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SHOPPING FOR AN
ORGANIC CRIB MATTRESS

As a parent we all want to protect our children from harm, especially all of the chemicals they are exposed to on a daily basis. As the number of cases and greater consumer awareness about chemical and environmental sensitivities grows, so do the increased demand for non-toxic, eco-friendly, organic, and the ever popular yet much generalized term natural product.

We all want to decrease the high level of toxins within our sleep environment, an environment where we spend one third of our lives. Infants are more at risk, where even low level exposure to chemicals in their clothing and sleep surface can negatively affect both their immune and respiratory systems.

Babies will sleep anywhere between 8 to 13 hours a day in the first 12 months of their life, which amplifies the importance of a healthy crib mattress, protectors, and bedding. Anything our children’s skin comes into contact with, especially infants and newborns should be as natural as possible. For example, 100% cotton is preferable to a cotton/polyester blend. There are many options for a more natural crib mattress available today in stores and online. The challenge is muddling through the inconsistencies of each product which is where many parents become frustrated. Here are some simple guidelines to consider when shopping natural/organic crib mattresses for your little one

• Determine your expectations. Some people are happy with a product that is partly natural and partly synthetic, where some want certified organic. A good example of this would be blended latex vs. natural rubber produced close to the source where the rubber trees are grown.

• Raw Materials. This is where a sense of being confused and overpowered can settle in during the process of selecting the right crib mattress for your little one. This is where you have to become inquisitive and ask many questions no matter how insignificant you think your concerns are. A knowledgeable sales/customer service person will not only answer your questions but will welcome the dialogue. Remember to keep things simple and if you don’t understand the technical details about a particular product ask the person you are interacting with to simplify so you can relate better to make a confident and informed decision.

• Budget/Value. Unfortunately everyone has a budget or value on every product you purchase. Some place a premium on sleep while others have a higher ceiling for their home, car, clothing, etc… Now when it comes to children I like to believe most parents won’t compromise when it comes to selecting a natural mattress.

• Waterproof/Moisture Barrier. Cloth diapers vs. conventional diapers could influence your decision on a waterproof crib mattress or a waterproof/moisture resistant barrier. Obviously cloth diapers are more natural, yet they are messy and could stain the crib mattress easier.

• Transparency/Knowledge. What is one thing you need when purchasing any product? Confidence. This is an area where parents struggle due to a lack of consistency in the marketplace. Look for a transparent retail environment where the products are clearly defined and the salesperson is knowledgeable. The salesperson should be able to objectively compare their options versus other stores options.

Crib mattresses and sleep are essential in the growth and development of our children. Although a mattress plays a significant role it is also important to remember that the quality of their sleep is about more than what is inside the mattress itself. Air quality, routine, breathability, nutrition all factor into a quality night’s sleep for children and adults as well. Shopping for any organic product requires research, patience, and confidence in the product.

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Written by: Tony Tulk, The Mattress & Sleep Company


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