This post is brought to you by Naturalmat.
If you are expecting a new tiny family member, one thing you'll need to think about is where your little one will sleep. Many babies start off in bassinets or in their parents' beds. Some start in their cribs from the day they arrive home from the hospital. Regardless of which sleep arrangement you choose to start with, kids at some point are going to end up in their own bed. Once you start thinking about where your kids will end up more long term, you'll need to ask yourself this question:
What about toxins?
This is admittedly NOT the first thing that comes to most people's minds when thinking about beds but, really, it's essential. Common chemicals found in conventional baby mattresses include PDBEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers - so toxic they are no longer permitted to be used in Europe), boric acid (commonly used as roach killer) and PVC. Toxic nerve gasses including phosphine, arsine, and stibine can also be created as environmental fungus feeds on chemicals used to treat the mattress to make it flame retardant.
I don't know about you, but I don't want that stuff anywhere near my baby!
Instead, high quality organic mattresses use natural materials like wool, cotton and essential oils to repel pests and give the mattresses flame retardant properties - without the use of highly toxic chemicals!
Reducing risk of SIDS
Another reason to consider an organic mattress is a reduced risk of SIDS. Current research into causes of SIDS suggest that chemicals off-gassing from mattresses are inhaled by babies whose faces are low and close to the surface of the mattresses. Inhaling these chemicals starts to shut down the nervous system, heart function and breathing
Based on this theory, part of why the "back to sleep" campaign - which encourages parents to put children to sleep on their backs instead of their tummies works to reduce SIDS rates is because it gets their faces up off the mattresses and further from these gasses.
Read more about this study linking chemicals in conventional mattresses to SIDS here.
What makes Naturalmat different?
Naturalmat mattresses are made from certified organic lambswool, coconut fiber and natural latex foam. It has great hypoallergenic benefits because lavender, lemon and eucalyptus essential oils protect it from dust mites. The latex is also completely natural - tapped straight from the rubber tree and it forms a springy core for support. Latex is also inherently hypoallergenic so it will keep dust mites at bay without nasty chemical applications to repel them. Because they use naturally flame retardant materials, they still meet all US and UK fire regulations without any added chemicals.
In short, the mattresses use high quality natural materials which naturally repel pests and keep the mattress flame retardant without any of the icky chemicals found in conventional mattresses.
To find out more about how Naturalmat mattresses are made, you can watch this short (less than 2 minutes!) video about their construction process:
But is it comfortable?
I don't know if you've been up close and personal with very many conventional crib/toddler mattresses but these things do NOT look comfortable. Most of them are hard, slab-like pieces of PVC based vinyl stretched over an awkward interlocked spring frame. My first son, K, slept on one of these and once we moved him to a toddler bed instead of a crib, he frequently chose to sleep on the floor instead - and I can't really blame him!
In preparation for creative green baby #2 (now that he has a name, we can call him A!) we got a latex-core Naturalmat mattress (the top mattress in the photo above). This mattress is SO different from the one K used. It's firm enough to provide proper support for a baby but it also has spring and is comfortable enough to grow with your baby. K helped me test it and even though he's 4 and on a decent quality twin bed, he told me that A's bed was more comfortable so he wanted to start sleeping in A's crib until the baby arrived.
Where to get it:
You can buy Naturalmat mattresses online from the Naturalmat website. You can find natural mattresses starting at $399, as well as the top mat - which is a great half step to creating an organic sleeping surface if a brand new mattress isn't in your budget. They also sell organic cotton bedding and mattress protectors.
Naturalmat is generously giving away a Coco Mat - a $399 value OR a $399 credit toward any of their mattresses (this would be a great opportunity to get an upgraded organic mattress for the same price as a brand new conventional one!). Enter below!
(readers reading this in an email or blog feed reader will need to click over to this post on creativegreenliving.com in order to see the rafflecopter widget above)
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Sponsored post disclosure: This post is sponsored by Naturalmat. All views on organic vs. conventional mattresses are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Naturalmat. Giveaway prize generously provided by Naturalmat. I only ever endorse companies whose products I like and think you will, too. See my full review and sponsored post policy for more information.