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.
We got ours from The Natural Sleep Store and I’m pretty sure it is the same as the Until Kara one listed above. We got ours for $280 and it is great! I wish all parents would make this investment for the health of their children!
Eileen Traylor says
I bought one for my grand daughter from Baby’s Organic Nursery as part of an organic package. I think for as long as she will be using that mattress it is well worth the it. And when you buy the package you save a lot.
beautyrest mattress says
I really don’t think non-organic mattresses are as dangerous to babies as people say they are.
Of course that’s your opinion because you want to sell cheep high profit garbage.
Zach Smith says
The threats of chemical ingredients in mattresses is true. So many studies have been conducted to babies affected by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and the studies show that this condition can be triggered by the chemicals phosphorous, arsenic and antimony in a mattress. When certain household fungi break down these chemicals, it leads to off-gassing or the emission of toxic nerve gasses that are positively lethal to babies.
crib mattress - jane says
Chemicals are very dangerous to baby’s health and skin! so, it should be safer if parents use a natural one! Thanks for the options!
Renee Pendergrass says
The traditional crib mattresses are made with chemically processed synthetic materials and then sprayed with fire retardent chemicals making them unsafe for newborns because of the toxic fumes they emit. SIDS related deaths have been linked to these types mattresses. A safer alternative would be an organic crib mattress that is made from 100% organic wool and cotton. These materials are natural fire retardants as well.
These organic crib mattresses can be found @ www. heavenandnatureorganics.com and are manufactured in the USA.
It’s also important to remember to buy a crib mattress that fits your baby’s crib exactly with no gaps at the sides. A relative gave us their child’s old crib mattress to use but there was a 3 inch gap at the side and we were worried our daughter may get wedged in the gap. Don’t take the risk and buy a crib mattress that fits correctly.
What about Tempurpedic mattresses? They seem like they would be very safe…but I guess they’re also pricey. On the other hand, don’t they last a long time?