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With a new baby comes a million choices you have to make. One of the most important decisions new parents will make is what their baby will sleep on. Check out this quick guide for choosing the best baby crib mattress.

Babies will spend anywhere from 14-17 hours a day sleeping. I am a firm believer in the motto “back is best“, so it was really important for me to choose the best baby crib mattress for my daughter. I had to do a little research on the different types of mattresses and have put together a quick guide for you here.

infant laying on the best baby crib mattress

Size & Types

Size doesn’t matter (well, not in choosing a crib mattress, anyway)! Almost all crib mattresses are a standard size (51 5/8″ to 27 1/4″). There are three basic kinds of mattresses: foam, innerspring, and organic. The foam mattresses contain a polyurethane inside, and the innerspring contains small coils. Organic mattresses (a new lot) is made from eco-friendly materials. All three types are just fine for babies but may differ in cost.

Foam

In choosing a foam mattress, you want to make sure that the foam is dense enough inside to provide firm support for your little one. In general, a heavier mattress will support the baby better. Some experts advocate a “squeeze” test right in the store. Squeeze the mattress from both sides with the palm of your hands. Thick foam bounces back more slowly.

Innerspring

An innerspring mattress is one with steel coils. Basically, a 150-300 coil mattress is comfortable and firm. A general rule of thumb is the more coils, the better. It is essential, however, that the cover that separates baby from the coils is solid and thick (baby should be supported by the coils, not feel them)!

Related: Simple Start to Baby Led Weaning

Organic

Though a new addition to the world of baby mattresses, an organic mattress is made of pure cotton and organic wool. In a world of nonbiodegradable items, this is much more earth-friendly when it is time for disposal. Naturally (pun intended), these mattresses cost more.

The top of the baby’s mattress should be a vinyl-like, easy to clean surface. Some manufacturers are now producing mattresses with antimicrobial materials. When the baby becomes older and needs a bit softer sleeping area, mattress pads and toppers may be purchased. Some parents also buy mattress encasings that zip around the mattress, supposedly protecting baby from bacteria and dust mite allergens.

Once you have chosen the best baby crib mattress for you and your family, you can begin to decorate and plan for your baby’s safe and peaceful slumber.