By the time you bring home your new baby, you've hopefully gotten the message that you should always, without exception, place your newborn on his back to sleep. Though no expert knows with 100% confidence that back-sleeping will prevent the tragedy of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), one thing they do know with confidence is that back sleeping clearly seems to be highly preventive. According to stats from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), deaths from SIDS declined to fewer than 40 per 100,000 births in 2015, from just over 130 per 10,000 births in 1990. The Back to Sleep campaign, now known as Safe to Sleep, launched in 1994.
Other measures to keep baby safe while sleeping have since been added to the list of should-do's, from keeping the crib or other sleeping space clear of blankets, bumpers, stuffed animals and such, to regulating the room temperature and using a fan to keep air moving, to banning all smoking from the household.
Feeling all safe and smart? Okay, great. Now…what happens when your baby, at the still-tender age of 4 or so months, achieves the feat of rolling over while sleeping? Although, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the vast majority of SIDS deaths happen before 4 months of age, you still don’t want to take chances, which is why you still practice safer sleeping principles. After all, it’s not as though you’re going to suddenly pile Grandma’s antique afghan and a menagerie of stuffed animals in the crib just because your baby can theoretically roll away from them!
A Mattress for Peace of Mind
At this point, you might want to consider a new, breathable mattress (if you hadn't thought of it earlier). No, it’s not that the mattress can “breathe,” but that your child, if she ends up face down, can breathe through it. The latest, high-tech comfy mattresses like the Newton Crib Mattress are made of food-grade polymer fill that allows air to circulate through it, which does a few things:
- It creates a cleaner, greener sleep surface for your baby, as it’s nontoxic and free of allergens.
- It’s not trapped or encased in latex or plastic. Instead, two layers of super soft, removable, quilted fabric wrap the inner, patented Wovenaire core.
- It keeps the sleep environment naturally cooler, thanks to the breathability of the mattress’ fill. Experts say a steady cool (but not cold) temperature is best for your baby.
- It makes your life easier, as it’s completely washable. You can remove and launder the cover in the washing machine or even (and you know those times are coming!) rinse it in the tub or shower. Plus, it dries fast.
- It’s recyclable. When you no longer need it, there’s no need to leave this mattress at the curb. Without any latex or foam, all materials are 100% recyclable. With that said, you’ll want to keep it. Toddler bed, anyone?