How to Tell If Your Used Crib Mattress Is Safe
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If you’re working with a tight nursery budget, dropping several hundred dollars on a crib mattress can be a painful experience, especially if you already have a recently vacated mattress on hand. But a used crib mattress—even those used by close family members and friends—may not be as safe as you think.
A baby’s mattress must be firm. Over time, the surface of an old crib mattress can settle and become soft and uneven, putting your little one at risk. Re-enforced edging, which stops the edge of the mattress from caving down under your baby’s body weight, can also weaken with time. Without a firm edge, your little one could become trapped between the mattress and the crib rails, which could result in injury or even death.
As if that wasn’t scary enough, studies have suggested a possible link between used crib mattresses and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). One study published in theBritish Medical Journalfound that an infant was up to three times more likely to die from SIDS when using a secondhand crib mattress. Researchers believe the link may be attributed to respiratory problems related to harmful pathogens, such as bacteria, mold, mildew, and fungus, which may be hidden at the core of a used mattress.
Using a Secondhand Crib Mattress
If you purchased the mattress new for an older sibling, and if it appears to be clean and in good condition, you may be able to reuse it, provided it meets the following standards:
Mattress size matters. While most cribs use a standard-sized crib mattress, there are plenty that do not. An ill-fitting mattress can pose a serious safety hazard for your child.
To see if your potential mattress is a good fit, try the "two-finger" test. There should be no more than two finger-widths of space between the side of the mattress and the crib frame. Any larger and your baby may become entrapped between the two, resulting in injury or suffocation.
Firmness and Resiliency
The mattress surface should appear firm and even. If you notice any sagging or signs of body contouring, the mattress should be replaced. Press your hand into the center and around the edges of your mattress. When you remove it, note how quickly it regains its shape. A firm and resilient mattress will snap back into shape without conforming to the imprint of your hand.
The overall frame of your mattress should be in good repair. If you can find any evidence of a broken frame or support bars, if your mattress rattles when moved, or if you can feel the springs sticking up through the cushioning, do not use the mattress.
A Clean Record
Just because a mattress looks clean doesn’t mean it is clean. Experts normally advise against using a secondhand mattress due to a lack of intimate knowledge regarding its past. Even a close friend or family member may forget to mention an accident or two, especially if the mattress appears no worse the wear. That said, no one knows your mattress’ history better than you. If you’re planning on reusing your existing crib mattress, be honest with yourself. If it ever experienced a good soaking, you should probably move on.
Does your mattress stand up to a thorough inspection? If so, be sure to cover and store it in a clean and dry place while awaiting your new arrival. Once in use, invest in a water-resistant mattress cover, and don’t forget to conduct regular inspections to ensure your little one’s mattress is holding up.
Before You Buy a Crib for Your Baby
Joel Forman, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician and associate professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine, and public health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
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With so many styles and options available today, choosing the perfect crib for baby can be a daunting task. Determine your price range and decide which crib features are most important to you. Then let the hunt begin for the best crib begin! Here are some important crib features to get you started on your quest.
Baby Crib Safety Standards
Any new crib you purchase is supposed to meet minimum government requirements. These requirements changed in 2011, and it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the latest crib safety standards before you shop. If you assemble your crib to the manufacturer’s instructions and use it properly, even the least expensive crib should be safe for baby. Occasionally, an unsafe crib slips through, though, so keep an eye on current baby products recalls, just in case.
Standards for a safe crib include:
- Firm, tight-fitting mattress
- No missing or broken hardware or slats
- No cutouts in the head- or foot-boards
- Slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart (the width of a soda can)
- Corner posts no higher than 1/16 inch
- Stationary sides. Drop-sides are unsafe and have been banned.
Wheels are a very useful feature. Check the casters to make sure they aren’t flimsy because you’ll be moving the crib to vacuum under it, change sheets or fetch toys. If you aren’t sure if you’ll need them, leave them off the crib but keep them nearby. You’ll probably want them on the crib by the time the baby is 3 or 4 months old. If you fall in love with a crib that doesn’t have wheels already installed, you can buy furniture caster wheels at the hardware store and install them yourself.
Crib Mattress Height and Support
Adjustable mattress height is available on all but the most inexpensive cribs. It allows the mattress to be higher in the crib so you can gently lay down a sleeping newborn, then lowered for babies who can pull up. At least two mattress heights are nice, three is even better. Check out the way the mattress is held up. There’s a lot of variation in crib mattress supports. Some cribs have wood slats or metal bars as mattress support, while others use a metal frame with crisscrossed wires. The wire springs tend to be the sturdiest choice. Part of the new crib safety standards from 2011 is stronger requirements for the mattress supports to prevent collapse.
Choose Stationary Sides
Traditionally, baby cribs came with stationary sides, single-drop sides, or double-drop sides that slide down, or drop-gate sides that fold down. While drop sides are considered convenient, they present serious safety issues and have been banned in the U.S.
