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 Buying the Perfect Mattress

You just spent months deliberating and hours selecting the perfect crib and bedding for the nursery. Now it’s time to buy the mattress. You’re thinking, what’s the big deal. A mattress is a mattress, it’s that thing nestled at the bottom of the crib. The cheaper the better. Right? WRONG!

The mattress is actually your most important purchase for the nursery. Your new baby will be spending lots of time snoozing (you hope), up to 18 hours initially, therefore, a good mattress is essential.
  A quality mattress can promote good development and prevent infant suffocation. Convinced but unsure how to choose… read the following for the lowdown on crib mattresses.  
The one thing you’re really looking for is firmness. You’re thinking why firm… soft is so soft (obviously)… and comfy. You might be right when you’re looking for an adult mattress. However, babies need good support for their development and more importantly they cannot lift their heads so a too soft mattress can cause suffocation. A good rule of thumb… if it feels good to you, its too soft for baby. Your baby doesn’t know better and firmer is definitely safer.
So which is better, foam or innerspring?
  None, really! Foam and innerspring are two ways to manufacture a mattress and one isn’t necessarily better than the other. It’s the quality of the mattress that counts. This is one time where you really can’t judge a book by its cover. Quality is determined by the inside or makeup of the mattress and you’ll need to analyze the details to determine if the mattress you’re considering takes the cake. By the way, the cost of a good quality foam and a good quality innerspring are comparable. Want to know what to look for? Let’s get started!
Foam Mattresses
Choosing a foam mattress is easy. The denser or heavier the foam, the better the mattress. Therefore, a better quality foam mattress will weigh more than its inferior counterparts. One good thing about foam mattresses… a good foam mattress only weighs about 8 or 9 pounds compared to the 15-20 pounds of an innerspring mattress. This can make a big difference when you’re changing a sheet at 3:00am. In a nutshell… you’re looking for high density foam when buying a foam mattress (1.5 lb density is a good bet).
Innerspring Mattresses
  Contrary to what you may think, it’s not only the number of coils that determines the firmness of a good innerspring mattress. Rather it’s the amount of steel. Think about it. You have two mattresses and each feature 150 steel coils and one is double the price of the other. You’re wondering why? What makes one mattress better than the other?  
If you’ll read the details you’ll see that one mattress has 150-9 gauge coils while the other has 150-13.5 gauge coils. Gauge determines the thickness of the coils and the lower the number the thicker the coil. Therefore we need to determine that the first mattress is stronger than the second. Another thing to consider, some mattresses have a special border rod which adds to the total steel count and adds extra support by preventing the mattress from sagging. Looking for the best innerspring mattress? Buy a mattress with the thickest and the most number of coils.
Are their any benefits to memory foam?
Memory foam is resilient. Meaning, it molds to your body providing relief at all the pressure points. It’s springier and softer and provides optimum comfort. In case you’re wondering… we just discussed that a crib mattress should be firm… You’re right! Memory foam mattresses should only be used once your baby has passed his first birthday. Many high quality mattresses come dual sided. They’re extra firm on one side and softer on the other, thereby providing optimum safety and comfort as long as your precious one sleeps in his crib or toddler bed. Memory foam is a good thing, but definitely not a must.
When determining mattress safety, there is one more thing to consider. (Only one more, I promise.) The mattress must fit. If you can squeeze more than two fingers between the mattress and the wall of the crib, then the mattress is too small.
The Mattress Cover
  Some are vinyl, some are nylon, some are organic, and some more are anti-bacterial treated. This is really a matter of preference. The old fashioned, waterproof vinyl is still the most popular and does a good job. However, if special features appeal to you then go right ahead. One important thing to note, anti-bacterial and organic is a good idea if there is a history of allergies in your family. These features tend to diminish the prevalence of dust mites.  
Do I need a mattress protector?
  Oh, yes! Most crib mattress manufacturers will tell you their mattress cover is waterproof. This claim holds up until you have a 2:00 am accident. If you have a mattress protector then all you gotta do is strip and you have a fresh new mattress. Otherwise you’ll be wiping and disinfecting… all the while bleary-eyed from lack of sleep. And let’s not forget those icky yellow stains which you get when your so called waterproof mattress absorbs that mid-night accident.
And in case all this is not enough to convince you, mattress protectors can be frequently washed to kill any bacteria growth.
  We just about covered it all. And just in case all this mattress talk has made you tired or all this info is just too much for your “Mommy-brain” to digest, then I say… Go to bed. You deserve the rest!  
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