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Newton Baby: The Science Behind the Safety

 

Newton Baby was created out of the founders’ mission to offer the safest, healthiest, and best sleep products for babies. As veterans of the sleep industry (and concerned parents themselves), they had a keen understanding of the market and where current offerings came up short. Thus, the “revolution-airy” Newton Crib Mattress was born.


The main component of the Newton Crib Mattress is Wovenaire, a material comprised of food-grade polymer and 90% air by volume. Its unique, first-of-its-kind composition allows for the highest level of airflow for babies to breathe easily and sleep soundly, thus giving parents the peace of mind they need for the only periods during which their little ones aren’t under continual surveillance.


Although experts recommend that babies sleep on their backs, rollovers inevitably occur. Traditional crib mattresses can pose a suffocation risk, and thus Newton Baby sought to create a safer sleep environment in the event of these particular instances.


Study #1: Suffocation Risk


To ensure that the product fulfilled its purpose and reached the highest possible standards, Newton Baby submitted a sample crib mattress to a multinational, CPSC-accredited inspection/product testing laboratory for review in 2015 to gauge the risk of infant suffocation. They used a mannequin with the weight and respiratory capabilities of a six-month-old baby, and introduced three competing crib mattresses in addition to the Newton as benchmarks.


The Newton Crib Mattress showed the lowest risk of suffocation, which was half of that of two competitors, while the third showed an unusually high risk of suffocation. (Suffocation potential took into account the pressure for normal airway flow resistance and elastic recoil of the lungs and chest when the mannequin was face down and breathing through each of the mattress samples.) Additionally, the Newton measured significantly below the limit for a surface to be potentially fatal on account of airway obstruction (15 cm H2O), with an average measure across 30 tests at 2.12 cm H2O. (It is worth noting that the normal rate of unhindered breathing for a newborn is 2.0 cm H2O.)



During the final assessment stages, the Newton Crib Mattress was compared to being “just like breathing” by the technicians at the lab analyzing the data. The findings were then shared with a leading neonatologist (doctor specializing in infant care), who is also an expert in infant breathing disorders. The doctor concurred that the Newton Crib Mattress posed a considerably low risk of suffocation.


Study #2: Carbon Dioxide Rebreathing


Another study was conducted in the same year by the same inspection/product testing laboratory to measure carbon dioxide rebreathing rates. Carbon dioxide rebreathing increases respiratory effort, and the rebreathing of exhaled air is considered to be one possible cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, commonly known as SIDS.


The researchers used a mannequin with a simulated respiratory system akin to that of a one-month-old baby, comparing its carbon dioxide rebreathing patterns on the Newton sample paired with a muslin cotton sheet along with that of a conventional waterproof mattress with a muslin cotton sheet; a long-haired sheepskin blanket; and a bean bag (mimicking a sinkable surface with waterproof lining).


The research showed that the Newton Crib Mattress significantly had the lowest amount of carbon dioxide retention, thus proving to be a “very benign” surface for a resting newborn. The bean bag proved to be the biggest hazard for carbon dioxide rebreathing, followed by the sheepskin blanket and then the non-Newton waterproof mattress.


The findings were then shared with the same expert neonatologist from the previous study. After reviewing the research, the doctor confirmed that the Newton Crib Mattress did not pose a significant hazard in terms of breathability for infants, while also noting that it posed a significantly lower risk of carbon dioxide rebreathing than a conventional crib mattress.


Study #3: Suffocation Risk for the Newton Crib Mattress Pad


In 2017, Newton Baby introduced its crib mattress pad to the market, and in the same year submitted a sample to the same inspection/product testing laboratory involved in the previous two studies. This time, a mannequin with a mechanical lung system akin to that of a one-year-old was used to gauge the risk of suffocation on the mattress pad, which was fitted over a Newton Crib Mattress sample.


