Crib Mattress

If you are shopping for a new or used crib mattress, there are a few major tips to consider before you make any purchases.

  • The greater the spring count, the denser the mattress will be; denser mattresses offer better support. Some evidence suggests that less “cushy” mattresses are associated with a lower risk of SIDS.
  • Just like with an adult mattress, purchasing a used baby mattress puts your child at risk if you are unsure the history of the mattress. Worst case scenario, it could be infested with bed bugs. Alternatively, it could be more worn than you expected and a spring could pop out and injure your sleeping child. My recommendation is to insist on a new mattress unless you are very sure that the used mattress you are purchasing is in excellent condition.
  • I recommend purchasing a crib mattress from a company you trust. Remember that your newborn will be sleeping in very close proximity to the mattress. If harmful chemicals are used in the manufacture of the mattress, your child could be inhaling them. To avoid this, you may choose to buy an organic mattress.
  • Make sure to purchase your crib set before you shop for a mattress. Even though most baby mattresses are standard size, you will need to purchase a different mattress if you opt for a mini crib, a round crib, or if you choose a bassinet instead. This will also determine the bedding dimensions (i.e., flat sheet, fitted sheet, comforter, etc.) that you will purchase. It is recommended that you assemble your crib and measure the interior to be sure you are purchasing the right mattress size.
  • If you are purchasing a convertible crib set, or if you will be purchasing a separate toddler bed before your child graduates to an adult bed, see if it would be possible to use the same mattress for the crib and toddler bed. We purchased a convertible crib set for my son, and I was very happy that I was able to reuse the crib mattress in the toddler bed configuration.

In summary, be as serious about purchasing a baby mattress as you would be if it was a much more expensive adult mattress. Even though crib mattresses cost only a small fraction of full-sized mattresses, they support very precious cargo, and there are poorly constructed crib mattresses on the market that you want to avoid.

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