01 August 2017

How to Make the Crib Mattress Softer

When it comes to babies and toddlers, every parent wants to be sure they provide their child with a comfortable yet safe place to sleep. With SIDS being an issue, the American Pediatric Society strongly urges against using loose or too soft bedding. And for years, swaddling was recommended for newborns but even that has come under fire.

With all these conflicting bits and pieces of baby and toddler sleep advice, it can be very daunting for parents when trying to find a safe balance. Additionally, many new moms opt to co-sleep while they breastfeed and once they finish weaning, wonder how they can make sleeping in a crib feel comfortable to their child.

Experts have said that the harder the mattress, the better it is for your child. However, that being said, leaving your child to sleep on a hard surface for too long can cause pains that will rouse your child (and you) out of a deep sleep. Here we look at some effective ways you can make your crib mattress feel softer for your child and give them a long, deep, and safe sleep every night.

Change the mattress

It might just be that your mattress you’ve selected for the crib is to blame. While it’s no picnic having to spend more money, your child’s comfort and safety are of utmost importance. Foam crib mattresses are becoming a more popular choice these days. They are generally more lightweight which is good news for when you’re changing the sheets. Plus, they are made free of chemicals and phthalates so they’re safer. And the best part is that the foam gently adapts to your baby or toddler’s body, providing support yet plenty of cushioning to keep them comfortable while they sleep.

Flip the mattress

So maybe you can’t just run out and buy a new mattress. Most new parents don’t have this option, and if the crib and mattress were a generous gift, it might be something that you’ll be forced to rely on until your child is big enough for a big kid bed. But take heart because many times, depending on the brand of crib mattress, you might just be using the wrong side of it. Try flipping it over instead and seeing if that side lends more softness while still offering support.

Go undercover

Aside from getting a memory foam crib mattress for your child, the only other way to a softer crib mattress is to add something under the crib sheet to lock it in place. We would never recommend adding blankets on top of your child’s mattress for fear that they could become wrapped around your baby’s face while sleeping and smothering them. And while firmer mattresses are encouraged in the earlier months, many parents want a solution that is safe that they can use with toddlers who often have the capacity to tell us they don’t like their bed because it’s hard.

So your last option to make a softer crib mattress is to use something under your fitted crib sheet. Here are some ideas of what you can safely use though please keep in mind that these items should fit snugly under the fitted sheet to prevent them from becoming a danger to your child.

Egg crate

A very cheap solution to making a softer crib mattress is to use an egg crate. However, since they don’t make them in crib size, you’ll have to be crafty with a twin size one. You can try folding it in half so that it remains intact for use when your child moves to a bigger bed, or you can cut it to fit. Whatever you do though, use a mattress pad on top so that should your child have a leaky diaper, you don’t ruin the egg crate.

Extra comforter

If you don’t already have a small size comforter ideal for a toddler bed, go out and get one. Then layer it onto the mattress, followed by your mattress pad, and then the fitted crib sheet to hold it all in place. You can use multiple comforters to get the softness you desire, though don’t use too many or you’ll never get that top sheet to stay put and keep the layers safe.

Memory foam topper

You can also find a topper for your crib mattress that is made from memory foam. Simply put it right on top of the mattress, add your mattress pad, and then the fitted sheet. It will be a lot more affordable than running out to buy a new crib mattress.

Feather bed

A small feather bed would be another way to soften up the crib mattress. Though some people may advise against this due to allergens, it’s still a viable option for many families to use in order to get the crib mattress softer.

So what’s best? The right solution for making your crib mattress softer is one that fits into your budget and that you can still accomplish while being safe for your child. You may also find that you’ll have to try several things before your child seems happy. So if budget is a big problem for you, start by using extra comforters under the fitted sheet and see if that helps alleviate the discomfort. Generally, if you add something softer under that fitted sheet, you’ll be adding softness to your crib mattress that will still be very safe for sleeping. 

Disclosure: This is a contributed post.

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