The researchers conducted five trials with the mannequin face down, breathing through the mattress pad. Similar to the first study with the Newton Crib Mattress, the Newton Crib Mattress Pad showed a very low risk of suffocation. The Newton measured significantly below the limit for a surface to be potentially fatal on account of airway obstruction (15 cm H2O), measuring at 2.46 cm H2O, 2.05 cm H2O, 1.92 cm H2O, 2.42 cm H2O, and 1.87 cm H2O across the five trials.

Join the Mission: Keeping Babies Safe

This medallion appears on all of Newton Baby's products, certifying that Keeping Babies Safe recognizes and supports our brand's tested, proven, and—most importantly—safe sleep solutions for babies.

Newton Baby is a proud Charitable Sponsor of Keeping Babies Safe, a nonprofit organization whose prime mission is to advocate for safer children’s products and practices, thus leaving babies out of harm’s way from preventable circumstances.


Newton Baby’s contribution to KBS, in addition to those of other Charitable Sponsors, have allowed the organization to produce an educational video played on The Newborn Channel in thousands of medical facilities nationwide. Additionally, funds raised have allowed KBS to distribute useful guides to new parents upon discharge from the hospital.


Keeping Babies Safe was born out of tragedy by Co-Founder and President Joyce Davis, who lost her four-month old son, Garret, in 2000 due to complications spurred by a supplemental crib mattress that was marketed as safe. Through KBS, Joyce is determined to prevent this unspeakable heartbreak for other families by educating parents and the general public about safety standards for cribs, baby products, and sleep practices. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 3,500 annual sleep-related deaths of babies per year in the United States alone. KBS is committed to significantly reducing that number with its numerous initiatives.


KBS is active on several fronts, including but not limited to the governmental level, where they helped facilitate the passage of federal crib safety regulations. Furthermore, the organization works with manufacturers, retailers, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission with the end goal of banning supplemental mattresses entirely from the market. On the charitable level, KBS donates safe, federally compliant cribs to families in need, believing that no family should have to compromise safety on account of financial hardship.


Keeping Babies Safe is a free, trusted resource for parents seeking reliable crib safety and product recall information, best practices for baby safety, and more. To join the mission, read more about Keeping Babies Safe or consider donating to the cause.

Newton Baby's Director of Customer Experience, Krystal, and Co-Founder, Chris, participating in a 5K benefiting Keeping Babies Safe.

The Big Idea: The Happiest Baby on the Block

Once upon a time, your bedside table was stacked with Pulitzer prize-winning novels and new issues of The New Yorker. But between round-the-clock feedings and weeks of choppy sleep, you may find yourself struggling to make it through the dizzying array of books about optimizing babies’ shut-eye. Our Big Idea series is here to help by summarizing the essential ideas you’ll find in popular sleep books.

 

Background:

Harvey Karp, a Los Angeles-based pediatrician to the stars, published The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer in 2002. His (relatively) simple five-step method continues to be hugely popular, and though your mother-in-law will likely think it’s a little kooky, you’ll be hard pressed to find a parent of an infant today who hasn’t given it a shot.

Philosophy:

Karp’s method hinges on his theory that human babies are born too early and the first three months are essentially a “fourth trimester.” Thus, while you may think babies want calm and quiet, what they actually find most comforting is a reproduction of the conditions in the womb—where it’s loud, jiggly, and confining.

Takeaway tips:

The meat of Karp’s book is his “Five S’s System,” which advises parents to soothe babies by swaddling tightly, making a loud “shush” noise in their ears, rocking them in a swinging motion, holding them in a side or stomach-down position (only while awake), and satisfying their sucking reflex with a pacifier. And, yes, he advises doing all of that at the same time.

Pros/cons:

Some parents find that it really works like magic, while others see that their babies simply don’t respond to it.

How to get more info:

You can borrow the book from another new mom, but we recommend downloading the video, since you really need a visual demonstration: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/the-happiest-baby-on-the-block/id537048114.

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