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The mattresses chosen for both parents and baby can have a profound impact on a family’s health. It is a daunting task to sort through all of the various types, styles, and features of mattresses available on the market. Frankly, most standard and crib mattresses available today contain synthetic fibers, synthetic padding, and are treated with toxic fire retardant chemicals. There is a wide variety of chemicals used and sensitivities to them will vary. Many of the chemicals used are possible carcinogens and have found to be hormone disruptors. Choosing the right mattress for you and your baby is an important decision. An investment in a mattress containing 100% certified organic cotton, wool, natural latex, and rubber is a wise and healthy choice.

Choose a Breathable Mattress
Make sure that the fabrics and padding has the ability to wick moisture away and can quickly dry. We often perspire while sleeping (around 1 pint nightly), so staying high and dry is essential to a comfortable nights sleep. This will also avoid many mold and dust mite problems in the future. Avoid mattresses with air or water bladders or vinyl/plastic covers that are impervious to air flow.

Choose Organic Cotton and Wool
Preference should be given to mattresses made with 100% certified organic cottons and wools. The increase in cost is justified by the amount of use this mattress will see in it’s lifetime as well as the close proximity the fabrics and materials will be to you and your baby. Be wary of the “hybrid” mattress where only a small portion of the mattress is organic and the remainder is laced with unwanted chemicals.

Fire Retardant Materials
When looking for mattresses, be aware of how the manufacturer has met the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) fire retardant code requirements. Chemicals, such as the roach killer boric acid, are commonly used achieve these fire retardant standards. This is very disturbing as there are healthly alternatives to these harmful chemicals. Natural fibers, such as untreated wool, can often meet the safety requirements without the use of these chemicals.

Avoid Vinyl and Improve Health with a Barrier Cover
If you are not ready to purchase a new organic adult or crib mattress or want to product your organic mattress investment, consider encapsulating your mattress with an allergy reducing mattress barrier cover. These covers ensure protection from dust mites, cat dander, allergens, and VOC’s. Many organic mattress covers and crib pads will also protect from liquids, accidents, and spills using natural materials.

Choose Natural Latex and Rubber
When considering foams, preference should be given to natural latex vs. the standard polyurethane foams. Polyurethane is a very flammable material and an assortment of chemicals must be added in order for it to meet the new fire retardant codes. Another benefit to using a natural latex mattress with a natural rubber core is eliminating the need for metal innersprings. Metal springs act as an antenna for invisible magnetic and electric waves in your home. This “antenna” effect funnels the flow of these waves through the spring which, by default, travels though your sleeping body as well. A good test of this effect is to simply pull a standard compass slowly across your mattress with a string. Magnetic fields in the springs of your mattress will “pull” the compass needle from pointing north.

Allow Your New Mattress Time to Off-gas
When bringing any mattress home for the first time, consider removing the plastic cover and placing it in a sunlit room with fan for a day or two. Try and purchase the babies crib mattress as early as possible so it has time to off-gas before your baby is exposed. Every day and week that passes allows for any harmful chemical gasses to release.

 

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