Lower Your Newborn's Chance of SIDS and Interrupted Sleep By Choosing the Right Mattress
New parents often overlook the importance of choosing the right crib and mattress for their newborn. The wrong combination can lead to SIDS and sleepless nights filled with crying. Follow these tips to help protect your baby and also so that your whole family can have uninterrupted sleep and not have to calm a crying baby.
If you're a new mother, you probably can't help but keep cuddling and gazing at your newborn. She’s so cute! Isn’t she? Her sensitive and smooth skin and those beautiful eyes of hers!
Even though you may take very good care of her (and probably watch her every second) when she's awake, you should know that it's even more important to make sure her place of rest is safe for her. Her crib could potentially be a false sense of safety – when she's awake you worry about keeping her away from dangerous objects or falling things, then let your guard down when you lay her to sleep because you think nothing can harm her in her barred crib.
But according to the National Institutes of Health, her crib can either increase or lower your baby's risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
They warn that you shouldn't let your newborn sleep in an adult bed, but on a firm sleep surface. They say the best choice is a firm mattress in a safety-approved crib, which is covered by a fitted sheet.
The safest mattresses help ensure your newborn's safety while sleeping. As a bonus, a safe and comfortable mattress also keeps your baby from crying and waking up – which keeps you sleeping happy too because you don't have to get up to soothe her.
Here are a few types of mattresses to choose from:
Foam mattress. The benefits of foam mattresses are that they're usually light weight and you get the flexibility of choosing from a wide range of thicknesses. Foam mattresses are lighter, which makes them easier for you to lift. But don't choose a mattress that's so soft it conforms to your newborn's shape – this could increase risk of suffocation.
Innerspring mattress. Innerspring mattresses are durable, heavier, expensive and fabricated. They're usually recommended for adults, but are also okay for baby cribs.
The mattress you choose should properly fit the crib. The mattress should be firm, yet soft. If you've already bought a safety-approved crib, take measurements and use those to guide you in choosing the right mattress. You don’t want space in the middle or at the corners, which may lead to irritation and may also pose a danger of injury to your newborn. Mattresses with a thicker outer covering cushioned with organic cotton are also preferable.
You should also do the following:
Check for firmness. The firmer the mattress, the better it is for your newborn. Here's a simple technique you can use: Press on the mattress in the middle and also around the corners. If it readily bounces back to its original shape, then you have a deal.
Check its density. The higher the density, the firmer the mattress. A firm mattress would ensure your newborn a peaceful nap and less risk of SIDS. Check the label on the covering. A mattress with 130 to 140 coils and a measure of 15 or lower would be a good preference for your little one. The amount of coils equates to the mattress's control and the lower the measure, the thicker the wire.
Check its weight. The idea is to get the lightest mattress for your newborn since you'll have to lift her along with the mattress frequently. A foam mattress usually weighs around 7 to 8 pounds.
Get the right mattress cover. Always go for a fitted waterproof mattress cover. It should be re-enforced with a double or triple nylon covering. This combination is resistant to tears and soggy diapers.
Check its certifications. Even if the chosen mattress checks out with all your specifications, don’t buy it if it doesn't have a certification mark on it. Make sure that the mattress you buy has certification seals to meet the safety standards defined by your local regulatory body.
Don't leave any objects in your newborn's crib. While your baby is sleeping, the NIH warns you not to leave soft objects, pillows, toys, crib bumpers, or loose bedding near your baby. This can increase risk of injury.
You shouldn't buy just any crib and mattress, but the best and safest crib and mattress that suits your newborn's age and weight. Infants sleep for 18 hours a day, on average, for three years. So over 70 percent of their time is spent in their crib. It's only wise to choose the best environment where your newborn spends the most time in. This will also help prevent SIDS and support your growing baby.