You’ve had a baby, and now you’re trying to prepare for the new arrival. Despite all the things you’ve learned about pregnancy and childbirth over the years, there’s still plenty of stuff that comes as a surprise. For many new parents, one of those surprises is finding out your mattress could be dangerous for your baby.
As a parent, you want to ensure that your child is safe and comfortable at all times. We highly recommended a mattress for baby safety since the quality of the mattress will greatly impact your baby’s safety. Not that difficult to choose one or two, but you have to be careful about what type you buy. So, how do you test a mattress for your baby’s safety?
How to Test Mattress for Baby Safety
The most important thing is to make sure that the mattress you choose is safe for your child. There are a few things you can check to make sure that it is:
- 1. Check the materials of the mattress
- 2. Carry out the Mattress firmness Test
- 1. Unsound sleep
- 2. Injuries
- 3. Suffocation
- 1. Flat Head Syndrome
- 2. Reflux
- 3. Pressure Sores
1. Check the materials of the mattress
Make sure that the mattress is made from non-toxic materials and contains no formaldehyde or fire retardants. These chemicals can be hazardous to your baby’s health, especially if he or she has any allergies or respiratory problems. Ensure that the mattress has an even and flat surface.
If it doesn’t, this could cause your baby to develop pressure points which can lead to nerve damage and discomfort. Check for any potential hazards such as sharp edges or removable parts (such as covers) that could be easily chewed by your little one and swallowed causing choking hazards.
2. Carry out the Mattress firmness Test
After checking the nature of the material of the mattress, gather your supplies for the mattress firmness test.
Materials Needed: A ruler or measuring tape, a pen or marker, 2 closed cartons (about the size of 1L), a stack of 12 or more CDs, and a plastic cling wrap.
Step 1: Mark an area around one carton
Use the pen or marker, and the ruler to measure about an inch and a half (40 mm) from the bottom of one carton. Then make a line on opposite sides of the area. Ensure the line is parallel to the edge.
Step 2: Pack the stack of CDs
Neatly arrange the stack of CDs straight, then pack it in the plastic cling wrap to stay firm with none hanging out from the rest.
Step 3: Place the pack of CDs on the sleep surface
It is crucial to identify the sleep surface part of the mattress, which is the softest part. Then lightly place the wrapped pack of CDs on the spot.
Step 4: Place the marked carton on the CDs
Place the marked carton on the CDs. Ensure the line on the marked carton events with the edge of the CDs. Make sure the bottom of the carton is hanging out at the edge of the CDs at the 40 mm mark.
Step 5: Add the second carton
Place the second carton sideways the marked first. Select a position that is off-center to ensure it is level.
Step 6: Check for overhanging
Check if the marked lower overhanging carton comes in contact with the sleep surface. If there is contact, the mattress is therefore too soft for the baby’s safety. The correct mattress should be without contact with the sleep surface.
What Mattress Material Is Best for Babies?
The best mattress material for babies is an innerspring mattress. Innerspring mattresses are made up of coils, which are small metal rods that bend when pressure is applied to them. This type of mattress offers firm support and durability, which are ideal qualities for a growing child’s developing body. A good innerspring mattress is firm enough so that your baby isn’t going to feel any pressure points while sleeping on it and soft enough so that it won’t cause him discomfort in his joints or back muscles.
What Happens if Baby Sleeps on Soft Mattress?
There are a few things that can happen if your baby sleeps on too soft of a mattress.
1. Unsound sleep
The first thing that can happen is they may not sleep as deeply as they should. Babies need to sleep well to grow and develop properly, so they need to get as much sleep as possible. For this reason, they should sleep on a firm mattress with no extra padding, such as a pillow top or foam mattress.
Taking away the extra padding allows for more room for their bodies to move around and stretch out when they’re sleeping. This will help them get into a deep sleep so they can rest properly.
A second problem is that if their bed is too soft, it could cause injuries during the night. If your baby rolls over onto their tummy while sleeping, they won’t have enough support from the mattress because it’s too soft and they may roll onto their back instead of their stomach, which will cause them pain or even injury.
This includes bruising or scraping their skin on the floor or other objects in the room. This could also lead to hip dysplasia (a condition where hips do not develop normally) if not treated quickly enough because it causes strain.
Soft mattresses can also allow your baby’s head or body to sink into them. This is dangerous because it can cause suffocation or make it difficult for your baby to breathe properly.
What Happens if Baby Sleeps on Hard Mattress?
If your baby’s mattress is too firm or has poor support, it can lead to serious problems. The most common physical issues include:
1. Flat Head Syndrome
A condition where the skull cannot grow normally because there is no cushioning between the head and the mattress. This can cause headaches and ear infections, as well as other problems with balance and coordination.
When a baby has reflux, they regurgitate food or stomach acid into their mouths while sleeping. This can lead to acid burns in their mouths and throats and digestive issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.
3. Pressure Sores
A pressure sore is an injury caused by constant pressure on one area of skin for an extended period (such as when sitting in a car seat for hours). Pressure sores are often associated with prolonged hospital stays and wheelchair use.
That’s it. After your mattress completes the above tests, you and your baby can sleep on it with peace of mind. If a mattress does not pass any of the tests, discard it.