After writing many articles about the dangers of chemicals in crib and infant mattresses, I sometimes feel everyone must be aware, right? Then I consider no one is really interested in a crib mattress until they (or someone they know) is expecting. According to the 2012 census, there were 3.95 million births in the US. That’s a huge number of parents who need to be educated each year about harmful chemicals.
The University of Texas recently completed a study on Infant Exposure to Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds from Crib Mattresses. They tested 20 mattresses both new and used. The new mattresses were tested approximately 6 months after the manufacture date to avoid the “peak emission period” and get a better indication of long term exposure. How many new parents think about letting their baby’s crib mattress off gas for 6 months before using it! Here’s the link:
It’s a great article explaining the dangers of VOCs in a crib mattress. Most of these chemicals have never been tested for negative health effects on humans. Some of the emissions identified were found to cause sensory irritation, pulmonary irritation, and decreases in midexpiratory airflow velocity in mice. The study recreates the breathing zone an infant experiences while sleeping in a crib and measures the amount of VOCs likely inhaled. Their findings support crib mattresses are a significant source of VOCs. It goes on to explain the source of many of these VOCs comes from petroleum based polyurethane and plastic materials, combined with adhesives and additives used in the manufacturing process. The study also suggests because of the increased temperature of the mattress (caused by heat transfer from the infant) the amount of VOCs released is increased. The conclusion of the study advises parents to reduce the amount of VOCs their baby is exposed to from a crib mattress. The authors also encourage more testing as exposure to these and other harmful chemicals found in crib mattresses “may disproportionately aﬀect infants and children and lead to lifelong illnesses and disabilities”.
Please help spread the word about the dangerous chemicals found in some crib mattresses. GOTS and GREENGUARD certified mattresses are healthy choices for your baby.
Written by Debbie, Owner of Absolutely Organic Baby
The estimates for the first year costs of raising your baby range from a few thousand to over ten thousand dollars. Of course, this amount depends on personal choices and tastes but no doubt about it babies need a lot of stuff!
If you’re lucky you have family or friends that help keep the cost from becoming too painful. Passing maternity and baby clothes around really helps. Shopping second hand stores and garage sales are a great way to spend the day and score big.
So, what about your baby’s crib mattress? Does it make sense to buy used? Mattresses are like books, you can’t judge them by their cover. It’s what’s inside that may prove harmful to your baby. If a mattress has been stored in a damp basement the outside may look great but mold could be growing on the inside. Or the mattress may have been exposed to urine or spit up. Without proper cleaning these unsanitary conditions promote the growth of surface bacteria. Definitely not a risk you want to take when it comes to the health of your baby.
Mattresses don’t have to break the bank. Saving a little each month, say $30, will give you enough of a nest egg to buy a quality organic mattress by the time your little one arrives. It’s much easier to find an affordable organic crib mattress today than just five years ago. This is an example of the laws of supply and demand at work. As more parents research the health dangers in conventional mattresses, organic becomes the clear choice.
There are other ways to fund your crib purchase too. Try a “crib baby shower” where everyone donates cash. And don’t forget the grandparents who want only what’s best for their grandchild. If you’re planning on more than one child, a latex mattress may be the best choice. Latex (pure with no synthetic materials added) can easily last ten years or more. Split the cost of one mattress over two babies and it gets down right cheap.
No matter what creative path you take to obtain a new organic crib mattress, you can rest easy knowing your baby is getting the healthiest possible start in life.
Written by Debbie, Owner of AbsolutelyOrganicBaby.com
Most new parents think they have nine months to prepare for the arrival of their baby. In reality, preparing for Baby starts the moment you become aware of your pregnancy, the moment you are transformed into a Mother. Nurturer, protector, guardian from all harm, that’s the new you. Your days ahead will be spent reading and researching the latest information on prenatal vitamins, healthy foods, suitable exercises, anything and everything out there to keep your baby safe and healthy.
An essential first step is finding the best organic mattress for your newborn. It’s normal for a newborn to spend up to 16 hours a day sleeping. You want to make certain her tiny little breaths aren’t contaminated with toxic off gasses. These off gasses can come from synthetic materials like foam and vinyl, present in virtually all mattresses except organic. Then there’s the off gassing from components you can’t see. Our government has mandated every mattress meet CPSC flammability standards. While it’s great for all those people who fall asleep with cigarettes, this concoction of chemicals is made from known carcinogens and poses a risk to your baby’s health.
Educating yourself is the most important thing you can do to insure your baby’s wellbeing. It’s a harsh world out there. Once your baby is born, it’s up to you to create a healthy environment which will shield her from harmful chemicals and hazardous products. That can be a daunting task.
When choosing an organic mattress make sure you understand what materials are used. Look for descriptions that explain the process of creating the mattress. Reputable brands are proud of their products and are more than happy to explain what makes them superior.
Written by Debbie, Owner of AbsolutelyOrganicBaby.com