Parents have to make a lot of decisions when it comes to raising their child. You've probably had to make choices about what your baby eats, or how he should be soothed when he wakes up in the night. It's also one of your responsibilities to pick the right consumer products to buy, including the best crib mattress. A lot of advice is available about what kind of crib mattress you should get, but most experts agree that one thing you should never neglect to do is to pick a hard crib mattress.
A hard crib mattress is one that's got a firm and resilient surface. That is, if you press down on it, the surface should quickly return to its original state. This type of mattress is considered ideal for babies even though we adults often prefer our mattresses to be quite soft and yielding. Because manufacturers are aware of the regulations regarding crib mattresses, they all say that their products are firm enough. Nevertheless, the degree of firmness will vary from brand to brand and even from model to model.
A lot of parents sometimes feel that getting a hard mattress will compromise comfort. Some of them even test their babies' mattresses and say that a firm baby mattress feels like a board. Others say that their babies cannot sleep on this type of mattress but fall asleep just fine elsewhere, like on a carpeted floor or in a car seat.
Regardless of these reports however, it is still advisable to get a firm crib mattress. To begin with, doctors and other childcare experts recommend a firm sleeping surface because it reduces the risk of SIDS. A firm surface keeps your baby's airways free even if he rolls over in his sleep, while a soft mattress or comforter could pose a suffocation hazard if his face sinks into it.
When it comes to your child's proper physical development, it's also best to pick a hard crib mattress. Even grownups are advised to sleep on a firm surface in order to encourage proper spinal alignment. A firm mattress is good for your child's posture and for his growing bones and muscles as well. It will provide adequate resistance for his efforts to roll, crawl, and stand.
Lastly, a firm crib mattress will give you the best fit for your crib. It will allow crib sheets to lie flat and won't bunch up in the middle even if you have a very active baby. It will also lessen the chance of your child getting trapped between the mattress and the sides of the crib.
If you're still concerned about comfort, do consider getting a dual-firmness crib mattress with a soft side for older babies who are at a lower risk for SIDS and a harder one for your newborn.
It's best to err on the side of caution, so when buying for your nursery you should still get a hard crib mattress. Your child will eventually get used to it if he lies on it often.