Are you petrified something will happen to your baby at night? My recommendation to expecting parents
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As a pediatrician, I get a lot of questions from parents, especially new parents, with a newborn baby. Along with the questions about feeding and bathing, most want to know what they can do to reduce their baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.
Here’s a fact that makes most expecting parents feel helpless: more babies die in their cribs than anywhere else. While most SIDS-prevention advice focuses on what goes ON the bed (no soft toys, pillows or blankets, etc.), few remember to consider the mattress itself. The good news is that the right crib mattress can reduce many of the risk factors believed to cause crib death.
Even though babies spend 75 percent of their first year on their crib mattress, most expecting parents spend more time researching their stroller or diaper bag than their crib mattress. As a doctor who has counseled patients who have lost a baby, this is really disturbing.
These are the three conditions every new parent needs to monitor:
- Suffocation — At some point, most babies roll over on to their stomach. For babies at risk for SIDS, this could lead to suffocation. That’s why it’s so important to have a crib mattress that a baby can breathe though. Many leading mattresses have a plastic lining which increases the risk of suffocation.
- Overheating— The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you keep the nursery between 65 and 72 degrees. Even parents who comply with the AAP guidelines find their baby often wakes up sweating. In many cases, the mattress is the culprit. Mattresses that aren’t breathable trap body heat and moisture leading to overheating, humidity, and discomfort. For babies at risk for SIDS, these can have serious implications.
- Infection caused by bacteria — Fungi and bacteria build-up in a crib is inevitable. If you can’t wash your mattress, you can’t do anything about it. Wiping off the mattress cover may not be enough.
So what do I advise for expecting parents? Do your research.
There are a number of very good crib mattresses. But from a medical perspective, the Newton Wovenaire Crib Mattress stands out. With a core made from 90 percent air and 10 percent food grade polymer, the Newton Wovenaire is completely breathable.
I got a sample of the mattress, buried my face into it, and was amazed that I could actually breathe right through it. An independent scientific study has shown the Wovenaire has a significantly lower suffocation risk compared to other mattresses. You can also wash the entire mattress (including the core), which makes it more hygienic.
Whichever mattress you select, choose your crib mattress with care. It could one of your most important parenting decisions.
About Dr. Jim Sears, Board Certified Pediatrician
Dr. Jim Sears is a board-certified pediatrician and co-host on The Doctors, a nationally syndicated TV show. Featured on Parenting.com’s “Ask the Experts” and the PBS parenting series, “Help Me Grow,” Dr. Sears has written for Parenting and BabyTalk magazines and is co-author of The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood, Father’s First Steps – Twenty-Five Things Every New Father Should Know, The Premature Baby Book, The Baby Sleep Book, and the best selling The Baby Book.
Keep your baby safe with the only 100% breathable, washable, and recyclable mattress. Containing no foam, latex, springs, glue, or allergens, the Wovenaire™ core lets your baby breathe right through the mattress. An independent study found the suffocation risk on the Newton Crib Mattress is significantly lower than other leading brands.