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Buying Guide: Crib Mattresses and Sleep Positioners

Types of Crib Mattresses
Infants spend about 70% of their time in their crib. Needless to say, baby needs a safe, sturdy, and comfortable crib mattress. While there can be a great deal of difference between one mattress and another, there are only two types of crib mattresses; foam and innerspring. Whichever type of mattress you decide to purchase, the firmer it is, the better.

Foam mattresses are made from polyurethane foam and a mattress cover. The three basic factors to judge a foam mattress by are weight, firmness, and resiliency. You can test the quality of your mattress by pressing down on the mattress and seeing how long it takes to regain its shape. The faster the mattress comes back to its original form, the better it is. It's also important to keep in mind that the heavier the mattress, the denser the foam. You want your foam mattress to be heavy, dense, firm, and very resilient.

Innerspring mattresses have several layers - coils, an insulator pad, and cushioning. The amount of steel generally determines the quality of the mattress - the more steel, the better the mattress. Two key things to look for are a coil count of at least 150, and border rods. Border rods go around the top and bottom edges of a mattress, providing extra edge support and firmness. They also improve the weight distribution of the mattress, and can help prevent soft spots and sagging. The insulator pad is usually made of a fiber wrap pad, which is made from compressed pieces of cloth. However, the best type of insulator pad is coir fiber, which is made from shredded coconut shells. Finally, there is the cushioning layer. The vast majority of mattresses have at least one layer of foam cushioning, but you will find some with two layers of cushioning.

Crib Mattress Features
Whether you opt for a foam or innerspring crib mattress, there are several key things you should look for in every type of crib mattress:

Crib Mattress Safety Tips

Sleep Positioners
Initially, newborns need a little extra help finding a comfortable and safe sleeping position. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is best for healthy, full-term babies to sleep on their back to help reduce the risk of SIDS. Sleep positioners are designed to position babies on their back, and prevent them from rolling over. Positioners consist of two parts - a base to support baby's back and neck, and side bumpers to prevent baby from rolling over.

A sleep positioner can help baby find a comfortable sleeping position - which means better sleep for baby, and better sleep for you! However, since all babies are different, be sure to check with your pediatrician when deciding which sleeping position is best for your infant. Once your baby is able to roll over independently, you should stop using a sleep positioner.

One thing's for sure - your newborn is going to need lots of rest. Your child will be using a crib to get that rest until about the age of three, so a good crib mattress is a worthy investment. Add a crib mattress and sleep positioner to your registry, and you and baby will both be able to rest better.

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