Mattress Pads for Cribs Safety
As with most products that are used around babies, there is a bit of a debate on whether mattress pads are safe for cribs or not. The truth is that there are circumstances in which mattress pads can be safe, but they aren’t safe in all instances. You have to be careful with mattress pads to make sure that your child is safe at all times. Here’s how to do just that, along with other helpful information on mattress pads.
What is a Mattress Pad
If you’re unaware of what mattress pads are, they are pads that you place on top of your mattress to keep the mattress safe, dry, or more comfortable. In the case of mattress pads for children, the most popular kind is a pad that will protect a baby’s mattress from spills or accidents. It is essentially a blanket, due to the fact that it’s thin just like a cover is.
Are Mattress Pads Safe?
The truth is mattress pads are safe, but have to be used properly to protect the little ones. There are a few things to remember to make sure you are using pads the right way.
Other Products that Can Help
Besides just checking in on your child from time to time while they’re sleeping, there are other products you can get to ensure that your baby is staying safe. One of these products is a baby monitor. There are monitors that will even allow to you see your baby at all times through the use of a video camera, which means you can check in anytime you want.
These monitors are also able to give you alerts on the temperature in the room, when it hears noises, or the baby cries, and other things. This is great for when you are asleep or want to see what’s going on, or even when you’re at work. There are also special pillows you can get that won’t allow your baby to roll on their belly while they are asleep, which ensures they will always be able to breathe.
Another great thing to remember is that after a child is six months old, you don’t really have to worry if they are strong enough to breathe while sleeping, no matter how they are laying. This means you don’t have to be as concerned about mattress pads. By this time, children will be strong enough to do many things, but you should still follow all the rules to make sure that your child’s crib is safe.
Take precautions to be sure you’re keeping an eye on them and pay special attention to their bedding to be certain it’s always clean and has no holes or loose threads.
Other Things to Consider
Many people feel that mattress pads are not necessary for babies because they should have enough padding with the mattress that came with the crib. However, that is up to you to decide. Some people opt to not place any blankets or anything on their kids, while others use special sheets which hug babies, and won’t allow them to turn over or become trapped in them.
In short, you don’t want anything constricting your child or covering their mouth when they lay in their cribs because it can restrict breathing. At the same time, some people have no problem with mattress pads as long as they are secured properly to the mattress. Again, as a parent, it’s your decision to pick what products you use around your child.
It may be beneficial to ask other parents you know to see if they used mattress pads, and what their thoughts are. They may be able to offer you insights that you didn’t think of. You can also do a bit of research online for more information on how to use mattress pads safely in cribs, and what the top items to purchase are.
An estimated 150-200 infants die each year in accidents related to crib design or construction. The Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System which monitors 119 hospital emergency rooms nationwide estimates that between July 1, 1972, and June 30, 1973, 12,000 infants received emergency room treatment for crib-related injuries.
The safety features, which will probably add some dollars to the cost of new cribs, include:
Other requirements include: no hardware within the crib that could present a hazard of injury to the child; sturdy drop latches; wood surfaces that are smooth and free from splinters and cracks; a warning label on the crib stating the dimensions of a mattress which will fit properly; detailed but clear assembly instructions; and a warning statement in the assembly instructions that urges parents to place a child more than 35 inches tall in a -- youth bed or regular bed.
There currently are some 11 million cribs in use by American families. In November, the Consumer Product Safety Commission undertook a nationwide crib safety campaign to inform consumers about what they can do to make old cribs safer.
Families with old cribs should take the following precautions:
Proposed regulations for portable and undersized cribs are under consideration by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Are Cradle Mattress Pads Safe?
Is Your Baby Cradle Safe?
Today, the CPSC approved a new federal mandatory standard to improve the safety of bassinets and cradles for baby. Why did the CPSC add new regulations? Because they felt that the original recommendations did not accurately address the safety concerns for baby and parents.
From November 2007 through March 2013, the CPSC received more than 426 incidents involving bassinets and cradles, resulting in 132 fatalities. The latest recommendations include helpful hints for parents and here’s what they include:
According to the new regulations, bassinets and cradles should not be used beyond five months old (or when baby is able to push up on his hands and knees).
Cradle and bassinet bed attachments for non-full-size cribs and playards are also subject to these new standards and regulations. Does your cradle mattress adhere to the new safety standards?
How to prevent SIDS?
Cradles are not immune to the hazards that cause SIDS—the leading cause of death among infants 1 month to 1 year old. Babies can suffocate on loose bedding and soft mattress pads. Your cradle mattress pad needs to be firm, no thicker than 1 1/2 inches, and it must stay in place. Only use the fitted sheet made specifically for your mattress pad. Keep the cradle away from any curtains, blinds, cords or wall hangings. Do not add loose bedding or toys to your baby's bed.
Use only the mattress/pad provided by the manufacturer and only the fitted sheet made for the bassinet, or one specifically designed to fit the dimensions of the mattress/pad. Buy at least three fitted sheets so you have one to use, one for the wash, and one as a backup. Don’t use a pillowcase or different sized sheet as a substitute.
Don’t add stuffed animals or any bedding, such as a pillow, comforter, or blanket, or extra padding like an additional mattress/pad, or a sleep positioner to your baby’s bassinet or cradle; they’re suffocation hazards. Put your baby to sleep in a wearable blanket (swaddle sack) instead of covering her with a blanket.
Place your baby on his back in a cradle, just as you would in a full-sized crib. Ninety percent of SIDS cases occur during the first six months of a baby’s life.
Cribs, Cradles and Bassinets Safety
Learn what to look for when buying a crib, cradle and bassinet and how to use them safely.
