While experts are advising parents to share a room and not a bed with their baby, many still opt for the co-sleeping route. According to an article published by SmartParenting.com.ph, parents are advised not to co-sleep with infants “at least until your baby knows how to roll over due to the risk of death due to suffocation, strangulation, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).”
If it’s unavoidable to share a bed with your little one, there are dos and don’ts you need to keep in mind to ensure his safety. Don't leave him alone on the bed, and don't allow other siblings to sleep on the same bed, for starters. And make sure to choose the right mattress as well.
Homeowners usually look at the firmness, warranty, quality, and price point when shopping for one. If you plan to co-sleep with your baby, it’s not enough that you choose what’s comfortable for you.
“Ask about the connections and coils. You’ll probably see the names Bonnell and Pocket spring a lot. Bonnell coils are most typical while Pocket springs are favorable because the springs are not wired together, leading to motion separation. When your partner moves on their side of the bed, your side won’t move much,” says interior designer Vera Villarosa-Orila.
Buying a mattress involves a long checklist, more so if you have an infant’s needs and safety to consider. Vera, who co-sleeps with his son, Bravo, notes the importance of a mattress’ material and springs. “For parents who co-sleep like me, consider the firmness of your mattress, whether it’s an existing mattress that you plan on having cleaned or a new one that you’re eyeing. You might want to get a pocket spring, too, just so you’re sure you won’t wake the baby up when you need to get up in the middle of the night,” she shares.
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Here are things to remember when shopping for a co-sleeping mattress
Choose a mattress made of easy-to-clean and non-toxic materials. You need to make sure the mattress fits the bed frame just right to ensure the safety of your baby when he’s bigger and more mobile.
Pick a firm mattress
In an article by Smart Parenting on safe sleep practices, Rachel Y. Moon, M.D., F.A.A.P, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' task force on SIDS, says, “Soft bedding is actually really a problem because it’s so soft they sink into it.”
Many recommend using a firm mattress with tight-fitting sheets. ABCKids Inc. affirms this by stating that “infants must sleep on a firm surface so they do not suffer from any airway obstruction or suffocation throughout the night.”
Worried that you might not be comfortable? Think about the benefits you’ll reap! It can help you get better sleep while easing back and neck pains.
“It should be breathable and made of non-toxic materials. For example, avoid plastic or leatherette coverings,” says Vera.
We may not be aware of it, but many mattresses (even the pricey ones) contain harmful substances. “Some adults even have problems with these materials and don’t ever realize it! Antimony, arsenic, and other very toxic chemicals and substances are frequently found in adult mattresses,” adds ABCKids Inc.
If you’re scouting for a new one, don’t hesitate to ask about the materials used in the mattress.
The mattress should be easy to clean
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Vera suggests getting a breathable mattress protector to help keep the mattress clean. “Your future self will thank you for it. Sometimes it won’t be able to hold in all the messy poop and pee, but it will at least help filter the dirt that seeps into the mattress itself which makes for less areas to clean,” she explains.
After meticulously searching for the perfect mattress for you and your baby, don’t forget to take into consideration the bed frame as well. Vera says that you need to consider the height of your bed frame and the thickness of the mattress you’re getting for ease of use.
“If you’ll consider the baby in choosing a bed frame, keep in mind to choose a frame with rounded corners and less edges. In terms of upholstery, choose one with no button tufting or anything the baby can pull. Stay away from hard materials like metals and those with slatted designs. We don’t want those tiny hands and feet getting stuck in the wrong places,” the designer shares.