Need to buy a mattress for your precious bundle? We’ve teamed up with the folks at The Sleep Advisor to help you choose the safest option for your baby.

Nothing can ever prepare you for parenthood.

And it’s not just the need to watch the little one like a hawk, the constant feeding and all cleaning that takes up your time and energy. It’s learning about all the other things that you didn’t even know you needed to worry about that takes up the hours – and eats into your bank balance.

One thing I am 100% sure you never thought about before becoming a parent is baby mattresses. I mean why would you?

But now you have baby of your own, let me tell you choosing the safest mattress for your child is a decision not to be taken lightly. No matter how boring mattresses shopping may seem.

it’s worth putting the time and effort, and money, into choosing the right sleeping surface for your little angel. If you don’t the consequences can be dire.

Don’t worry, this guide is here to help you.

Why does it matter?

Babies sleep a lot. Like a hell of a lot. It might not feel like it with all the feeding and crying they do but believe me babies are sleep machines. Young infants sleep up to 18 hours a day – every day!

So considering this it stands to reason they will be spending a lot of time in their cot – and therefore a lot of time lying on their mattress. As this is where they will spend the majority of their early days it’s essential the mattress is safe.

Make sure it fits

Ensuring that the baby mattress you choose fits your infant’s cot snuggly is vitally important. Without a firm edge, your little one can get trapped between the mattress and the cot walls, a situation that can easily lead to injury or worse.

So when you’re making your purchase, check the fit and then check it again. As a rule of thumb, if you can squeeze more than two fingers between the side of the cot and the mattress, then the mattress is too small and you need to keep looking.

Make sure it has a good covering

Whichever mattress you go for is up to you but make sure it’s good quality. Cheap innerspring and foam mattresses often come with thin coverings and poor quality edgings that tear, crack and basically just get a bit battered over timed.

If you’re worried about the covering of your child’s mattress, then why not invest in a protective cover for the mattress. The guys at the SleepAdvisor.org known a thing or two about these and have a handy buyer’s guide prepared for you.

Make sure it’s firm

Spend a little more at the start and you should be able to pick up a mattress with a reinforced puncture-proof laminate covering. Similarly a little bit more money will get you an innerspring with better springs, or a foam mattress with better quality, denser foam.

Better materials will ensure that your baby’s sleeping surface stays firm and doesn’t sag in the middle. Ensuring a flat firm surface is important as it’s known to reduce the risk of your child suffering from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which when a baby 12 months or younger dies during sleep with no warning signs or a clear reason.

Buy new

It can be so so tempting to recycle an old baby mattress, especially one that has only recently been vacated. Chances are it will be fine and you will have saved a pile of money – but it’s worth knowing the risks before making such a decision.

Some research indicates a possible link between used cot mattresses and SIDS. One study conducted by the British Medical Journal indicated a potential link between SIDS and used baby mattresses. The researchers in particular warned against accepting a used mattress obtained from someone else’s home.

And remember babies make a lot of mess. I don’t need to tell you that do I?

Even if a second-hand mattress looks brand spanking new, it’s still firm, it doesn’t sag – just think of all the nappy leaks, spilled milk and baby sick that has soaked into it. Now this can obviously be cleaned but why not give yourself the peace of mind and just buy new.

Final Thoughts

Babies love sleep and they generally don’t care what they do it. Your little one isn’t going to mind to much if their mattress is brand spanking new or second-hand. If it’s firm or soft. If it fits the cot properly or not. But you really really should.

The risk of something happening to your baby while they are asleep in their cot is very small but why take the chance when it’s with something as important as your child’s health.