Crib mattresses are of great interest to parents and parents-to-be today because the days when a mother or father could walk into a store and purchase any crib mattress are gone. As a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), there have been many health and safety guidelines associated to these mattresses, and parents are far pickier about the mattress that their little one sleeps on. Fortunately this has brought more choice to the marketplace than ever before, but you now have to do your due diligence before heading out to buy a crib mattress. [REF Crib Mattress Reviews 2010]What Are Crib Mattresses?
A crib mattress is the layer of cushioning in the bottom of a crib. It is referred to as a mattress because it acts similar to the mattress on a bed, but it differs from a regular mattress in both size and form. It is often more firm than a regular mattress in order to fully support the child. A crib mattress that is too soft will mould around your baby and this may actually increase the probability of injury or suffocation.
There are two types of crib mattresses – the innerspring and the foam mattress. The innerspring is a firm mattress that is characterised by the springs that hold it in shape for the duration of its lifetime. The foam mattress is a solid mattress that will give somewhat, despite the fact that it has no springs, but these typically will maintain their shape. Both crib mattresses are equally resilient and both pass safety standards.
The Availability Of Crib Mattresses
Crib mattresses are widely available from a variety of sources. You can purchase one in a bed store or in a specialist baby store. However, be sure to approach a reputable store. With health and safety standards as high as they are, reputable baby stores will typically stock only the better and safer mattresses. However, do not be swayed by the offer of a guarantee or warranty of anything above two years. Crib mattresses with longer warranties often sell for more but consider that you may not need the mattress for more than two years anyway.
What To Check For In A Crib Mattress
If you wish to purchase a crib mattress then you should perform the following checks yourself. You probably should not rely entirely on a sales assistant:
- Firmness – A crib mattress should be firm and most definitely not soft. A soft mattress for a crib is dangerous and can damage your baby’s health so you should make sure that your mattress is firm with only a little give. This also adds to the durability and longevity of the mattress.
- Size – The crib mattress should fit perfectly in the crib with no gaps between it and the crib sides. If there is a gap then your baby may be injured if he or she happens to get stuck. To ensure this it is imporatant that you measure the crib well in advance and get the dimensions spot on.
- Quality – The quality of the mattress should be high. It will state on the label that it conforms to safety standards and it will also often be priced in excess of $70. You cannot put a price on your baby’s safety so do not just settle for the cheapest one.
- Special Features – If you can get a waterproof crib mattress then this is a bonus. They are not always available in keeping with the above factors but if a waterproof option is available then you may wish to consider it.
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