Organic mattress/crib - worth it?(29 Posts)
I am 33 weeks pregnant and am looking to buy a cot/crib. Both me and my husband are keen to avoid uneccessary chemicals etc and so have been looking at an IKEA Sniglar crib (and replacing the MDF board) but are thinking about getting an organic mattress as well. The advice out there is a minefield and I am confused about what make to go for, whether I still need a waterproof sheet (which comes with its own problems) and whether I am just overreacting! Had anyone please got any advice?! Many thanks!
I think you are overthinking this. New babies are much more robust than we give them credit for. They will be exposed to all sorts of pollution every day so a bit of plastic on a waterproof sheet or a. It if mdf is really not going to do any harm.
Appreciate this is personal choice though so just do what you think is best. I would defo get the waterproof sheet though. Babies puke, pee and poo a lot and u would say that's more toxic than a waterproof sheet.
I was worried about exposing my DC to more chemicals than necessary . I bought organic sheets and organic cotton waterproof mattress protectors for DD's Moses basket and cot - all of which were lovely, and didn't cost that much more than ordinary versions. When DS came along, I bought him an organic moses basket and some new organic sheets.
The sheets are still going strong (some have been in use now for nine years), and the Moses basket was sold on at a good price. The only thing which didn't last a long time were the mattress protectors, which ended up, after lots of washing, not being waterproof but we still got a reasonable amount of use from them - 2-3 years if I remember correctly - before this happened).
DD had a ordinary mattress due to the cost of organic mattresses. By the time DS came along, I had discovered a natural (lambswool and coir) cotbed mattress which came with a zipped waterproof cover. Again, it wasn't that expensive and I think that it has been a really good buy quality-wise. It is still going strong after more than 5 years and DS will outgrow it long before it wears out.
I would really recommend buying a cotbed (ie one that converts into a toddler bed) rather than a cot if you are going down the natural mattress route as you will get much more use out of the mattress and the bedding. My DS (now 5) is big for his age but is still comfy in his cotbed and we should get at least another 3-6 months out of it.
The Little Green Sheep company was where we bought most of our stuff. The natural cot bed mattress came from the Cot Mattress Company and was much cheaper than organic mattresses I priced elsewhere.
Some people will probably think you are being unduly fussy but it is your baby and if you have the money and think it is worthwhile, do it and don't worry about it. Organic stuff tends to be made from ethically grown cotton which is another bonus.
I second Little Green Sheep. My cot mattress and protectors/sheets were from there.
I ended up with a cot bed when my son was a bit older and bought a Silent Night Little Roo mattress which is nice. It has similar materials to the Little Green Sheep - coir, latex, wool. It's breathable and has a bamboo cover which is antibacterial.
You will need lots of protectors and spare sheets so may have to compromise. I had the LGS pad as part of a bundle but bought others from various places. I've just got one of these Bambino Mio sheets to try as we're currently potty training.
If you can afford to, you wont regret making that choice. Some people wont see the value in it, but whatever. If you and DH value reducing chemical load in your home why not extend it to textiles.
I definitely think they're worth the money, I bought an organic mattress for DS myself. I didn't buy waterproof mattress protectors, I bought two thick organic cotton mattress protectors, one is enough to absorb pee or vomit, so the mattress won't get soiled.
I am a firm believer in reducing the exposure to chemicals in general, what we think is harmless now might be considered highly toxic in a few years - just think of BPA in baby bottles. Organic textiles are definitely a good idea imho and not that much more expensive.
If you can't afford a mattress from little green sheep, stretch out for a few mattress protectors.
They are completely cotton but do the job - we've never had a leak through them. They will come between the mattress and baby if you're worried about the mattress (which I wouldn't be).
As SIDS are found to be caused by chemicals in mattresses, I wouldn't think twice before buying organic ones for my kids.
I bought organic wool mattresses for my children and I love them. No waterproof sheets allowed for such mattresses. But they are easy to wash in case of a leakage.
Another alternative is to buy BabeSafe coats (which I did not like too good, but are much cheaper than an organic mattress).
Def. little green sheep here also.
The breathe in the mattress loads so I would want the best and potentially safest.
The waterproof little green sheep protectors are layered with organic cotton and
Food safe grade polyurethane. No crinkly noise
I don't think SIDS has been proven to be caused by chemicals at all. Do you have a link to the evidence? Won't you be washing the bedding though, which would surely immediately negate the no chemicals thing? I worried about things like this with first, but not at all with second!
This article describes the possible link but at the bottom says no link has been found by others. www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/bedding.asp
If you can afford it etc I would buy one as it would be one less thing for you to worry abiut!
Then again, we bought the snuzpod for my 5 month old with organic coir mattress and where does she sleep? Our bed! I was adamant she wasn't going to be a co-sleeper too, but I've had two very hungry unsettled breastfed babies and I just need sleep! Whoever has the snuzpod after us will be on to a winner. I think she's slept in it twice for about an hour
Our own matress is all organic and natural also so would t buy less for them ( but we also co slept)
Haggisfish, yes there are many many links and studies that prove that. I am totally convinced and I have researched that a lot some years ago. I really don't know why this information is not being shared with parents though. Politics, money and so on... You know.
