As a parent, you want to make the best decisions when it comes to childcare. This does not just mean following your mom's advice or the doctors instructions regarding the best practices for raising a baby. It also involves choosing the right consumer products, like getting the best organic crib mattress that you can afford. Getting an organic mattress is far healthier for your baby than conventional foam or coil mattresses, and it's also better for the environment. But there must be dozens of organic mattresses for babies on the market; how do you pick the right one? Below is a guide that will help you in choosing the best organic crib mattress for your baby.
1. Read the label. Crib mattress companies these days are aware of parents' preference for organic mattresses, so they will often label their products “natural”, “eco-friendly”, or “organic”. These don't all mean the same thing. For instance, a mattress filled with “natural products” may contain only a small amount of soy or naturally-grown cotton, and an eco-friendly mattress may still be made of synthetic material. Read the label to make sure that you get your money's worth with a genuine organic crib mattress.
2. Determine whether it contains a lot of chemicals. Conventional mattresses often have a smell of “newness” to them when you remove the packaging. This “new” smell is actually chemicals being released into the air. Parents are naturally concerned about these harmful substances, many of which are known to be carcinogenic and bad for your baby's health and development. Thus, you should pick a mattress with as few harmful chemicals as possible.
3. Check for allergens. Some organic crib mattresses can contain materials that will cause an allergic reaction in your baby. The usual culprits are those made with wool, which is a known allergen, and those that are made with natural latex. Coconut fibre is often dipped in latex too, so avoid it if you know your child is prone to allergies.
4. Look at the waterproofing. A mattress isn't just about the filling. Check the waterproof layer that covers the mattress and make sure that it is not made from a plastic like vinyl, which also contains phthalates. You can't get a mattress that isn't waterproofed or at least water-resistant because you need to protect it from spills, so get one with a food-grade plastic cover instead.
5. Check for firmness and fit. A firm mattress is a must especially if you're buying for an infant. Firm mattresses reduce the risk of SIDS, so see to it that the one you buy is resilient enough to hold its shape. It should also fit well in your crib and leave no gaps at the sides or corners.
6. Look for the certifications. Any mattress you buy should be certified safe by agencies like GREEGUARD. It should also comply with government flammability standards. Follow the advice above and you should have no problem finding the best organic crib mattress for your baby.