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when to replace crib mattress?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ds's crib mattress has just been retired, he used it for 3.5 years (his crib converted to a toddler bed). Do we need to replace it for the new kid?
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
post #3 of 8
The AAP say yes, replace mattresses for each child. There is only one study I am aware of that this recommendation is based on:


Results: Routine use of an infant mattress previously used by another child was significantly associated with an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome ... The association was significantly stronger if the mattress was from another home than if it was from the same home.

Conclusion: A valid significant association exists between use of a used infant mattress and an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, particularly if the mattress is from another home. Insufficient evidence is available to judge whether this relation is cause and effect.

Here is an editorial from the same publication criticising the study quoted above: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/325/7371/981

(BMJ is a UK publication. The AAP article, titled "Do Used Infant Mattresses Increase SIDS Risk?" is available online but only paid subscribers can read the full text: http://aapgrandrounds.aappublication.../extract/9/1/3)

I'm not at all convinced. I'm also quite concerned about out-gassing from new conventional mattresses and would not feel at all comfortable putting a newborn on a brand new, conventional mattress. It's a tough call.

If I had a newborn sleeping in a crib, I think my first choice would be an organic mattress. Barring that, a mattress that I had had in my family for a few years would be my second choice.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hmmm. Points to ponder, all valid. Thank you, I appreciate the info.
post #5 of 8
This will seem weird to many, I know, but when our conventional crib mattress did wear out (which was after little use since we co-slept- it couldn't have been used for more than a few months- so I think it must just have been from age), I made one. I found a wooden board, fitted it to within 2 inches of the inside edges of the crib, then wrapped it first in a fluffly feather duvet, then four thin layers of fleece, then a tripled crocheted cotton blanket that I remove for washing. It was puffy, which was not safe, so I used string to tie everything down tight to the board except the crocheted blanket. The tying made it like it was quilted in a way and it has loft, but no 'puff,' so no suffocation hazard. I cover it with standard crib-size sheets and ds3 has been sleeping on it since January with no problems. It seems quite comfortable.

I couldn't handle the idea of using a new conventional mattress and at the time an organic one was not an option for financial reasons. That and I never intended for ds3 to have been on it for this long either, but it has stood up very well to his sleeping, jumping, and climbing in and out of his bed with acrobatics. I think it's much better than a conventional mattress, actually, and if I have to, I might just do the same thing again for this babe, if we haven't already set up our dream wool beds by the time we're finished co-sleeping.

I read a little bit about bed construction and learned that many cultures throughout history and even in the present have made mattresses out of layers and layers of blankets and various types of stuffing (feathers, wool, even straw!). But then, I shouldn't have been surprised because it happens to me often that I am pressed to find a solution and only afterward find out it's been done by everyone up until a generation that might have shared the information with me if they hadn't grown up with 'new and better' options...
post #6 of 8
I have read that a used mattress (or any conventional mattress) can and should be wrapped in plastic to prevent toxic gases from escaping from the mattress.

This website claims that mattress wrapping eliminates crib death. http://www.babesafe.com/
They argue that in New Zealand, an effort was made to promote mattress wrapping starting in 1995, approximately 165,000 babies' crib mattresses were wrapped from 1995-2005, and no crib deaths occurred in the group sleeping on wrapped mattresses.
post #7 of 8
Tamagotchi, I read that too, and I wondered why not just make a clean, safe mattress? I also wondered how comfortable it would be to be laying on that plastic, and how I would know that the plastic wrap isn't also toxic in some other way that doesn't necessarily cause crib death, but maybe a slow poisoning instead, like other plastics.
post #8 of 8
Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post
Tamagotchi, I read that too, and I wondered why not just make a clean, safe mattress?
Apparently it's difficult to make a safe mattress that doesn't produce these toxic gases. Natural materials produce the gases, too. The web site argues that sleeping on sheepskin, for example, is even more dangerous than a conventional crib mattress.

The baby doesn't sleep directly on the plastic wrapped mattress; the recommendation is to put a folded cotton blanket (or cotton towels) on the plastic and then a cotton sheet.

I'm not sure how I feel about the plastic, either. What I do know is that I can't afford a fancy organic crib mattress right now, especially since I don't even know if we'll use the crib at all (we're planning a sidecar setup but don't know how it will work for us).
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