models aside - we choose our choice only on the springless mattresses made of coconut fiber, polyurethane foam, latex and struttopayer.

Polyurethane foam
Polyurethane foam is one of the most common materials for stuffing children's mattresses. Initially, it is too soft, so additional components are added to its structure, giving it stiffness. Only after that it is suitable for the production of children's mattresses. Penopolyurethane rarely causes allergies, has orthopedic properties, but it retains too much moisture, which is inadmissible for a baby crib.

Struttofiber has a decent level of rigidity, but it is rarely used in children's mattresses. But natural latex is much more common. It does not cause allergic reactions, it is well ventilated, it does not create conditions for the reproduction of bacteria. In its pure form it is not used because of its softness. Therefore, the latex is interleaved with layers of more solid packing’s, which makes it possible to create children's mattresses of medium stiffness.

Coconut Coir
The most optimal version of the stuffing for a baby crib mattress is coconut fiber (coir). It does not deteriorate or rot, does not support the multiplication of harmful bacteria, does not cause allergies, it is well ventilated and retains heat. This fiber is rigid, but resilient, as it is made from a soaked and dried coconut shell with integration from natural latex. Therefore, it is the best suited for creating a mattress for newborns.

Coconut mattress for newborns perfectly supports the back, creates comfortable conditions for sleep and promotes the proper development of the spine. Sleep on this mattress can be from birth and up to three years. Starting with three years, you should choose a softer mattress. If you want to save money, feel free to buy double-sided mattresses made of latex and coconut coir. Up to three years the child will sleep on the side of coconut fiber, and after three years - on the side of latex (medium hardness).
When buying a mattress, pay attention to the presence of a removable cover. Otherwise you will have to buy a mattress pad. Optimum materials for covers are jacquard and spunbond.

Determine the size of the mattress
The choice of baby crib mattress for a newborn in size does not cause any difficulties. The width and length should be such that the mattress matches the crib exactly. As for the height, it should not exceed 10 cm; the optimal figure is 5-9 cm. If the mattress is too high, then later, when the baby learns to get up, he can fall out of the crib.

For a more exact match of sizes, buying cribs of non-standard sizes is not recommended - otherwise you will have to order the manufacture of the mattress by individual measures, which will result in a substantial amount.

Under circumstances should you buy a used baby crib mattress. Older mattresses are known to leak toxic gases. This can be extremely problematic for your child and in some cases can even cause SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome).

Pediatrician's recommendations for choosing a mattress
Pediatricians recommend choosing high and medium hardness mattresses for newbornbabies. A solid base will allow the spine to develop as it is conceived by nature. And the proper development of the spine is the guarantee of the excellent health of the whole organism as a whole. Do not worry that the child will experience discomfort, lying on a hard mattress. In the end, the baby crib mattress is not completely solid, like concrete, but elastic. Yes, and over it will lay a sheet and a relatively soft cover. As for soft mattresses based on cheap foam rubber or cotton wool, their purchases should be avoided, since they can damage even an adult. If the child has any abnormalities in development, as well as diseases of the bone and nervous system, one should get an orthopedic consultation - he will help to choose the optimal stiffness of the mattress.

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