Best Baby Mattress Revealed
Choosing the best baby mattress for your child can be confusing. In this article, I will reveal all the key subjects that you need to know about to make it easier for you. At the same time, you can make the best decision for your baby.
When buying a cot, bassinet or cradle for your baby, we have a saying that goes like this. “The most important decision when buying a cot or cradle or bassinet for your baby is the baby mattress”
Why is the baby mattress more important than the crib?
Always remember that A baby is not built like an adult. Newborn Babies can spend up to 80% of their time sleeping. Most Researcher’s state up to 18 hours a day in their first year.
Over 12% of the population suffer from asthma and 40% from allergies.
In the first 12 months, your newborn baby will likely triple their weight. Additionally, they will be about 50% longer than they were when they were born.
Their brain will have grown to be about 60% of the size an adult!
The spinal column grows 50% in length during the baby’s first year of life
A good night’s sleep contributes to the baby’s health and overall growth. Needless to say, this is an important part of your child’s life.
As a result, you need to set up your baby for the best possible safe sleep environment for them to develop.
This is why the mattress you choose is more important than the crib.
Soft Mattress for Firm Mattress for Baby?
Experts recommend a ‘firm’ sleep surface for babies aged 0–12 months. This is even babies that are positioned face up (as they should be). Some baby mattresses are unsafe because they are made too soft. Babies need a firm, flat, even surface to maximize his or her development. They also say that it needs to be firm enough that it doesn’t conform to the shape of your baby’s head.
In addition, they state that “a firm crib mattress reduces the risk of suffocation, and as such lower the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)”
You can make sure of this by choosing a baby mattress that complies with the new Australian Standard. That is the AS/NZS NON-MANDATORY Standard (AS/NZS 8811.1:2013 Methods of testing infant products – Sleep Surfaces – Test for firmness).
A Safe Mattress for baby?
Besides being firm enough so that the mattress does not conform to the shape of the baby’s head, there are other considerations that are very important.
For example, the size must meet the recommendations of the cot or bassinet manufacturer. The mattress dimensions on a cot should be stamped on the base of the cot. This ensures that there is no risk of a baby getting stuck in gaps. There must be no more than a 20mm gap between the mattress and the cot sides and ends.
The height and thickness of a cot mattress is also important. The a cot mattress should be positioned at a safe depth for your baby. The distance from the top of the mattress to the top of the lowest side when the drop side is closed should be at least 50cm when the base is in the lowest position. It also has to be at least 30cm in the upper position.
When using a waterproof mattress protector, always make sure that the waterproof mattress protector is strong and a tight fit.
Foam Cot Mattresses:
We do not recommend foam mattresses for a baby. Foam can act as a sponge when they are wet, they are harder to keep clean, take too long to dry and as a result can harbour mould and bacteria.
In addition, some foam mattresses contain toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene, and naphthalene. Some even contain isocyanates, which, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. Foam is also highly combustible and often requires the addition of formaldehyde and other fire retardants, to make it fire safe.
For this reason, we prefer Synthetic Fibre or innerspring or latex baby mattresses. The covers can be made of cotton, a polyester blend or bamboo for the ultimate in allergy free experience for your baby.
Now into the important stuff. The best baby mattresses are designed for optimum ergonomic support, this done through the quality of the springs.
Specifically, a high quality bonnell spring. Bonnell Springs are hourglass-shaped and the ends of the wire are knotted or wrapped around the top and bottom circular portion of the coil and tied. Every individual spring is tied together using spring wire. The completed structure is reinforced with a strong border wire to retain the shape and form a mat. A round helical crosswise connects each single spring to a spring unit.
This is the ultimate for ergonomic support of your child.
In addition, you need to keep in mind that most older bubs once they wake, will stand up against the drop side of their cot. If their mattress does not support them adequately they can slip and their legs can fall through the slats of their cot, causing them injury.
To ensure your baby is supported the bonnell springs in innerspring mattresses are surrounded by a tempered steel frame, which supports the sides of top brand innerspring mattresses.
Hygienic Mattresses for baby
Bubs n Grubs recommend that you wash your baby’s bedding at least weekly. If it becomes soiled, then it should be changed immediately. When you change your baby’s bedding, this is when you need to check that your baby’s mattress is clean.
When drying, we believe that the best way is in the sun. You are then utilising the UV Rays of the sun to kill germs, bacteria and insects like dust mites.
This is also why we highly recommend choosing a mattress for your baby that has removable covers.
In addition a waterproof breathable cot mattress protector.
Buying or Using a second hand Mattress for your baby.
A second hand mattress will typically be worn and may not provide a perfectly clean allergy free sleep environment. As a result of wear and tear, it may not be firm enough any longer either.
Mattresses lose their firmness over time and can become soft, so your baby may roll into the mattress which may result in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Old mattresses may contain dust mites and other insects. The droppings of these insects contain allergens which can result in asthma, eczema and other allergic reactions for your baby.
In an article published by choice and updated on 4 October 2019, they say “second-hand cots are dangerous.”
Choose a mattress for your baby that is brand new, has removable covers, is not foam and is made from either synthetic fibre or innerspring. Make sure that it meets the exact reconsolidations of the cot manufacturer in terms of size. In addition, that it meets the new NON-Mandatory Standard (AS/NZS 8811.1:2013 Methods of testing infant products – Sleep Surfaces – Test for firmness).
At Bubs n Grubs, we have a great range of mattresses for your baby. They are hand picked by the owners (Judy and myself) based on our combined experience of over 20 years and over 14 years in this business.
Don’t forget we have a highly trained team of products specialists. They can spend time with you to give you the right advice for your cot, bassinet, cradle and mattress in store or over the phone.
And remember, always buy from independent baby stores who have real highly trained product experts with plenty of experience. Those who not only know their products but also spend time to get to know each and every customer’s needs. Without that, no one can give you the right advice to help you choose the best baby mattress for your specific needs.
Click the button below and check out the range and don’t hesitate to pop in to store or call one of our bay products specialists for any questions or advice you need about Baby Mattresses.
About the Author
Frank is a founding owner of Bubs n Grubs. He is also the sole author of the Bubs n Grubs Baby Blog. He has been personally evaluating baby products & testing them before offering them to our customers since 2009. In addition, he is consistently giving manufacturer’s feedback & product development advice, reviewing & getting customer feedback. He has been doing this since the business started in 2009. He is proud to be one of the rare baby store owners in Australia who regularly engages with customers in his store. Frank values the constant feedback and regularly seeks it out. He has been featured on the Morning Show & the Today Show on Channel 7 and Channel 9 and is a recognised expert in baby products as a result.