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Unfortunately, nowadays, babies and children are frequently exposed to different types of dangerous chemicals. What’s more, most of these chemicals have never been medically tested for toxicity to babies and young children, therefore, parents need to pay a lot of attention in order to keep their children safe from harm.
Believe it or not, such chemicals are present in cribs, cradles, bassinets, and porta-crib mattresses. When it comes to baby mattresses, on which babies spend a large part of their time, that is, around 10 to 14 hours or more per day during their developmental years, they need to be checked for toxicity. The babies absorb and breathe in whatever the mattress contains. Surprisingly, even some organic mattresses can have harmful materials. The question which arises is how to recognize a quality organic mattress which will keep the baby or child safe from toxic exposure.
What Does a Typical Crib or Baby Mattress Contain?
Most baby mattresses contain polyurethane foam as a filling. This foam is comprised of petroleum and it’s highly flammable. Based on how this foam is processed, it may have a variety of chemical additives such as formaldehyde, toluene, benzene, and other toxic chemicals.
Another element present in crib mattresses is vinyl waterproof covering. However, the bad thing about vinyl is the fact that it’s one of the most toxic and environmentally-unfriendly plastics. Also known as PVC, this covering contains vinyl chloride, which is a mixture of petroleum and chlorine and a known human carcinogen.
To make matters worse, as PVC is a hard plastic, chemical plasticizers are added to transform it into a soft and flexible covering. These plasticizers leach out or off-gas into the air. If babies breathe in plasticizers, the risk of reproductive harm, asthma, cancer, kidney and liver damage, as well as early onset of puberty is much higher.
Parents should be especially cautious with mattresses described as “non-toxic vinyl” or “phthalate-free vinyl” because they may be far from non-toxic if we take into consideration that alternatives for phthalates that are being used now have not been tested yet and their safety is not yet determined.
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers are fire retardant chemicals used in mattresses and they break down and leach out into the surrounding air. The babies are exposed to this chemical because they breathe in the air while sleeping on the mattress, absorb the chemicals from the mattress through the skin, and through household dust which also contains particles from fire-retardant chemicals. Excessive exposure to these chemicals can lead to serious health problems such as immune suppression, hormone disruption, late development, memory and learning difficulties, changes in behavior, and even cancer.
Healthy Alternatives for Crib Mattresses
In most cases, people think that if a mattress is labeled as organic that it’s 100% safe and non-toxic, but, as mentioned previously, this is far from the truth. To illustrate, there are a lot of organic crib mattresses which contain organic cotton as filling; however, the covering is made from vinyl or another detrimental material.
The best option for parents is to check with the manufacturer, if possible, and ask for a list of the materials used in the production of the mattress. When choosing a mattress for your newborn baby, you need to opt for an organic and non-toxic one.
The Top 3 Best Organic Crib Mattresses
Little Star Organic Crib Mattress By Moonlight Slumber
One of the best alternatives for a safe baby mattress because of several reasons. Namely, the company does not spray-on FR chemicals and the mattresses are lightweight, which makes them perfect for middle-of-night sheet changes. Additionally, they are easy to care for and are made of sourced materials.
Most of their mattresses, including this one, contain dual sleep surfaces, that is, one side is smooth and firm and meant for infants whereas the other is for older babies and toddlers. The deluxe foam supports the growing of the toddler’s joints and spine. Even better, all baby mattresses by Moonlight Slumber have quality, elastic fabric covers that are soft, but water, odor, and stain- resistant.
The Little Star mattress is antimicrobial and free of halogens, nanoparticles, PVC, Vinyl, PBDE, PBB, phthalates, phosphorus, arsenic, chlorine, antimony, and tris.
Wovenaire Crib Mattress by Newton Baby
Another smart and safe choice that parents can opt for when buying a mattress for their babies. The design of this mattress is highly innovative and it allows the air to flow freely and thus, regulate the temperature and improve the breathability. Since the mattress is washable, it prevents growth and spread of bacteria.
The core of the mattress is made of 90% free air and 10% food-grade polymer. The outer fabric is three-dimensional, breathable, and it easily unzips. The best aspect of this baby mattress is that it’s free of latex, foam, springs, glue, or allergens and what’s more, it’s environmentally-friendly because it’s 100% recyclable. Pediatricians highly recommend it for the baby’s health, development, and safety.
Pebble Pure Crib Mattress by Nook
Definitely the purest, healthiest, and safest baby mattress and a long-term investment. It’s important to mention that the organic elements aren’t just present in the core of the mattress, but also next to the surface which is close to the baby’s gentle skin.
The mattress allows the baby to breathe through it. The core is made from certified organic coconut coir which is resistant to liquids and anti-microbial. The Talalay natural latex layer is there to offer the baby 100% comfort. Since it contains no chemicals, it won’t cause itching or release of toxins and dangerous chemicals. Additionally, the natural fibers will absorb the moisture and this will help the baby maintain its body temperature at all times.
The cover of the mattress is removable and washable. Besides having an amazing and one-of-a-kind nature-inspired design, this mattress also encourages airflow over the core which creates an environment rich in oxygen that is pivotal for the proper development of the baby’s brain. Because the Pebble Wrap is liquid-resistant, it eliminates any need for a mattress pad and prevents additional expenses.
I hope this article has helped you in your hunt for the best organic crib mattress. Please leave any questions you might have in the comments below, we always answer.
This post was originally published on October 2, 2017.