Choosing your first crib mattress can seem like an overwhelming task. There are a number of options available in the market today that come in a wide variety of materials, sizes and strengths. By understanding the differences and knowing which characteristics are most important, you can choose the right crib mattress for your little one.
Step 1. Measure the length and width of the crib
Although standard mattresses need to be at least 27-1 / 4 "(69.2 cm) wide and 51-5 / 8" (131.4 cm) long, some mattresses are larger to fit larger cribs. Buy a mattress that fits snugly on your crib.
Step 2. Check the tightness of the mattress
A new children's mattress should be very tight to reduce the risk of suffocation from immersion in a very soft surface. There is a simple test to check the safety and tightness of the mattress.
Step 3. Decide if you prefer a foam or innerspring mattress
- Foam mattresses are less expensive, but you need to make sure that the foam is firm and strong enough to prevent your child from drowning in it.
- Innerspring mattresses tend to be more expensive but provide higher durability. If you prefer this type of mattress, choose one that has between 135-150 coil springs and sizes below 15.5. These numbers are printed on the product packaging. The guidelines are set by Consumer Reports. They ensure that the chosen mattress is strong enough for the baby.
Step 4. Choose a mattress with a very dense mattress, known as teak
The best mattresses have multiple layers of nylon reinforced laminate. With this added benefit, the mattress has a longer lifespan, which reduces the chances of tears and holes.
Step 5. Check if the mattress is certified
This means it is safe to use and meets the standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CCP).
Step 6. Look at the ventilation holes on the mattress
A quality mattress should have small reinforced holes on both sides that allow air to circulate inside the mattress. Thanks to them, the mattress remains fresh, because the odors disappear.
Step 7. Purchase an organic mattress if you are concerned about the presence of industrial chemicals such as flame retardants in standard mattresses
Since these mattresses are very expensive and not all products labeled organic are really 100% natural, make sure you choose a mattress that is certified by Eco-Tex Standard 100. This certification ensures that the mattress is free of heavy chemicals and metals.
- Another way to test the strength of your mattress is to place it upright and squeeze on both sides as if you were hugging it. If the mattress shrinks easily, it is not strong enough.
- To test the strength of the mattress, apply pressure to the center and edges. If your handprints are visible, or the mattress is easily squeezed, then it is too soft for the baby. The right mattress should be in shape immediately.
- Never take a baby mattress if it is too small for the crib. To determine if it is the right size, stick your fingers between the mattress and the crib. If there are more than 2 fingers in the gap, the mattress is too small and needs to be replaced to prevent the baby from getting stuck and suffocating.
- Do not buy a used mattress. The organic waste of the previous child may have been absorbed into the mattress, causing mold and other fungi to grow. In recent studies, it has been shown that the compounds of certain fungi increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).