Your baby's mattress
Newborn babies sleep on average 18 hours per day, which is why choosing the correct cot mattress for you and your baby is essential. However, selecting the best mattress for your baby is never an easy task, so here is a small guide to make that important decision just that little bit easier.
What to look for
A firm sleeping surface that will maintain support for up to 5 years.
Breathable - every mattress should help your baby to maintain a consistent controlled temperature by allowing air to circulate free and absorbing any moisture.
The cot mattress should not be thicker than 10cm.
Ensure that it is a good fit for your cot, your baby should not be able to get their limbs trapped in between the mattress and the side of their cot. The maximum recommend gap is 2cm.
Buy a new mattress if possible; avoid the use of second hand/used ones when you cannot be sure of its history.
Price - prices vary but generally you will get what you pay for.
Always look out for independent body advice.
Off-Gassing - all cot mattresses legally must conform to BS 7177 fire safety standard, which can cause off-gassing due to the chemical fire retardants used in most foam and sprung mattresses. However, Natural/Organic cot mattresses pass these safety tests without using chemicals and instead using natural materials such as wool which is a natural fire retardant.
Caring for your cot mattress?
If applicable to your mattress type, turn your mattress every 3 months.
Ensure that there is not a gap larger than 2cm between the mattress and the cot bars.
Always use a waterproof mattress protector to help protect your baby's mattress from wetness and also to reduce the risk of dust mites.
Regularly check the firmness, shape and condition of the mattress, to ensure your baby is correctly supported and comfortable.
Different types of cot mattresses:
Foam - The cheapest type of baby cot mattress available, around A�30-A�80. It is made from PU Foam or Polyester. These types isn't chemical free. Short longevity and breathability is poor.
Sprung - Cost of this type of mattress is around A�80-130. It is also made from PU Foam or Polyester. These types have metal springs and aren't chemical free. Medium longevity and breathability is good.
Natural/Organic - More expensive than the other two types but for good reason. These are usually made from organic materials including fleece, wool, cotton and coconut fibres. Chemical free, longevity is long and breathability is excellent.