Natural Baby Bedding For a Restful Sleep
Why should you spend the money for natural baby bedding?
As a parent, you are responsible for managing your baby's sleep. Babies need plenty of restful sleep in a comfortable, natural (i.e. chemical-free) and safe environment. A natural baby mattress fits the bill.
I wish someone had told me about this years ago...read on to get the details. I had no idea organic baby bedding was so important.
Natural Baby Bedding -
What you need to know about mattress wrapping...
If you’re considering the purchase of an organic baby mattress, but maybe you live in an area where you’ve found it difficult to acquire one, or the cost of an organic baby mattress is just too much to bear. The next-best option would be to cover a conventional mattress in one of the number of mattress wrapping products available. It is important that you avoid products that contain PVC or polyurethane (these can produce toxic gases of their own).
In New Zealand, a 10 year study was conducted on mattress wrapping. 165,000 babies participated untouched by SIDS. These findings indicate that SIDS cases in that country have dropped 56% sleeping on an organic mattress or using a practice called 'mattress wrapping.' This means a conventional mattress was wrapped or enclosed by food grade polyethylene materials that prevent "off-gassing."
"Off-gassing” is the release of toxic gases associated with flame retardant chemicals used in conventional mattresses. And yes, you should consider wrapping an organic baby mattress if it is not 100% certified organic (many labeled “organic” are made from 60% organic material – which means that toxins could still be present).
A 100% certified organic baby mattress is the simple answer for natural baby bedding.
Chemicals To Watch Out For
If you do not have a organic baby mattress, these chemicals are probably in your baby's current conventional mattress. There are a number of chemical cocktails used by conventional mattress manufacturers as fire retardants on and in their mattresses. These elements have not been tested on humans to determine the full long-term effects, and if our babies are not sleeping on natural baby bedding every night, they are likely breathing and absorbing these substances to some degree.
Want to know about some of these chemicals?
Antimony is a heavy metal and carcinogen. Its effects are similar to that of lead, with short-term exposure symptoms including reproductive and heart-related problems. Long-term exposure may show accumulation in the GI tract and liver, with resulting hair loss, lung and/or heart damage. Eye irritation is a warning sign.
Arsenic is a known carcinogen that enters the body through inhalation or skin absorption. Ample dosing will result in death.
Boric acid is used as roach killer. Poisoning with boric acid damages the brain and reproductive system, and causes improper development. One of the first signs is irritation to the respiratory system. Poisoning cases have been discovered in newborn infants, resulting from babies chewing on mattress covers or corners.
DBDPO, or Deca, is a chemical that’s part of a group called PBDEs – used as a fire retardant, but not bound to any mattress materials, so it easily breathed in as dust. Studies suggest that long-term exposure may cause fetal neurological complications.
Phosphorus is used as rat poison, and may have adverse effects on the kidneys, liver, and respiratory system.
Polyurethane foam is a known carcinogen which breaks down with age and can be inhaled as dust particles.
Formaldehyde and Bromine inhalation results in headaches and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin.
Your baby’s chances of dying in a crib fire are tiny (literally 1 in 1,000,000) with an organic mattress, in comparison to the risks she faces by going to bed with a conventional mattress with these toxins. When you lay him/her down with natural baby bedding on an organic baby mattress, you will both sleep more easily.
Benefits of Choosing Natural Baby Bedding
The elements used in the production of an organic baby mattress and natural baby bedding are not only free of potentially dangerous toxins, but offer benefits of their own. The three elements most commonly used in an organic baby mattress are natural latex, natural wool, and organic cotton.
Latex is produced using the sap, or Hevea milk, of the rubber tree. In order for the latex to be certified organic, the trees must be grown in areas free from herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides. No chemicals may be added to the milk for stability while it awaits processing.
Latex naturally deters the population of dust mites and bacteria. It is flexible, stable, hypoallergenic, and resists the growth of fungus while promoting air flow.