According to the 2011 crib safety standards, manufacturers are not allowed to make new drop-side cribs, and they are illegal to sell or donate. Replace any you own with a stationary side crib and do not buy or accept a drop-side crib.
Convertible cribs are attractive to many buyers, but the added expense may not be worth it to some parents. Some cribs are convertible to toddler beds, others to full-size adult beds. Most cribs require an extra kit to be fully convertible, so ask about the cost before you make your final decision on a convertible crib. Also, ask yourself whether you’ll actually convert the crib or whether you’ll reuse the crib for siblings and buy a separate toddler bed. Many toddlers can move right to a twin bed, so you could also skip that step to save money.
Where to Buy a Baby Crib
Baby mega-stores have the largest selection of baby cribs in both price and style. They have a few models in stock but order others, which can take up to 12 weeks. Order early in case of delays. Many new parents are surprised at how long it takes for their baby’s crib to arrive. Local baby shops usually carry premium crib brands at mid to premium prices. They often don’t keep cribs in stock, so every crib is a special order. However, your local baby store likely offers the most personalized service, and will probably spend more time with you in order to find the crib you really want.
Stores such as Walmart or Target usually carry a limited number of crib styles, but often have those cribs in stock. If you want an inexpensive crib without the hassle of ordering, these stores can be a good choice. Inexpensive cribs look better than ever, so a small budget doesn’t have to mean you sacrifice style.
Department stores may also sell cribs, usually at low- to mid-range prices. Most department stores don’t keep the cribs in stock, though, so you’ll probably have to order one.
Websites have a wide range of crib brands and models, but shipping might be pricey. If there’s a problem, returning the crib also could be difficult. Be clear on return policies before you buy. Some families have reported noticeable damage to the crib from shipping, too.
If you’re close to an IKEA store, take a look at their modern, inexpensive cribs. The simple Sniglar crib has a rock-bottom price and can be dressed up or remain minimalist.
Be wary of used cribs. New information on drop-side cribs indicates that re-assembly is often done incorrectly, which can endanger the baby. Missing hardware or worn-out pieces are also potential problems. Several crib companies have gone out of business in the past few years, too, meaning you could be stuck with a used, recalled crib and no one that will take it back.
The 6 Highest Rated Crib Mattress Picks For 2020
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Do you think that children deserve the best possible care and products we can afford?
One of the most important things in the healthy development of your child is a good sleep. Proper bedding systems should help your baby to sleep well, and provide necessary support for their spine and neck.
If you are a parent looking for theultimatecrib mattress for your babyor toddler, choosing a good one is not an easy task. According to American Academy of Pediatrics many parents put their babies in unsafe sleeping conditions.
Top 6 Baby Mattresses Compared
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Important Things to Consider Before Buying (Buyer’s Guide)
There is no right or wrong size. However, there are some regulations. The minimum size proposed by the government are in a range between 27 5/8″ to 28 5/8″ of width and 51 3/4″ to 53″ in length.The minimum size should be 27 1/4” x 51 5/8”and the bedding shouldn’t be thicker than 6 inches. The main rule is to have it fit the crib snug or moderately snug. The depth differs between 5 to 6 inches for coil crib type and 4 to 6 inches for foam-based products. Generally, if the gap is more than two fingers, the mattress is too small.
Choose the Material Wisely
A well-designed mattress should not only make your baby’s sleep more comfortable but should also give support for healthy spine development. The material is one of the most important aspects you should consider. Try to find along-term,comfortablebed since your child will probably sleep in a crib until the age of three. A mutual opinion on whether a foam or innerspring type is better for the baby doesn’t exist so you should carefully research before you buy.
Make sure to read our complete overview of memory foam mattresses and how it works.
Soft vs. Firm
Most of the experts are of the opinion that it’s better to have a firm crib mattress over a soft mattress. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the main death cause for infants in the United States of America is the SIDS – Sudden infant death syndrome.
This syndrome is caused by suffocation hazards which are a consequence of a soft sleeping surface. The bedding should snap back when you press it on the center and the thresholds. It shouldn’t conform to the baby’s head shape. The bed should be resilient enough to regain its shape quickly after applying hand pressure on it.
There are however various types which have two level of firmness foam. Onesoft for the toddlersand afirm one for infants. As far as infants are concerned, it’s safer to go with the firm rather than soft.
Is It Waterproof?
It might be a good idea to buy a waterproof mattress. A good indicator that it’s water resistant is adouble or triple ticking bolstered with nylon. This kind of content will also show high resistance to being teared up or soaking other solids or liquids.
Most of the products have covers made out of cotton and you might want to buy waterproof covers instead. You should also take notice of the airflow in and out. It should haveventing holeswhich will release the odor from leaking diapers.
