Q&A: crib mattresses

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it!

Speaking of a sleeping baby, Kristen writes:

"What are your thoughts about the flame retardants in crib mattresses?  Should we be concerned about the chemicals in our mattress and our baby's mattress?  I was looking into getting a rubber mattress but I can't get any solid non-bias information."

I can't imagine that those flame retardants can be good for anyone, least of all babies*. If you can afford it, I'd definitely look into an all-natural (rubber or organic cotton) mattress for your child's bed.

However, the price difference is enormous between a regular mattress and an all-natural one. I'm about to switch my younger son from his crib into a twin-sized bed, and the gap between What I Can Afford For a Mattress and the price of an organic cotton mattress is truly insurmountable. (Unless there's some organic cotton mattress company who'd like to send me a twin-sized one to review for this site.)

I'm going to try to mitigate some of the effects of the toxic traditional mattress by putting down a wool blanket under the mattress pad (yes, they make wool mattress pads, but those are expensive, and my mother has wool blankets aplenty to give me), which will also provide some waterproofing as we head into nighttime potty training. (Of course this is no help for kids who are allergic to wool.) I'm also going to hope that the pillow acts as a buffer between any fumes and his nose.

Anyone else have anything on crib mattresses?

* Hey, if your baby doesn't sleep all that well, at least that's one good thing about it--they're not breathing in all the crib mattress fumes as much as the better-sleeping babies are. Come on, you knew you could get some snark here on Christmas Day.