What You Need to Know About the Chemicals in Your Baby's Mattress

I am a big fan of people gaining information to help consumers make better, greener choices for themselves and their families.  So when I came across a New Mom's Guide to Choosing a Mattress for Your Baby, I knew I had to share.  Although the guide is provided by an organic mattress manufacturer called Naturpedic, the information is right on target and so very important for all parents to read in order to find out what you need to know about the chemicals in your baby's mattress.

Babies spend a lot of their early life in their crib playing and sleeping.   In fact, some estimates place the amount of time a baby spends in the crib at 70%.  Although that number sounds a bit high to me (I always seemed to have my babies "attached to my hip"), if you are anything at all like me, you may wonder why your baby's mattress smells so awful.  You may cringe at the thought of your sweet, little baby being exposed to that toxic smell for long periods of time.  In fact, the smell comes from the toxic materials used in most infant mattresses and the chemicals used in the production of  traditional baby mattresses are potentially serious chemical hazards.

It is just common sense that the off-gassing (or that awful smell) from chemicals in vinyl infant mattresses (like hormone disrupting phthalates) are not safe for an infant's developing neurological, hormonal and respiratory systems.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Phthalates are animal carcinogens and can cause fetal death, malformations, and reproductive toxicity in laboratory animals...children may be at higher risk of adverse effects of phthalates because of higher exposures during a time of developmental and physiologic immaturity...”

As of February 2009, manufacturers of crib mattresses, children’s toys and many other children’s products were prohibited from using some types of phthalates in certain products, baby mattresses included. But other phthalates are still legal. When it comes to chemical exposure, babies and children are the most vulnerable to chemicals. Their immune and detoxification systems are not yet fully developed.  Some research has actually linked S.I.D.S. to a combination of the chemicals in vinyl baby mattresses and fungus; especially those which have been reused.  You should know that Organizations also repudiate this theory which you should also read to become more informed. 

If you are looking for answers to questions like:
    * What you should be aware of when choosing a crib mattress
    * Why typical crib mattresses may not be ideal for your baby
    * How chemicals get into your baby's body
    * What are the most commonly used mattress materials and which ones you should avoid
    * What materials make for a more ideal crib mattress
    * How to differentiate between claims about "healthy" or "green" mattresses
    * What is an "organic" mattress
    * What is GREENGUARD Certification
    * Should your baby sleep on a firm mattress
    * Why you need non-toxic waterproofing
then you must check out the New Mom's Guide to Choosing a Mattress for Your Baby.

Naturpedic Organic mattresses are wonderful but if you cannot afford a Naturpedic organic mattress, you may want to check out Stop SIDS Now for information on mattress wrapping.  Just remember, there are many experts on both sides of this debate who say mattress wrapping is important to prevent S.I.D.S. and those who do not support the claims.

The point is that you need to become an informed consumer and decrease your infant's exposure to toxic chemicals.  Do not be gullible, misinformed or close yourself off to new new ideas.  Our future depends on our knowledge and actions.  What choices will you make today that will change your health and the health of our future generations tomorrow?

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