I copied part of a text about that which for me, is more than enough to prove the link between mattresses and SIDS:
A 100% successful crib death prevention campaign has been going on in New Zealand for the past 20 years. Midwives and other healthcare professionals throughout New Zealand have been actively advising parents to wrap mattresses. During this time, there has not been a single SIDS death reported among the over 200,000 New Zealand babies who have slept on mattresses wrapped in a specially formulated polyethylene cover. The number of crib deaths in New Zealand that have occurred since mattress-wrapping began in 1994 is about 1020. The number of crib deaths that have occurred in New Zealand on a properly wrapped mattress is zero.
Here is the link www.healthychild.com/has-the-cause-of-crib-death-sids-been-found/
You can find the studies from New Zealand as well if you google it.
The cover they talk about is named BabeSafe and can be found on Amazon. That's noisy, I must say... I would prefer a proper mattress if I could pay for it.
About washing the mattress. I wash in hot water and very little homemade baking soda soap, or no soap at all. No chemicals.
Many thanks for all the answers! Its been really helpful. We are going to order the Snuzpod and the waterproof covers etc. I think we will have a think re the cot but def get a organic mattress. Some may think we are being a bit too precious but we lost a baby at 20 weeks last year after quite a few years trying and we are keen to do as much as we can to make sure this one is safe! Also, the rise in chemical levels in the home since the 50's is quite alarming and I am sure this will be a big subject in the years to come. Thanks again and happy for any more advice!! :-)
So sorry to hear about your loss, and wishing you all the best with your new arrival.
Thanks blueberryporridge and best of luck to you too
I got a coir one and organic protector and sheets before DS was born. I found it was way too hard though, he literally never slept on it and coslept instead. I know cot mattresses are supposed to be firm but this was extra firm! I now use it as a headboard so not wasted at least.
This is a complicated area with a lot of cheating and even illegal activity taking place amongst mattress suppliers, including those who provide organic products.
In short, there are two flammability requirements for mattresses sold in the UK:
1.The filling materials must comply with the UK's very stringent Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations.
2.The cover fabric of mattresses must comply with the EU's General Product Safety Regulations. The recommended standard is BS 7177.
It is very difficult but not impossible to get natural materials through the fillings test. It's impossible for natural latex to pass it. There are many natural latex mattress manufacturers and I've contacted quite a few and found that every one of them cheats. They either use non-natural materials and/or flame retardant chemicals but say they don't; or they don't perform the test properly. Or they do not test to the fillings test at all. Some only test to BS 7177 and seem to have convinced themselves that this is lawful. It isn't.
Now, personally, I'd rather have a natural latex mattress than a lawful one full of flame retardants. However, if I buy one, it's probably illegal. It will also contain highly flammable fillings (think car tyres catching fire) which of course the supplier isn't warning his customers about.
There is plenty of evidence that the flame retardants in mattresses are harmful, e.g. to a child's health and development.
My advice would be to buy an organic UK mattress but try to find out if the supplier isn't cheating by using flame retardants, and bear in mind that the thing may be flammable. Or buy a mattress over the internet from somewhere like Germany where they are strongly opposed to the use of flame retardants. This is perfectly legal for a consumer to do; you just won't be able to sell it on later in the UK.
this from 'sids' suggests there is no link
I don't know too much about SIDS, although I do know the Cancer Prevention Society has been making links recently with it and flame retardants found in mattresses. There is a lot of research/evidence to strongly suggest all kinds of illnesses, cancers, and behavioural problems result from flame retardants in products. Check out the UK government's consultation paper in August 2014 for lots of relevant research results: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/furniture-fire-safety-regulations-proposed-amendments - fifth document down. Also check: wakeupuk.org/. Every year at the world BFR conference, dozens of scientists present research on the negative effects of FRs on health and the environment). The point is, there is a pattern. The FR industry produce a flame retardant, claim there's nothing wrong with it then wait for someone to spend years and a fortune studying it to discover all kinds of problems. Then it's banned but the industry just brings out another that's nearly identical.
I recall DEFRA producing a report some years back on the effects of flame retardants (as found in mattresses and furniture) on rats. Young rats displayed all kinds of abnormal behaviour, like inability to concentrate and big mood swings.
The point is, I would have thought, to not take a chance that the chemical industry isn't playing fast and loose with the truth. As if!
I've just noticed that the SIDS leaflet you linked to was published in 2005. An awful lot of research has gone on since then, into the harmful effects of flame retardants. For example, the constituent parts of brominated flame retardant polymers break down through wear into house dust, then get into mother's breast milk and babies' blood. Pets too are particularly vulnerable. For example, check out the work of Professor Stuart Harrad, into the constituents of house dust:
I reckon the UK needs to wake up to this big-time. Ordinary people in America stood up and got changes made to get chemicals out of their sofas. And its worse here because we have even more chemicals in our sofas which arent doing what theyre supposed to do anyway.
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