If you are like most parents, especially parents to be you are likely to be very interested in selecting items in anticipation for the arrival of your new child that are not harmful in any way to your child and as well as that not damaging to the environment in the manufacturing process. This is definitely true when it comes to the selection of what organic crib mattress to buy for your child’s crib.
As a result, it is quite likely that you are interested in what might be the best organic crib mattress to purchase, and if not looking for a direct confirmation that one product is better above all others then at least an idea as to what are the important factors to be considering when looking at the wide range of organic crib mattress that is available on the market today.
How do I Know an Organic Crib Mattress is really organic?
You do need to be careful when examining organic crib mattress that claim to be organic. First and perhaps most obviously you should make sure that the materials used in the manufacture of the mattress are organic in origin. Be careful that you do not confuse the word natural with organic. Natural has a wide range of meanings and can be used as sales patter to sidestep the central issue.
The second and probably most important aspect that you need to consider is whether the materials used in the product are naturally fire retardant or have been treated with harsh chemicals. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a regulation requiring that all new mattresses had to be treated with flame retardant chemicals, this regulation included crib mattresses.
The problem is that these chemicals can create a pungent smell with new mattresses, and there is always concern, especially from parents that the fumes are somehow toxic to their new born babies. To give you an idea of some of the chemicals used they include PentaBDE, brominate, chlorinate, antimony, PAN (polyacrylonitrile), modacrylic, dimethyl sulfate, crystaline silica and the poisonous pesticide boric acid. Quite a list!
Fortunately, it is possible for manufacturers to meet the flammability standard without resorting to using these chemicals. Some organic materials are naturally flame retardant and if used in the right measure can result in the crib mattress meeting the necessary standards. Such materials would include wool, rubber or latex, cotton, even baking soda and hydrated silica. In your search for an organic crib mattress you should therefore check carefully to make sure that the claims to be organic are matched by the evidence.
Factors to consider when selecting your Organic Crib Mattress
Perhaps surprisingly the main thing to consider is the amount of time that you think that you will be using the organic crib mattress for your baby. These days, the configurations of cribs and beds and the variety of cross-over products is significant, with the result that many crib mattresses can be used for several years, as the crib becomes a bed for your growing child. This decision will dictate the sort of organic crib mattress that you should be focusing on.
For instance, if you intend the organic crib mattress to be used for your baby only while the baby is in the crib then you really need to be thinking about a firm, innerspring crib mattress that does not compress more than 1/2 inch when your baby is laid down upon it.
The reason for the innerspring choice is that these mattresses tend to be cheaper than the foam crib mattresses, but the firmness of mattress for a new born baby is important as it makes sure their body posture is good when in contact with the mattress, and has been shown to be a positive factor in the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
For those parents who intend to extend the use of the organic crib mattress beyond the first two years, then perhaps a natural rubber crib mattress, or latex foam crib mattress would be better as the mattress will be required to provide good support to the child as it grows older, taller and heavier.
All About Baby Crib Mattress
A good, sturdy, safe and comfortable crib mattress is essential to insuring that your baby grows up happy and healthy, with a well-developed spine and a strong body. The only way to ensure that your baby’s crib mattress fills the bill – sturdy, safe, and comfortable – is to measure it carefully and choose it with one eye on your budget and the other on mattress ingredients and manufacturer.
Exact sizing is critically important to prevent gaps along the side into which a baby’s head or limbs can become trapped. No crib mattress should be more than ½ inch smaller than the dimensions of the crib itself. This is why you should always buy the crib mattress after you have assembled your baby’s crib. This is also the best reason for not buying off-brand crib mattresses, which may sacrifice correct sizing (and quality) by offering cheaper prices.
Crib mattresses can be foam (including memory foam), innerspring, or organic. The first is lighter, by at least 50 percent, including ultra-dense memory foams, the second more durable. Innerspring crib mattresses can be evaluated on the number of coils and the thickness of the metal used in the springs (stated in “gauges”).
Organic crib mattress is made from substances which have not been treated with chemicals either during growth or during manufacture. For example, an organic cotton mattress is made from cotton which was not sprayed with pesticides in the field, and was not chemically treated for bacteria and odor in the manufacture. Organic wool comes from the sheep as is, and natural latex – most often used in the making of hypoallergenic (allergy-free) crib mattresses – is real latex rubber from the rubber tree, and not from petroleum byproducts.
Other fiber-type organic contents are certified under the National Organic Program’s (NOP) Global Organic Textile Standard, or GOTS, and you should look for a GOTS or OTCO (Oregon Tilth Certified Organic) label.
Some doctors believe that breathable crib mattresses lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that babies inhale during respiration when sleeping on their stomachs.
Density is another critical factor you should consider. Soft mattresses can be as dangerous as too-small ones, making babies to slide down and get caught in the crib bars. On the other hand, a comfortable mattress will help insure that your baby eventually learns to sleep through the night – an invaluable habit once he or she reaches adolescence and then adulthood!
More recently, researchers and doctors have begun to suspect that the volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, in petroleum-based foam crib mattresses and poly-vinyl mattress covers may contribute to or cause SIDS, respiratory problems, delayed physical and mental development, and even cancer. So choose wisely.