You might have assumed that all crib mattresses are the same. Unfortunately, too many people make this mistake and put their children at risk every day.
It's important to select a comfortable crib mattress, but it's more important to purchase one that is safe for your baby. Start your search by understanding how a crib mattress needs to fit and what safety features it should have.
The Right Fit
To prevent any injury to your baby you need to make sure that your crib mattress fits properly. A crib mattress should fit tightly, leaving little or no space between the crib mattress and the crib. Any spaces or gaps can potentially cause injury to the baby.
A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn't be able to fit two fingers between the crib mattress and the crib. If you can, the crib mattress is too small and should be replaced.
A Safe Place to Sleep
By selecting a quality crib mattress you are creating not only a comfortable place for your baby to rest, but also a safe one.
Make sure the crib mattress is firm. A soft crib mattress can actually lead to suffocation. One web site recommends placing an object that weighs approximately 10 lbs on the mattress to check its firmness. If the object easily creates an indent on the crib mattress you should look for a different mattress. Some other items to consider:
- Is the crib mattress made of fire retardant material?
- Does the crib mattress have ventilation holes?
- What kind of support does the mattress offer?
Caring for a Crib Mattress
Avoid using a plastic material, like a dry cleaning bag, to line the crib mattress. While it seems like a great way to keep the crib mattress clean it can actually lead to the injury or death of an infant. A good crib mattress pad is much safer and will help keep the crib mattress dry and sanitary.