Before you buy a crib, cradle or bassinet, check the recalls and safety alerts database. Cribs, cradles and bassinets sold in Canada must meet current safety regulations. This includes items sold at second-hand stores and online second-hand retailers.
If you're buying a crib, check when it was made. Cribs made before September 1986 don't meet current safety regulations and should not be used. As of December 29, 2016, the sale, importation, manufacture or advertisement of traditional drop-side cribs is prohibited.
When buying a crib, cradle or bassinet, look for:
If you've had a crib, cradle or bassinet for a while, you will need to:
Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when using a crib, cradle or bassinet and do not modify it. You should check that the item is solid and that screws and bolts are tight. This should be done frequently.
Place your crib, cradle or bassinet away from lamps, curtains, windows, patio doors, blind cords, electrical plugs, extension cords, electrical cords, such as those found on night lamps or baby monitors.
Also use a fitted bottom sheet made specifically for a crib mattress of the same size.
When your baby can sit upright or push up on his hands and knees, you should take away mobiles and toy bars and move the crib mattress support to its lowest level.
To avoid the risk of suffocation, you should never:
When to change to the next bed
Each crib, cradle and bassinet is geared towards a certain age. Follow the manufacturer's recommended age, weight or height limit, whichever comes first. You can also move your child from a:
What’s the safest option for my kid?
Bassinets, cradles, cribs, travel sleepers, Moses baskets, bedside sleepers...
When it comes to preparing for a new baby, there are so many difficult choices for a pregnant mother or a new parent to make. There is a wealth of information available about every imaginable safety hazard and all the potential benefits and disadvantages of different sleeping arrangements, and it can be a lot to process.
The truth is, every baby and every parent is different, and as long as your child is sleeping and is safe, that’s really all you can ask for. Either a bassinet, cradle or crib could be best for you and your baby, and some parents have all three!
It can be overwhelming with all the baby products out there, and you don’t know what is okay for you to have around your child, but mattress pads are not a big deal. As long as you are not using them on the smallest babies, and you’re checking in regularly on your child, perhaps even using a video baby monitor, everything will be just fine.
These pads can help solve problems and keep you from having to replace your crib mattress, which saves you quite a bit of money.
10 Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are Crib Mattress Pads Necessary?
Even if you have a crib mattress with a waterproof finish it is a good idea to use a crib mattress pad. The mattress pad provides absorbency and helps manage moisture (i.e. leaking diaper, spit up, drooling, etc.). It helps prevent irritation to baby's skin from exposure to a pool of moisture.
2. Is a Memory Foam Crib Mattress Topper Safe for Baby?
A memory foam crib mattress isn’t safe for babies. Baby crib mattresses should be firm to prevent suffocation, and memory foam is soft. Babies need a cool sleep surface because they can’t regulate their own body temperature, and memory foam is warm to sleep on.
3. Are Waterproof Crib Mattress Pads Safe?
Even if you bought a waterproof mattress for the crib, a pad is a safe way to make your baby’s bed cushy and comfortable without using pillows, bumpers and blankets (keeping these out of baby’s crib can help decrease the risks of sleep-related deaths).
4. Do I Really Need a Crib Mattress Pad Even If I Have a Waterproof Crib Mattress?
Mattress pads are for comfort; waterproof pads are for accidents in the middle of the night. I know your mattress is waterproof and wipe able, but I would still get a waterproof pad. That way if/when baby busts a diaper in the middle of the night, all you have to do is remove the water proof pad and you're good. If not, then you would have to put cranky baby in a swing/bouncer while you try to clean up whatever mess while you are tired and cranky. It's a mess. Save yourself the heartache and invest in at least one. Most people who don't have waterproof mattresses like yours buy two, and keep both on, so midnight accidents are quick to take care of.
5. Are Mattress Covers Toxic?
Currently, the only way to get complete waterproof protection for a mattress is with a plastic lining or membrane in a cover or protector pad. But it's important that you choose the right plastic, as not all plastics are the same. In fact, most can be quite toxic.
6. How Can I Protect My Baby's Mattress?
Babies don’t need much bedding. To ensure your baby is safe and comfy:
7. How Many Mattress Pads Do I Need for a Crib?
Crib mattress pads are machine washable and dryer friendly for easy cleaning. Parents should buy 2-3 crib mattress pads so that they have extras on-hand for late-night bedding changes.
8. How Can I Add Breathability If I Want a Breathable Crib Mattress?
You can purchase a Breathable Crib Protector Pad. It’s a separate breathable mattress pad that fits on top of the already firm and flat crib mattresses. This pad provides a layer of fresh air between the baby and the mattress which provides extra fresh air from the room for baby to breathe. The breathable pad provides just as much (or more) extra fresh air than the other “breathable” mattresses on the market. The baby doesn’t have to breathe into the interior space of the mattress with its stale air and its collection of urine, spilled milk, etc. The breathable mattress pad can be removed at any time and thrown into the washer and dryer. This solves the hygiene issue with adding breathability for the baby.
The Breathable Crib Protector Pad provides a layer of fresh air between the baby and the mattress. This can help with extra breathability and temperature regulation, and also reduces the possibility of “sweatiness.” This pad can be added to any crib mattress and will turn any mattress into a properly designed “breathable crib mattress.”
9. How Do I Protect My Crib Mattress From Urine?
Disposable or washable underpads are waterproof pads that have a soft, absorbent top layer with a waterproof backing. You can put an underpad on top or underneath the bottom sheet. Some tuck in on either side of the mattress.
10. Mattress Pad or Mattress Topper for Cribs?
You should consider a mattress pad if:
You should consider a mattress topper if: