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Crib Mattresses and SIDS

SIDS and Crib Mattresses

Crib Mattresses and SIDS; cases continue to be reported of infants placed supine (on back) and found prone (on tummy) on firm crib mattresses with evidence of suffocation/positional asphyxiation (rebreathing) and others becoming entangled and suffocating in sheets. 

In fact, here are over 3,500 sleep-related deaths among U.S. babies each year, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation, and deaths from unknown causes according the CDC.

 Crib Mattresses and SIDS – The Science


“The first few times babies who usually sleep on their backs or sides shift to the prone (lying face down) position, they have a 19-fold increased risk of sudden death,” says senior author Bradley T. Thach, M.D., a Washington University pediatrician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “We wondered if these babies, finding themselves face down, fail to turn their heads to breathe easier. If so, is that because their reflexes haven’t developed far enough or because they just don’t wake up?” The findings also indicate that good head-lifting ability while lying prone may not be sufficient to protect a baby from SIDS. “Many parents think that if a baby can lift its head, he or she is okay to sleep prone, but that is a false assurance,” Thach says (Paluszynska 2004) 

Thach and his colleagues studied 38 healthy infants aged 3 to 37 weeks. Half of the babies usually slept prone or had a history of turning prone during sleep. The other babies had never slept prone. The study is reported in the December 2004 issue of the journal Pediatrics.

The researchers constructed a moderately asphyxiating surface, a comforter placed over a foam rubber mattress with a two-inch deep circular depression that would lie directly beneath the baby’s face. When babies sleep face down on the surface, they “rebreath” air they have exhaled, and this air can have high amounts of carbon dioxide. A catheter taped beneath the babies’ noses allowed monitoring of carbon dioxide levels.

After four to five minutes of sleeping face down on this surface all 38 babies awoke and attempted to get fresher air. The babies with experience sleeping prone generally lifted and turned their heads to either side when they sensed the air was stale, thereby increasing their supply of oxygen-rich air. In contrast, the inexperienced infants generally nuzzled the bedding or briefly lifted their heads and then resumed sleeping face down. Overall, babies inexperienced with sleeping prone spent more time fully face down than their more experienced counterparts.

Nuzzling produced only a transient lowering of carbon dioxide levels at the nose, while complete head turns produced larger, sustained decreases in carbon dioxide. Head lifts also reduced carbon dioxide levels, but the decreases lasted only as long as the baby’s head was raised.

The researchers suggest that babies learn through experience which head movements decrease the discomfort associated with breathing high carbon dioxide levels. Therefore, babies with experience sleeping prone are better able to avoid conditions that may trigger SIDS. The research results support the hypothesis, advanced by others, that SIDS may result from insufficiently learned airway protective responses.

The findings also indicate that good head-lifting ability while lying prone may not be sufficient to protect a baby from SIDS. “Many parents think that if a baby can lift its head, he or she is okay to sleep prone, but that is a false assurance,” Thach says. “Parents and other caregivers should never place an infant in the prone position until he or she shows the ability to spontaneously turn all the way over. Back-sleeping should continue to be strongly encouraged to protect against SIDS.”

Crib Mattress and SIDS – The Prone Position

Research on infants who are novice at prone sleep has demonstrated they are less likely to respond effectively to CO2 accumulation making them especially vulnerable (Paluszynska 2004). Researchers out of New Zealand have shown that over one quarter of the infants who died of SIDS in the prone position in their study were last placed non-prone (on their back). These researchers suggested that an infant’s competence in escaping from potentially lethal situations during prone sleep may be impaired by inexperience in prone sleeping (Thatch1999). Their findings were later supported by Dr. Moon and colleagues in their review of infant sleep related deaths in child care settings (Moon 2000). Unfortunately this infant inexperience in prone sleep is now a common unintended consequence of the successful back to sleep campaign.

Babies who never sleep on their stomachs don’t learn behaviors that may lessen their risk of SIDS, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found. Even so, the researchers caution that infants should always be placed on their backs to sleep. 

Crib Mattresses and SiDS – The Introduction of Air Permeable/Breathable Crib Mattresses

Air permeable/breathe-through crib mattresses are the best defense for a baby that rolls in the middle of the night and ends up sleeping face down. This is the most successful approach to preventing the tragedies we see relating to crib mattresses and SIDS.  A breathe-through crib mattress is designed to prevent the  accidental suffocation/positional asphyxiation (rebreathing) when baby rolls in the middle of the night. 

Crib Mattresses and SIDS – Published Relevant Scientific Case Controlled Studies Supporting the Recommended Use of Air Permeable Crib Mattresses:

Dr. James Kemp and colleagues were some of the first to study the potential for various sleep surfaces to prevent infant rebreathing. They found that the firm crib mattress and four of the five surfaces designed to prevent rebreathing consistently allowed lethal rebreathing of CO2. Only one product—an air permeable crib mattress—was able to maintain CO2 levels below this threshold. The authors go on to say that “even firm crib mattresses could pose a rebreathing threat when vulnerable infants sleep prone.”

Crib Mattress and SIDS – The Novice Tummy Sleeper

Studies show that unaccustomed prone sleepers, including infants who are placed supine and roll prone have an increased risk of SIDS (O’Hoir 1998 and Mitchell EA 1999). These studies and others have shown that nearly half of SIDS victims unaccustomed to prone sleep, were discovered in the face-straight-down position. Many of these infants were found on a firm crib mattress. Dr. Kemp’s data supports that if vulnerable infants were placed on an air permeable surface, they would experience less risk of rebreathing should they inadvertently roll prone.

Crib Mattress and SIDS – Breathe-Through Crib Mattress Testing

In 2011, Dr Ephraim Bar-Yishay and colleagues provided the second study on CO2 accumulation and rebreathing on six infant sleep surfaces—an air permeable crib mattress, two conventional firm crib mattresses and three mattresses with an additional layer or topper designed to improve air flow (Bar-Yishay 2011). The breathe-through crib mattress had a significantly faster rate of CO2 elimination and only the air permeable mattress was able to prevent CO2 accumulation with maximal CO2 levels significantly lower than that of the other mattresses. They concluded that the breathe-through crib mattress exhibited significantly better aeration properties compared to the other five mattresses including the firm mattresses with tight sheet. 

A representative of SafeSleep®, a U.S. manufacturer of a breathe-through crib mattress, contacted the CPSC for recommendations on an accredited independent lab to conduct similar tests on aeration properties on their product. Intertek was recommended because they use a similar mechanical model and methods as designed by Dr. Kemp. The lab compared CO2 elimination on four different surfaces—our air permeable crib mattress, a firm mattress with tight fitting sheet, sheepskin, and a bean bag chair. The latter two are known high risk hazards for rebreathing (Kemp 1991, Kemp 1993) and have been implicated in a significant number of SIDS fatalities. Just as in the studies by Kemp and Bar-Yishay, showed significantly less CO2 retention than the firm crib mattress and the high hazard comparators. Intertek concluded that the the breathe-through crib mattress represents a significantly lower risk hazard for rebreathing than the firm crib mattress. Intertek also compared the air permeability of the breathe-through crib mattress to a firm crib mattress using the ASTM-D737-04 standard test method of air permeability of textiles. Based on the test data, the air permeable crib mattress has an air permeability rate over 330 times greater than the firm crib mattress with tight sheet.

These two well-designed, well-conducted case controlled studies along with the independent CPSC testing lab results strongly support a recommendation for the use of air permeable/breathe-through crib mattresses.

Crib Mattress and SIDS – CO2 Retention and Risk of Rebreathing

The studies outlined above clearly demonstrated that the risk of rebreathing of exhaled air (CO2) is lowest on air permeable surfaces (Kemp 2000, Bar-Yishay 2011). And data from Intertek, a CPSC accredited and recommended lab, shows significantly low risk hazard of rebreathing of an air permeable mattress (lower than the firm mattress with tight fitting sheet). These data demonstrate that the breathe-through crib mattress has significantly lower CO2 retention. All three reports use similar test methods and have similar results.

Crib Mattress and SIDS – Direct Prevention of SIDS and CO2 Hypothesis by AAP

While the studies do not demonstrate a direct prevention of SIDS or suffocation, they rely on the hypothesis of rebreathing of CO2 as a potential contributor for these unexpected infant deaths. A basic pathophysiological principle is the hypothesis that rebreathing C02 is associated with ALTE/SIDS/asphyxia. Indeed no studies have substantiated this hypothesis; however, this is the same hypothesis used by the AAP Task Force to support the majority of their recommendations including the following with quotes taken from the AAP Task Force report (AAP 2011):

1. Supine sleep position: “The prone or side sleep position can increase the risk of rebreathing expired gases, resulting in hypercapnia and hypoxia.”
2. Room-Sharing Without Bed-Sharing Is Recommended: “Bed-sharing might increase the risk of overheating, rebreathing or airway obstruction, head covering, and exposure to tobacco smoke, which are all risk factors for SIDS.” 
3. It Is Prudent to Provide Separate Sleep Areas and Avoid Cobedding for Twins and Higher-Order Multiples in the Hospital and at Home: “Furthermore, there is increased potential for overheating and rebreathing while cobedding, and size discordance might increase the risk of accidental suffocation.”
4. Pillows, Quilts, Comforters, Sheepskins, and Other Soft Surfaces Are Hazardous When Placed Under the Infant or Loose in the Sleep Environment: “However, such soft bedding can increase the potential of suffocation and rebreathing.”
5. Avoid Overheating and Head Covering in Infants: “It is not known whether the risk associated with head covering is attributable to overheating, hypoxia, or rebreathing.”

Crib Mattress and SIDS – AAP Recommends Air Permeable Sides in Bassinets and Play Yards

Further, the Task Force recommends air permeable sides when bassinets are used. This recommendation is based on a retrospective review and analysis of infant deaths occurring in bassinets between June 1990 and November 2004 that were reported to the CPSC (Pike/Moon 2008). The authors identified at least six infants who were found with their “face wedged against the side of the bassinet.” While there is no mention of any bassinets having air permeable sides in the study, the study authors (including R Moon who is on the AAP Task Force) recommends “a bassinet with vertical sides of air-permeable material, such as mesh, may be preferable to one with air-impermeable sides.” The Task Force makes the recommendation for air permeable sides based on infants with face wedged against side of sleep environment. Logic would dictate that air permeable/breathe-through crib mattresses as being preferable to air impermeable mattresses to address infants face-straight-down on firm crib mattresses.

Crib Mattress and SIDS – Suffocation/Entanglement in Bedding and Crib Sheets

The AAP Task Force concurs with the CPSC that all loose bedding should be removed from the infant’s sleep environment. The CPSC and the AAP issued an alert in 2001 warning parents and pediatricians of the “hidden hazard in babies’ cribs” of loose sheets based on death reports of infants who suffocated or strangled when they became entangled in their crib sheet. Two of the deaths involved fitted sheets (CPSC 2001). The CPSC now requires that all crib sheets carry a warning that the sheet should not be used if it doesn’t fit properly. CPSC pushed the sheet-making industry to improve the fit of crib sheets on mattresses. However deaths from sheet entanglement remain a risk for infants. In the CDC’s multistate SUID Case Registry, the mechanism most frequently reported for possible and explained suffocation deaths was soft bedding which the registry defines as soft or loose bedding (Shapiro-Mendoza 2014). The loose bedding is not further defined but could be a blanket or fitted sheet that became loose. 

Crib mattress manufacturers are not sheet manufacturers. The CPSC defines the industry requirements for mattress size based on ASTM standards. Their length and width requirements are consistent but their requirement for height is “less than six inches” making mattress sizes inconsistent. Because there are no crib sheets made for a given mattress, the crib sheet remains a hazard. The design of the air permeable crib mattress eliminates this risk because no sheet or other bedding is used.

The same data used by the AAP Task Force in its recommendation against the use of soft or loose bedding, also supports a recommendation against the use of a crib mattress sheet when possible.

Crib Mattress and SIDS – Role of Bacteria in Crib Mattresses

A recent review article attempts to establish bacterial infection as having a major role in the pathophysiology of SIDS (Goldwater 2013). The authors debunk the respiratory physiology model both as being unproven and inconsistent with the most plausible physiological events that take place during a SIDS death.

A recent study showed SIDS victims, especially those found prone, are more often colonized with Staphylococcus aureus than living control subjects (Highet 2014). Studies have demonstrated colonization of traditional fiber-filled crib mattresses with Staph aureus (Jenkins 2007) suggesting a source for acquiring these bacteria. While no studies are available measuring colonization of air permeable crib mattresses, the surface is designed to be removed and laundered. The U.S. made model recommends regular cleaning of the surface in a conventional washer and dryer.

Based on the bacterial infection hypothesis, it stands to reason that breathe-through crib mattresses that allow for regular washing of infant sleeping surfaces and removal of fiber-fill from the mattress reducing exposure to these pathogens should be recommended.

Crib Mattress and SIDS – Summary

In summary, scientific data supports the recommendation for use of air permeable/breathe-through crib mattresses to reduce the risk of unexpected suffocation/entanglement and other hazards that may be associated with SIDS/SUID.

Learn more about SIDS and Crib Mattresses here.

Refrences:

Paluszynska DA, Harris KA, Thach BT. Influence of sleep position experience on ability of prone sleeping infants to escape from asphyxiating microenvironments by changing head position. Pediatrics, Dec. 1, 2004.

Mitchell EA, Thach B, Thompson J, Williams S. Changing infants’ sleep position increases risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999

Rachel Y. Moon, Kantilal M. Patel and Sarah J. McDermott Shaefer. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in Child Care Settings. Pediatrics 2000

Patrick L. Carolan, MD; William B. Wheeler, MD; James D. Ross, RRT, RCP; and James S. Kemp, MD, (2000), Potential to Prevent Carbon Dioxide Rebreathing of Commercial Products Marketed to Reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Risk, Pediatrics, 105:4 774-779

Bar-Yishay, E., Gaides, M., Goren, A. and Szeinberg, A. (2011), Aeration properties of a new sleeping surface for infants. Pediatr. Pulmonol., 46: 193–198. doi: 10.1002/ppul.21351

L’Hoir MP, Engelberts AC, van Well GTJ, et al. Risk and preventive factors for cot death in the Netherlands, a low-incidence country. Eur J Pediatr. 1998;157(8):681– 688

Edwin A. Mitchell, BSc, MBBS, DCh, FRACP, FRCPCH, DSc; Bradley T. Thach, MD; John M. D. Thompson, PhD; Sheila Williams, BSc; for the New Zealand Cot Death Study, Changing Infants’ Sleep Position Increases Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999;153:1136-1141

Kemp JS, Thach BT. Sudden death in infants sleeping on polystyrene-filled cushions. N Engl J Med. 1991 Jun 27;324(26):1858–1864

Kemp JS, Thach BT. A sleep position–dependent mechanism for infant death on sheepskins. AJDC. 1993;147:642-646

American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Infant Positioning and SIDS. SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment, Pediatrics; originally published online October 17, 2011; TASK FORCE ON SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-2284

Jodi Pike, MD and Rachel Y. Moon, MD, Bassinet Use and Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy, J Pediatr. Oct 2008; 153(4): 509-512

US Consumer Product Safety Commission. CPSC Alerts Caregivers to Hidden Hazard in Babies’ Cribs, Washington, DC: US Consumer Product Safety Commission; MAY 18, 2001; Release Number: 01156

Carrie K. Shapiro-Mendoza, PhD, MPHa, Lena Camperlengo, DrPHa, Rebecca Ludvigsen, MPHb, Carri Cottengim, MAc, Robert N. Anderson, PhDd, Thomas Andrew, MDe, Theresa Covington, MPHf, Fern R. Hauck, MD, MSg, James Kemp, MDh, and Marian MacDorman, PhDd. Classification System for the Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Case Registry and its Application. J Pediatr. Jun 2014; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2014-0180

Paul N. Goldwater1,2 and Karl A. Bettelheim. SIDS Risk Factors: Time for New Interpretations. The Role of Bacteria. Pediatrics Research International Journal. Aug 2013; Vol. 2013, Article ID 867520; DOI: 10.5171/2013.867520

Amanda R. Highet, Anne M. Berry, Karl A. Bettelheim, Paul N. Goldwater. Gut microbiome in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) differs from that in healthy comparison babies and offers an explanation for the risk factor of prone position. International Journal of Medical Microbiology. Jul 2014; Volume 304, Issues 5–6, July 2014, Pages 735–741; DOI: 10.1016/j.ijmm.2014.05.007

Jenkins R.O, Sherburn R.E. Used cot mattresses as potential reservoirs of bacterial infection: nutrient availability within polyurethane foam. J Appl Microbiol. Nov 2007; Epub 2007

Cautionary Comparison Newton® Crib Mattress and SafeSleep® Mattress

Newton Crib Mattress

Newton® Crib Mattress and the New SafeSleep® Crib Mattress are compared side-by-side.  In this cautionary comparison of the Newton® Crib Mattress to New SafeSleep®, we peel back the layers to see the differences between these top 2 breathable crib mattresses.

You have found the perfect crib.  It is now time to find a crib mattress to put into it. Choosing a crib mattress most likely seems like a boring task but it’s one that warrants careful consideration. 

The Crib Mattress Safety Features the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Recommends are Simple:

  • Firm
  • Tight fit in the crib
  • The mattress is new 
  • The mattress is not taller than 6 inches
  • If it requires a sheet, make sure it fits tight

However, deaths of infants placed on their backs and found face down on firm fiberfill crib mattresses, fitting the criteria of the safety features listed above, continue to occur.  Specifically, 3,500 babies in the US die each year from sleep-related deaths.

It’s Not Surprising The Two Leading Breathable Crib Mattresses Are The Newton® Crib Mattress and The SafeSleep® Crib Mattress.  

In this article we explore the following:

  • Similarities shared by the Newton® the SafeSleep® Crib Mattresses
  • Five Major Differences between the two breathable crib mattresses
  • Why we find the SafeSleep® the better choice
Newton Crib Mattress

Newton® Crib Mattress

I.  Similarities Shared by both the Newton® and SafeSleep® Crib Mattresses

Both the Newton® crib mattress and the SafeSleep® crib mattress address additional concerns both parents and medical professionals identify with foam and innerspring crib mattresses, should an infant end up in a face-down position.

According to scientific testing, both the Newton® crib mattress and the SafeSleep® crib mattress,
  • Significantly reduce suffocation risks
  • Are completely washable
  • Hypoallergenic & latex free
  • Contain no metal springs, polyurethane foam or, glue
  • Have certifications proving quality and non-toxic materials
  • Are made from eco-friendly materials and are recyclable
  • Offer free shipping
  • Offer a no-risk, in-home trial period
  • Have 5-star ratings
  • Firmness levels for both infants and toddlers
  • List price is comparable

II.   Five Major Differences Between the Newton® crib Mattress and the SafeSleep®

Even Though The Newton® Crib Mattress and The SafeSleep® Crib Mattress Share a Lot of Similarities, There Are Five Distinct Differences Parents Should Consider.

Your baby spends more than 70% of their first year sleeping on their crib mattress. Infants sleep up to 18 hours a day. Consequently, selecting the right crib mattress for your baby is a very important decision.  

When reviewing both the Newton® crib mattress and the SafeSleep® crib mattress, we find five significant differences parents should  consider when choosing one of the top two breathable crib mattresses,

  1. Difficulty vs ease of washing
  2. Suffocation vs. CO2 rebreathing risk
  3. Inner core vs. no core or fill
  4. Number and type of fabric layers 
  5. Flame retardants vs. no flame retardants

These Differences explained:

1.  Difficulty vs. Ease of Washing  

Washing the Newton® Crib Mattress

The outer cover of the Newton® crib mattress is easy to remove.  You simply unzip around the entire perimeter of the Newton®  baby mattress – 360 degrees.  Note, the Newton waterproof mattress uses a second waterproof layer.  You must also remove the waterproof layer using the same method as the outer cover.   

The entire Newton® crib mattress requires lifting it out of the crib to remove the bottom section of both the top and second-layer waterproof covers. However, the mattress is lightweight.  Both covers are easily cleaned in a washing machine.

Unfortunately, when it comes to washing the plastic core, the process is difficult and messy.  The plastic core of the Newton crib crib mattress is stiff and rigid.  Consequently, it is not machine washable.  Instead, Newton® mattress company recommends washing the roughly 52 inches by 28 inches rigid plastic core in a bathtub.  The standard tub size measures 45 inches long by 22 inches wide.  The size disparity between the Newton® crib mattress and our standard bathtub makes washing the core cumbersome, wet and messy. 

Moreover, washing the Newton® crib mattress requires lifting the wet core and repositioning it several times to completely clean. Unfortunately, it is difficult to tell if the mattress core is completely clean.  

Newton crib Mattress

Additionally, washing the Newton® crib mattress in a bathroom is particularly concerning. We all know streptococcus, e. coli and other pathogens lurk in every part of our bathrooms. Washing my baby’s crib mattress in a bathroom makes me believe it is vulnerable to these pathogens.  Consequently, the washing process is not only difficult, it seems unsanitary.

Drying the Newton® Crib Mattress 

Another concern is the lengthy dry time.  Now that you are done washing the plastic core of the Newton® mattress, get ready for a lengthy dry time.  The Newton® crib mattress  takes 5-6 hours to dry.  I fear my baby just missed a nap.

Newton Crib Mattress

The Newton® crib mattress must be completely dry before putting the cover back on to prevent mold.  Mold is attracted to cellulosic fibers, which is exactly what the insides are made of. And when they are not dried to completion, which can take half the day, mold can start to accumulate. 

Additionally, the mattress must constantly be washed  because mold can start to develop based on the vomit, drool, urine, feces, and sweat that is being deposited inside the mattress over time. In other words, if you don’t clean the inside, you’ll eventually grow a garden of microbes

Further, the Company recommends making sure the waterproof layer is machine dried and not allowed to stay damp for long to prevent an unpleasant odor.     

Washing the SafeSleep® Crib Mattress

The SafeSleep® crib mattress has a cover that is suspended over a unique locking bar system.  It’s easy to remove the cover.  You simply lift the two bars, unzipping it, and pull the cover up and off the bars.   

The one-piece cover is easy to clean in a washing machine. The cover dries in 5 minutes on a medium heat setting.  If you prefer, the cover dries in about 15 minutes by air-drying it.  No fear of bad odors or missed naps with the SafeSleep®.

Additionally, spot cleaning the cover is possible while the cover is still on the frame.  A damp cloth does the trick.  Spit up is quick and easy to wipe up, and the dry time is amazing.

Best of all, there is no fill or core of any kind to cause mold or other pathogens to accumulate.

We love the fact the base of the SafeSleep® crib mattress is easy to wipe down with a damp cloth.  You can also use a disinfectant.  As an added bonus, the base stays in your crib for cleanings.  No wet mess or germ-filled bathroom is required.

Crib Mattress

2.  Suffocation vs. CO2 Rebreathing Risk

Suffocation Risk

Both the Newton® crib mattress and the Safe Sleep® crib mattress reduce suffocation risks.  The truth is, most crib mattresses reduce suffocation risks if they are firm and do not allow face compression.  Face compression risk is the reason the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends a “firm” crib mattress and warns against soft pillows and blankets in the crib.  

In fact, the Newton® crib mattress is tested against three different inner spring, firm crib mattresses in an independent study.  Even though Newton® commissioned the study, all the mattresses pass the suffocation testing with the exception of one mattress having a vinyl cover.

CO2 Rebreathing Risk

If an infant is on a firm mattress, face compression is not an issue.  According to the AAP, the real issue is rebreathing CO2 (carbon dioxide) which is a lesser-known type of suffocation. 

While there are no scientific studies demonstrating directly preventing SIDS or suffocation by not rebreathing CO2, the AAP Safe Sleep Task Force relies on the hypothesis of rebreathing of carbon dioxide as a likely reason for unexpected infant deaths.  A basic pathophysiological principle is the hypothesis that rebreathing carbon dioxide is associated with SIDS and asphyxia. 

Crib mattresses containing fiberfill, loose cores, quilting on the surface, and even crib sheets  trap harmful carbon dioxide. Therefore, the AAP strongly encourages parents to place their infants on their back for every sleep. (Learn more about published studies on “SIDS and Crib Mattresses”)

Quilting On Cover And No Quilting On Cover

The Newton® crib mattress has quilting on the cover.  Even though the Company describes it as adding additional comfort, the AAP warns against the use of quilting on covers and pads.  Quilting can trap harmful CO2.

Newton crib Mattress

Newton® Crib Mattress Has Quilting On The Cover

Newton®’s waterproof mattress is also questionable when it comes to CO2 retention.  According to Dr. James Kemp, a pediatric pulmonologist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, crib mattresses with porous interiors might actually trap carbon dioxide.  He points out that a mattress filled with tea tree bark made in Australia in the 1980s and ’90s and marketed as breathable turned out to increase the risk of SIDS.  According to a study by Kemp, crib mattresses with porous cores, similar to the Newton® baby mattress, allow more rebreathing of CO2. 

The SafeSleep® has no quilting.  Additionally, the SafeSleep® crib mattress has no waterproofing layer.  Most impressive, the only thing between a baby and fresh oxygen when facedown on a SafeSleep® crib mattress is a 1/8 inch open-celled cover.  Surprisingly, the SafeSleep® is equally as firm as a foam or innerspring mattress. 

The scientific testing on the SafeSleep® baby mattress is also impressive.  The testing shows CO2 is gone from the surface of the SafeSleep® crib mattress before a baby takes in their next breath of air, eliminating the risk of harmful CO2 rebreathing.  The majority of the AAP’s safe sleep recommendations center around keeping harmful CO2 away from a sleeping baby.  

It’s a scientific fact, infants take a breath every 1-2 seconds.  Amazingly, carbon dioxide is gone on the  SafeSleep® crib mattress in less than ½ a second.  This means CO2 is gone before a baby takes another breath, eliminating the risk of harmful CO2 rebreathing.  For parents who have received the devastating news their baby was a victim of positional asphyxiation, know how important eliminating CO2 rebreathing is.

Breathable Crib Mattress

SafeSleep® Crib Mattress Has No Quilting

3.  Inner Core vs. No Core or Fill

The Newton® crib mattress has a spongy plastic core that is made up of food grade polymers which is a plastic.  The plastic is made from a similar type of plastic used for yogurt cups.   Yogurt cups seem healthy enough.  I am just not sure I want my baby to sleep on them.

The SafeSleep® crib mattress has no fill or core of any kind.  Instead, the design promotes constant free flowing air. The center of the mattress is hollow, and the sides have open vents for air to pass through.  If plastic or yogurt cups aren’t your thing, the SafeSleep® crib mattress is the better choice.

Newton Crib Mattress

Newton® Crib Mattress Has A Plastic Core

Breathable Crib Mattress

SafeSleep® Crib Mattress Has No Core

4.  Difference in Fabric Layers

Both the Newton® crib mattress and the SafeSleep® crib mattress use the same 3D open-weave fabric for the mattress cover.  The Newton® crib mattress covers the entire mattress’s plastic core.  The SafeSleep® has a cover (called a topper) that is suspended over the mattress base.  The mattress base has solid wood sides with cutouts.  A unique locking bar system holds the SafeSleep® topper over the solid wood base. 

Both crib mattresses offer the desired firmness for both infants and toddlers.  

The Newton® crib mattress has an additional layer.  This layer is viscose.  Viscose creates a waterproofing barrier to the Newton® crib mattress.  Traditionally used for upholstery, Viscose is a semi-synthetic material.  It’s derived from wood pulp, which is treated and spun into yarns to make fabric.

Most fabric manufacturers agree, viscose production is chemical-heavy.  The toxic chemicals used in the production of viscose include sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), and sulphuric acid. Environmentalists point out these chemicals are known to pollute the environment. 

What we find most disappointing, even though the viscose appears to be light and breezy, is since this synthetic fiber is water-repellent it  tends to allow sweat to build up, causing discomfort and irritation.  

Newton crib Mattress

Newton® Crib Mattress Uses a Viscose Fabric 

Another issue is, removing the viscose layer requires two covers to be removed compared to the one cover of the SafeSleep® .

The SafeSleep® crib mattress topper has a nylon netting under the 3D open-weave fabric offering stability and extra firmness to the topper.  The SafeSleep® mattress offers an impressive amount of firmness. 

The 3D fabric and netting are sewn together making it easy to remove the topper for washing.  More importantly,  we find it does not cause heat to build up.  In contrast to the Newton® mattress, the SafeSleep® crib mattress allows for natural evaporation of heat and moisture which proves to significantly reduce sweating and irritation.

The SafeSleep® has no waterproofing fabrics or chemicals.  Instead, the SafeSleep® allows liquids to quickly pass through the 3D open-weave fabric and land on the bottom of the mattress base away from your sleeping baby.  This feature gives the SafeSleep® crib mattress additional marks for safety.  If an infant should spit up in the middle of the night, parents can rest assured their baby won’t by lying in potentially dangerous pooled liquids.

Breathable Crib Mattress

SafeSleep® Crib Mattress Has a Nylon Netting Layer

5.  Flame Retardants vs. No Flame Retardants

The waterproof viscose cover on the Newton® mattress also creates the flame retardant component of the mattress.  By incorporating “phosphorus” in the viscose matrix during the fiber spinning state, the viscose cover creates a flame retardant barrier. Hum, it seems like more chemicals added to chemicals.

The SafeSleep® uses no flame retardants.  This does not mean the SafeSleep® is not flame proof.  All crib mattresses must be compliant with the CPSC’s open flame testing.  Since the SafeSleep® has no fiberfill or any kind, it passes the testing without the use of any flame retardant chemicals. 

It’s not hard understanding why SafeSleep® is the #1 pediatrician recommended crib mattress and why it continues to receive top endorsements from leading AAP pediatric physicians and safe sleep policy makers. 

Newton has an edge in consumer awareness with its trendy social media posts, and high dollar ad campaigns.

With all the scientific testing on the SafeSleep® crib mattress, it is obvious  safety and scientific product testing is the Company’s focus.  

The Newton® mattress and the SafeSleep® crib mattress are the top two rated breathable crib mattresses.  However, the SafeSleep® mattress has five distinctive advantages over the Newton® crib mattress you should consider when buying the safest and best crib mattress for your baby.

