Editor’s note: We are delighted to feature this guest post written by Kristen Chase. Kristen is the co-founder and editor of Cool Mom Picks, a shopping blog for kids and the parents who love them recently featured in Real Simple Magazine. She and her partner Liz Gumbinner seek out the best off-the-beaten path gifts and gear, many of which are eco-friendly and organic.
With our first child, we just grabbed any old crib mattress and went on our merry way. Turns out, she was a terrible horrible very bad sleeper. And while the mattress may not have had anything to do with her horrible sleep habits, we made sure that with our second, we researched better mattress and furniture choices — not just because we wanted to get some shut-eye, but also due to the laundry list of chemicals and other products that are used in crib mattresses.
Truth be told, we’re surrounded by chemicals every day, and while many parents are attempting to green up their nursery, budget is definitely a concern. But considering your baby sleeps (or *fingers crossed* will hopefully sleep) a minimum of 10-14 hours a day on the mattress, it might be best to forgo the fancy bedding and super duper changing table for something that could potentially affect their sleep patterns and their overall health.
I realize that with baby-having becoming a business of sorts and companies purporting the dire need for all parents to have a wipes warmer and a stroller that can almost walk itself, the idea of an organic, natural mattress might seem like another gimmick. But if you look carefully at the products and chemicals that are used to make and treat the bulk of crib mattresses, you might just change your mind.
Experts and parents love to debate the coil vs. foam mattress like it’s a life-changing decision that will affect your child’s early entrance to Harvard. But really, it’s best to look at the content of the mattress and then decide from there; almost all mainstream crib mattresses contain polyurethane foam, vinyl (PVC), and a bunch of lovely flame retardants. And considering PVC, pthalates, and a host of other chemicals are high on the list of possibly playing a role in the increase in childhood disorders, it’s no wonder parents, physicians, and environmental groups are concerned.
So, save up your pennies and consider some better options for your baby:
- The Until Kara custom made coil mattress is what my son sleeps on — made from organic cotton with Pure Grow Wool in the cover to help reduce moisture. And we love it. ($299).
- Naturepedic specializes in organic mattresses and offers a slew of different options, from crib all the way up to parent size. ($259 and up).
- Natural Mat hosts a set of three foam mattresses, stuffed with organic foam, natural rubber latex (although not great for latex allergies), or for the extra fancy, mohair. My Cool Mom Picks co-editor Liz’s daughter sleeps on the Coco Mat and when she’s not trying to sneak into her parents’ bed, she’s a happy camper. ($375 and up).
Each of these options are well worth adding to a baby registry or your shopping list. And quite frankly, when it comes to baby’s sleep, I say never ever mess around.