Organic wool is acquired from sheep that graze on land that has never been used for agriculture practices employing the use of insecticides, herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers. Seasonal-grazing or non-grazing sheep’s diets are supplemented with certified organic feed. After the wool is shorn, it is washed with natural soap, without the use of bleaches or other chemicals.
The lanolin in all-natural wool acts as a repellent of dust mites. Wool is flame retardant and a good heat regulator. It can also absorb up to 30% moisture, while remaining dry to the touch.
Cotton can only be certified organic if it is grown without the use of chemical fertilizer, herbicides, insecticides, or pesticides. It should be hand-picked to avoid contamination by oily or dirty mechanical equipment. It offers supreme air circulation qualities.
Coils in innerspring mattresses should have not been chemically treated or coated with oils.
A quality organic baby mattress or natural baby bedding wrap will employ some or most of the components outlined above, and it’s a good idea to look for a 100% certified organic product. You will feel assured knowing that your baby is safe atop an organic baby mattress will only be countered by her own peaceful, chemical-free, dreams.
Purchasing Your First Organic Mattress
An innerspring organic baby mattress is the most popular, designed after the traditional metal coil mattress that most of us have come to know, but is instead layered with cotton and wrapped in wool and/or cotton. Coil counts are not interchangeable with different mattress sizes, so if ordering online, compare coil counts among like-sized mattresses and purchase according to your firmness preference (a higher coil count means a firmer mattress).
A latex mattress is denser and more conforming than its innerspring counterpart. It will transfer less movement, but it is also heavier and more difficult to move. It may also be a bit more costly than an innerspring mattress. If you choose a latex organic baby mattress, be sure to look for one with a 100% natural latex core.
Both innerspring and natural latex organic baby mattresses of good quality will maintain their shape and offer plenty of support for your tiny one.
Whatever type of organic baby mattress you choose, you should be sure to keep it dry. Try an organic natural wool protector pad, which is very absorbent. When the mattress needs to be spot cleaned, a little water and non-toxic cleaner will get the job done..
One obvious factor to consider is whether you are going to invest in an organic baby mattress or will be wrapping a standard mattress. If you go second-hand, just remember to air the mattress out enough to get rid of any odor and wrap the mattress with an organic baby mattress cover (non-organic, PVC and rubber mattress covers are also available.
Have an idea of the price range you are comfortable with for this purchase. Organic baby mattresses range in price by manufacturer, material, region and of course quality. In some areas where organic items are difficult to find (or are inexplicibly expensive, as in some areas), you may want to consider an online purchase. Just make sure you research the manufacturer, double-check your crib size (length, width and depth) and the firmness of the mattress (firm mattresses are best for babies).
You can assess whether your mattress is off-gassing simply by smelling it - if there is no detectable odor, it is probably not off-gassing toxins in any significant amounts. Even if it does not have a smell, and especially if it does, a new foam mattress should be placed near an open door or window for the first few hours or days or until you can no longer detect any odor. Remember - if there is a smell coming off your foam mattress, then it is because toxins are coming out of it. Organic baby mattresses may also have an odor, but since there are no toxic materials used in the making of the mattress an odor does not indicate off-gassing in this case.
Wrapping a baby mattress is a great way to contain whatever toxins may remain in the mattress. You should remember that cloth wraps may still allow some toxins to penetrate through to your baby’s skin, while rubber or plastic covers may promote mold by not allowing the mattress to breathe. The very best option is a cotton organic baby mattress cover because these contain no contributory toxins, provide a barrier to prevent off-gassing from the mattress, and allow air to flow through to the mattress.
-"The Organic Baby Mattress Guide"
Are organic baby mattresses important?
Aware of what the new mattress law puts in your baby's mattress?
Click here to find out...
Natural Baby Bedding - Cribs
Natural Baby Bedding - Organic Sheets
Natural Baby Bedding - Blankets
Natural Baby Bedding - Misc.
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