Can an infant's mattress be too firm? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 3 Old 04-26-2013, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I know many here cosleep, but it is not the right choice for us, for a few factors, including health issues. I hope there are some mothers here that have tried crib mattresses for infants and could advise, because I am a first-time mom. We are debating between a 150 and 252 coil from Naturepedic (the first is "firm enough," the latter would be even firmer). I can't feel them in person, just going to order onilne.


I am leaning towards the firmer one, the 252. However, when reading the reviews, there were just a few people that said their baby just cried on it, and they worry it was the firmness (could have been any number of factors if you ask me, like the waterproof surface feeling too slick, etc). In the reviews for the 150, some people said it was "firm while still being comfortable."


I would rather err on the side of firmer, because I know if the mattress starts to soften I'll worry..... but I am wondering if anyone with actual life experience in this area would steer me away from the firmer of two firms? What are your thoughts/experiences with firm crib mattresses? Anyone whose baby really seemed to hate the ones that are the EXTRA firm? Or is that nonsense, and I'd be amazed at how firm a mattress a baby will sleep on?


Thanks! :)

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#2 of 3 Old 04-27-2013, 04:23 AM
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DD slept in a crib from birth to 18 months. We bought a fairly cheap firm mattress at babiesrus that happened to be on sale. It wasn't the firmest we could find, it had a little more flexibility but still qualified as firm so it was fine in terms of sleep safety. I didn't opt for the firmest because it simply didn't feel as comfy to me and I didn't want baby to hate it. We never had an issue. The mattress never softened or lost its structure and in fact is waiting to receive baby #2 this summer. Crib mattresses have a lot less strain on them than say a double mattress that holds a sleeping adult for years. First, they support much less weight. Even if you have a convertible crib you plan to use as a toddler bed, It probably won't see more weight than say 35-40lb since after 2.5-3 years many kids need a bit more room to sleep. The mattress being so much smaller, it also is better supported by its frame because it is so short - this is hard to explain but imagine two beams of different length carrying the same weight; the longer beam visibly sags more in the middle. Finally, crib mattresses aren't used for decades on end and are still relatively new when outgrown.

So all that to say I'd probably opt for the "standard firm" mattress over the ultra firm mattress since I don't see the structural integrity weakening with normal baby/toddler wear and tear. It is possible that the super firm mattress is uncomfortable for some babies although you're right, that review may have been a fluke. Babies are used to the feel of mom's chest, her arms, her legs, etc so a little softness may feel more comforting and familiar. As long as a mattress is labelled firm, it is safe in terms of reduced SIDS risk as far as I understand. I haven't read anything that suggests extra firm = extra safe so I'd go with the reviews/my instincts on this and get the standard firm mattress. Of course if your intuition is strongly telling you to get the extra firm, trust your gut but inquire about return policies (maybe if you keep the plastic on for a few nights under a crib sheet to see if baby accepts it before unwrapping it completely). Good luck!
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#3 of 3 Old 04-27-2013, 09:39 AM
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I agree with the PP.  We got a standard firm mattress and while she sleeps fine in it now, when my daughter was smaller (we started transitioning her at around 3 months) she definitely did not like the firmness.  At least in our case, putting her down after she had fallen asleep in the bassinet or in our arms she would immediately wake up in the crib because the mattress was so firm.  She's used to it now, but I wouldn't get extra firm just for that reason.  As long as the safety is there, extra firmness seems like a liability rather than a benefit.

Beautiful baby girl born 8/13/2012.  Little star baby lost at 10 weeks pregnant, 12/18/2013.
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