The Low Down on Mattress Off-Gassing, Organic Mattresses and Wrapping

By Misty on in Baby Sleep Help Safety and Comfort SIDS Research with No Comments

The Low Down on Mattress Off-Gassing, Organic Mattresses and Wrapping
Share Button

Did you know that most crib mattresses available today are filled with chemical fire retardants, toxic foams, synthetic fabrics and other materials that could possibly lead to harmful results to your baby? Not only have these chemicals and toxic materials been linked to allergies and skin irritations but it is also believed that the “off-gassing” from these materials may be the cause of SIDS.

What is Off-Gassing?

All mattresses, even ones for adults, contain chemicals that the US Government requires to be included in all mattresses to make it flame retardant. This was put in place originally so that when someone was smoking in bed and they dropped their cigarette, they wouldn’t burst into flames. Why they would need to put it in a crib mattress is beyond me.

When the mattress is used by a person, or in this case a baby, who may sweat, spit up, shed skin cells or get a leaky diaper, the chemicals in the mattress begin to off-gas and combine with these normal everyday fungi to create a toxic nerve gas that sits on a thin layer above the mattress. As a baby sleeps on the mattress and these toxic gases, it is breathed in or absorbed by the skin slowly killing the enzyme required for breathing. Since this is a slow process, the baby simply stops breathing and in some cases dies without any crying or struggling.

What Can I Do to Protect My Baby from Off-Gassing?

The very best thing you can do to protect your baby from this possibility is to ensure that your baby is not sleeping in these toxic gases. I’ve got two options to tell you about as proactive measures you can take to protect your baby from off-gassing and potentially from SIDS.

Option 1: Purchase an Organic Crib Mattress

When my daughter was born in 2012 I researched night and day for the right crib mattress for her. After reading hundreds of reviews and articles about certain mattresses I found the only truly safe crib mattresses are the ones made from Naturepedic. Their mattresses are designed to be free of harmful chemicals and allergens and are GREENGUARD certified. GREENGUARD certified means you can feel better knowing that their products have met stringent chemical emission standards.

Aside from the organic aspect of it, the one we purchased is a waterproof mattress and cleans easily with just a damp cloth. The waterproofing is done using a food grade polyethylene that will keep moisture out of the mattress should anything happen. The less material I have to put in my baby’s crib, the better. However, if you want to add in a mattress pad, they do sell organic mattress pads as well.

The only negative side to going with an organic mattress is the price. The one we purchased was almost $300, but they can go upwards of $400 or more. it was definitely a choice my husband and I didn’t make lightly and we made sacrifices to get it, but we feel very secure in our decision and our daughter loves sleeping on it.

Option 2: Mattress Wrapping

Over the past 19 years, there has been on ongoing study happening in New Zealand among parents who wrap their crib mattresses appropriately. During this study, not a single case of SIDS has been reported. Did you hear that? Not a SINGLE case. I’m not a doctor but even I can understand statistics like this.

As I mentioned previously, my family opted to go with an organic mattress so I can’t give you first-hand experience, however, I did consult with another mother who did go with a mattress wrap and while she feels better knowing she is protecting her baby at an affordable price (about $40 spent), she did mention one drawback to her wrap…the noise. Apparently because of the material it is made with, as her baby got a little older and added on more weight, she would wake up from the noise the plastic made under her. This could probably be reduced with a fabric mattress cover on top of it, but it is one more reason I spent the money up front and went ahead with the organic mattress.

Final Thoughts

From the research available about off-gassing in crib mattresses, nothing has been proven concrete. Nobody has been able to say with 100% certainty that organic mattresses or mattress wrapping will definitely protect your child from SIDS…mainly because it hasn’t been shown that the toxic gases are a proven way of causing SIDS. It’s a theory that is still being tested. However, as a parent, if there is ever even a possibility that something could harm my child, you can be sure I will take every possible step to prevent it.

Share Button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *