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The Importance of a Child's Mattress [Don't Sleep On It]

17 May 2022 0 comments
The Importance of a Child's Mattress [Don't Sleep On It]

The Importance of a Child’s Mattress [Don't Sleep On It]

Bringing life into this world comes with its joys and its own set of challenges, and investing in the right baby and nursery products for some can be the former or the latter, which is it for you?

We may find ourselves trying to find the best cot bed, stroller, rocking chair, and the list goes on and on. Strangely enough, one of the most important purchases a parent can buy is figuratively and literally slept on — a mattress!

Your baby’s mattress is one of the most important purchases a parent can make, especially in the first stages of their child’s life.

According to the NHS, your newborn needs a range of 16-18 hours of sleep a day. And as the months go by, up to a year, this number may be reduced to up to 12 hours a night. That’s a lot of time spent on a mattress, even as adults who are recommended to sleep 7-8 hours a day spend “about one-third of our life either sleeping or attempting to do so”. (Aminoff, Boller, Swaab)


Photo by Yuri Li via Unsplash, find more or hire through https://itshoobastank.journoportfolio.com/.

According to a group of respected neurobiologists and neurologists Michael J Aminoff, Francois Boller, and Dick F Swaab,

“Sleep is not only comforting, but is also essential for our normal cognitive functioning and for our survival”

For a child, the importance of sleep doubles because they are not maintaining, but developing cognitive functions. When your little one is asleep, this is the time when “neural connections form and sensory memories are encoded” (Eckart), which are essential for baby to learn a multitude of tasks, stay focused, a language (maybe more!), and so forth.

To know more about how sleep can positively help us (and how a lack of it can similarly negatively affect us), we recommend Dr. Matt Walker’s Why We Sleep, a wonderful read about how sleep can help us improve physically, mentally, and emotionally.


Photo by Tuva Mathilde Løland via Unsplash, find more or hire through https://itshoobastank.journoportfolio.com/.

So, we’ve laid down the facts for you, sleep is not only good, but essential for both you and your baby in a neurological sense. The question is,

How do we set ourselves up for success and create an optimal sleep environment for us to grow and regenerate?

In reality, we can sleep anywhere. On the couch, on a chair, on an old mattress, it can be done. However, have you noticed that after spending a night on the couch, you wake up with aches, and pains, and have less energy? The type of sleeping surface can affect how we physically feel, and over time, could lead to other physical issues.

The same can be said for your baby who is growing at a much more rapid rate than we are. According to Stanford Children’s health, babies can gain an average of 1½ to 2 pounds in weight, over 1 inch in height, and about ½ inch in head size, every single month. That’s a lot of growing if you ask us, and a good sleeping surface is vital to foster not only healthy, but safe growth in your child.


Photo by Alex Bodini via Unsplash, find more, hire through, or purchase on https://www.getsuuthe.com/.

What Should I Look For When Purchasing a Mattress for my Baby?

Firmness

Perhaps the most important feature to consider when looking to buy a mattress for your child is how firm the mattress is. The Education Standards Board of Australia states that “ cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are actually due to asphyxiation (suffocation)”, which is caused by a soft sleeping surface. Thankfully, many baby brands are well aware of this and offer many good-quality firm mattresses in all sizes and designs.

To test for correct mattress firmness, we recommend reading the full article here: https://www.esb.sa.gov.au/resources/infant-sleep-safety-testing-correct-mattress-firmness

Material and Construction

Innerspring

These types of mattresses can be considered the grandfather of mattresses, its design and mechanics having been used since the 1800s. It provides support through the use of interconnected coils, and due to the space and gaps between them, it not only provides strong support but better breathability.

Pocket Spring

Pocket Spring mattresses on the other hand utilise springs wrapped in cloth, they are not interconnected like innersprings and they provide room for more comfort and movement.

Foam

These types of mattresses can be made with either polyurethane foam, foam latex, or memory foam. They are chemically made, but they are light (making it easier for you to change and handle) and provide enough support and firmness to make sure your baby lies flat on their back.

Features and Specifications

Water-Resistant

It’s natural for accidents to happen. Not only will a water-resistant or waterproof mattress cover make it easier to clean up spills and accidents, but it can also protect the mattress itself from sweat, or other bodily fluids that may cause the mattress’ life to decrease.

Breathable

This is especially important if you decide on whether your baby is going to sleep separately, or is in another room. Naturally, babies may turn or roll over in sleep, and it is recommended to purchase a mattress that your young one can breathe through. Additionally, a sudden increase in temperature could disturb your baby’s precious time to grow and rest, and it will result in more trips to the crib than you’d like. Finally, a breathable mattress can lessen the chances of a large bacterial build-up or dust mite infestation.

Hypo-Allergenic and Anti-Bacterial

Babies are sensitive, some more than others. So it’s important that your mattress has anti-allergen and bacterial properties to reduce the chances of an unexpected flare or reaction.

Even worse, the mattress is a dust mite’s haven, because of the warmth and humidity that occurs when a baby comes into contact with their sleep surface. Not to mention, the number of skin cells that they can feast on, yuck!

While a build-up can be prevented by regularly airing out and cleaning your mattress, it is still best to provide the cleanest, and freshest environment for your baby to ensure that they are safe and sound, resulting in longer periods of sleep. Some mattresses offer Purotex® anti-allergy protection, a revolutionary technology based on microcapsules filled with natural probiotics that fight against harmful allergens.

To learn more about Purotex® anti-allergy protection, please click here: https://www.purotex.com/en/

Dual - Sided

Over time, a toddler may want a softer, more comfortable place to sleep in, especially if they have tried to sleep in your bed or when co-sleeping occurs. What do you do with your firm mattress then? Some mattress manufacturers may offer mattresses with both a firm, and softer side, allowing your child to use the mattress for much longer, and be more cost-effective.

Photo by Alex Bodini via Unsplash, find more, hire through, or purchase on https://www.getsuuthe.com/.

At the end of the day, every family and child is different, and we hope this short article helps you navigate just one of the many challenges of babyhood and child-rearing. We at Bambini and Bo, wish all of you a good night’s sleep.

Sources:

Aminoff, Michael J et al. “We spend about one-third of our life either sleeping or attempting to do so.” Handbook of clinical neurology vol. 98 (2011): vii. doi:10.1016/B978-0-444-52006-7.00047-2

Eckart, Kim. “Sleep Difficulties in the First Year of Life Linked to Altered Brain Development in Infants Who Later Develop Autism.” UW News, University of Washington, 7 May 2020, https://www.washington.edu/news/

egov_admin. “Infant Sleep Safety: Testing for Correct Mattress Firmness.” Education Standards Board SA, Government of South Australia, 7 Sept. 2018, https://www.esb.sa.gov.au/resources/infant-sleep-safety-testing-correct-mattress-firmness.

“Helping Your Baby to Sleep.” NHS Choices, NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/caring-for-a-newborn/helping-your-baby-to-sleep/

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