Crib mattresses must pass certain standard requirements in order to be sold on the market in the United States. First of all, there are safety standards which are defined by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Society for Testing and Materials. The US Federal government has regulations for cot bed standard sizes under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA).
As far as the eco-friendly beds are concerned, there are many manufacturers who claim that their products are indeed friendly and safe for the environment. However, you should check if they have a certification called Oeko-Tex Standard 100. This is a globally accepted certification geared towards product safety with chemical and other stipulations.
When it comes to buying a good baby cot mattress, you might not want to try bargain shopping, but you should also know that buying anoverpricedone won’t do you any good. The price is normally a good indicator of quality, but there are other important aspects you should look into.
According to numerous customers, a high-quality product will probably cost you between $90 and $350. Speaking of organic, they have a price tagsomewhere between $80 and $400.
These are some of the important factors that you should keep in mind, and we highlighted some of them in our guide with some of the best bed brands of 2020.
How Long Do Mattresses Last?
Mattresses aren’t exactly cheap, most people replace them very infrequently and consider buying a new one either a chore or a burden. It’s easy to delay or prolong this process simply by taking proper care of whichever type you own. As a general rule, most should be replaced within ten years for best results in sleep and health, however, the average life of a mattress can last beyond ten years or more if taken care of properly. While it is true that how long one lasts depends on different factors, you can easily increase its life expectancy by undertaking a small number of simple steps. Here is a look at a few of the factors that can decide how long should a mattress last, and possible ways to increase its lifespan:
Table of Contents
1. The Type
What type do you have? For instance, is it air, innerspring, memory foam or latex? Each one has its own life expectancy; air and innerspring being the shortest, memory foam being mid length, while latex types are known to last the longest.
2. Regular Cleaning
Another important factor which determines mattress life expectancy is to do with cleaning.Howdo you clean it? Do you clean itregularly? Do you give it to aprofessionalcleaner? It’s essential that you clean your mattress regularly to prolong the life. If you do not, it won’t last long at all. This is due to the invisible bacteria, mildew, and mattress mold that can slowly eat away at the materials involved. Moreover, it may be better if you could have it cleaned professionally from time to time, as mattresses are home to bacteria and germs in plenty, which might not get adequately cleansed with household cleaning products and methods.
3. Amount of Use
As you can imagine, anything that is used more will last less. However, there are two things that need to be kept in mind. Whichever type you own, it wouldn’t last as long in cases of extreme use, for example sharing couples who use for 10+ hours per day, and secondly on the other hand, if it has been left unused and uncleaned for prolong periods of time. Mattresses that are moderately used, where people sleep on it for around 7-8 hours a day, and then cleaned regularly are the ones that have the longest life.
4. The Cleaning Products
The question of how long do mattresses last really is to do with many supporting factors, but quite often depends on the cleaning methods used to clean them. For instance, in case of blood stains, you might have to use hydrogen peroxide to get rid. Too much of this chemical (and other heavy duty stain removers) would lead to a reduction of mattress life as these are not made to withstand such chemical uses.
5. Proper Precautions
It is always nice to have kids around the house. However, if your kids want to use your bed as a trampoline, it seriously isn’t a good idea. You would rather have them play elsewhere since this can seriously damage your bed. Imagine you have an innerspring, the springs will become too soft and compressed in no time at all and will leave you with a creaky and sagging surface. Additionally, whether it’s latex or memory foam, soon there will be indentations which are beyond repair. To prolong its life, you can also rotate and flip it from time to time, but that’s only if it’s double-sided and permits you to do so. You could perform this every few months for the duration of its life, which will significantly improve how long a mattress can last.
When Do You Know You Cannot Use Your Mattress?
Usually, mattresses that are over seven years old do not provide the comfort and support you need on the bed. Once you see there are signs of the surface and support wearing out, or you’re feeling uncomfortable in the bed when you are sleeping on it, you would be better off changing it. Some of the common visible signs of wearing are sagging, holes and tearing. If you cannot get a full night’s sleep and feel that you’re having a better slumber elsewhere than your bed, you need to start looking for a replacement.
You might buy the most expensive mattress, but if you do not care for it properly, it might not even last ten years. On the other side, ones which are taken care of correctly are known to last more than 15 years.
Find Out How Long Crib Mattresses Are Good For
As adults, we put a lot of emphasis on our own mattresses. We spend a lot of time evaluating comfort, durability, firmness, and cooling. And, of course, we want the best quality at a reasonable price.
The consideration we put into our child’s mattress, especially for a crib, should be even more thorough. After all, it’s not just about comfort for your baby or toddler (though that’s important, too!); safety is also a top priority.
When you’re looking to get a new bed for your bundle of joy (see our top crib picks), you’ll naturally also wonder how long it will last, if you can use it down the road if you have another child, and even if you can accept a hand-me-down from a well-meaning friend or family member.
In this article, we’ll discusshow long crib mattresses lastand address the above inquiries, too!