Consider These Five Distinct Differences Between the Newton® Mattress and The SafeSleep® Crib Mattress to Decide on Which Breathable Crib Mattress is Best for Your Baby:

  1. The Newton® crib mattress is cumbersome and messy to wash the core while the SafeSleep® crib mattress has no core to wash.
  2. The Newton® crib mattress uses a quilted cover.  Quilting is known to trap CO2.  The SafeSleep® crib mattress uses no quilting.  And it is scientifically proven to reduce CO2 rebreathing, a risk associated with SIDS.
  3. The Newton® crib mattress has a plastic core that can trap air flow, cause mold and other pathogens to accumulate. The SafeSleep® has no core, so air flow is uninterrupted.  Also mold and pathogens have nothing to accumulate on.
  4. Newton® uses an extra layer of viscose for waterproofing.  The SafeSleep® has a nylon netting underlay which allows liquids to pass through the surface away from a sleeping baby.
  5. Unlike the Newton® mattress, the SafeSleep® does not use any flame retardants or waterproofing chemicals.

Since your baby will spend more than 70% of their first year in their crib, you want the safest and most comfy crib mattress.  SafeSleep® crib mattress is the favorable choice among pediatricians and safe sleep experts.  And the reasons should now be clear why.  See our recap of the differences between the Newton® crib mattress and the SafeSleep® crib mattress here. 

Want more information on breathable crib mattresses, check out this mattress comparison here.  

Inclined Baby Products are Proven Unsafe

Crib Mattress recommended by physicians

Safe Sleep in Car Seats

Inclined sleep products are proven unsafe for your baby.  On October 31, 2019 The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issues a warning to parents and caregivers about the dangers of popular inclined sleep products for infants.  The CPSC is basing this warning on a scientific study they conducted.  This study is part of a growing body of evidence showing that inclined sleepers do not provide a safe sleep environment for infants. 

Study Data on Safe Sleep in Inclined Sleep Products

The CPSC received reports of 1,108 incidents, including 73 infant deaths, related to infant inclined sleep products.  These incidents and deaths occurred from January 2005 through June 2019. CPSC hired independent expert Erin Mannen, Ph.D., a mechanical engineer specializing in biomechanics, to conduct the testing. Dr. Mannen measured infants’ muscle movements and oxygen saturation while in various products and positions.  These products include a flat crib, an inclined crib, and several inclined sleep products.  Dr. Mannen’s findings reveal none of the inclined sleep products her team tested are safe for infant sleep. Dr. Mannen’s report is conclusive that products with inclines 10 degrees or less, with flat and rigid surfaces, are likely safe for infant sleep. Dr. Mannen’s findings also reveal soft and plush-like sleep surfaces pose dangers to infants.

It is not surprising that Dr. Mannen’s study concludes infants should be placed to sleep on a firm, flat surface in a crib or bassinet. 

Car Seats and Safe Sleep

So, what is the American of Pediatrics’ (AAP) take on infant car seats?  Infant car seats puts infants in an inclined position.  We all know infants fall asleep in the car.

The AAP advises against letting babies sleep in car seats, strollers and other sitting devices.  In a recent article published in Reuters Health, Dr. Jeffrey D. Colvin of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine told Reuters Health. “Car seats are for cars, and they’re not a substitute for cribs or bassinets,” Most infant deaths in car-safety seats happen when the seat is being used as a napping spot, rather than for transportation.

Ben Hoffman, M.D., chairman of the AAP’s Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention Executive Committee, agrees. “All the data that we have on car seats indicate that there aren’t risks associated with babies sleeping in the car for short periods of time when they’re properly restrained in a car seat that’s been installed with appropriate positioning.”

Car Seat Safe Sleep Data

Colvin and his colleagues reviewed U.S. data on 11,779 infant sleep-related deaths in 2004-2014, of which three percent took place in a sitting device, such as a car seat, stroller or bouncer. Car safety seats accounted for nearly two-thirds of these deaths, and when the sitting devices are being used as directed, less than 10 percent of the time.

According to the study, most deaths occur while a child is at home or at a friend or relative’s home, and while a child is being supervised by a parent or guardian. Deaths in sitting devices are almost three times more likely to occur when a child is being supervised by a child-care provider rather than a parent and are twice as likely when a babysitter is watching the child.

In many cases, infants are not strapped into the seat properly, Colvin notes. “What we are seeing a lot as well, is the infant is being placed in the car seat in the house for hours and hours, and the parent who is supposed to be supervising the child goes to sleep.”

Car Seats are Not For Sleep

Because car seats are safety devices, and the safest place for babies to be while in a car, parents and caregivers may mistakenly believe that the seats are safe for sleep too. Low-income families are often forced to let their child sleep in a car seat because they can’t afford a crib or a bassinet at home.

“All parents, including me, have been guilty of taking a sleeping infant in a car seat out of the car and not wanting to risk waking them up,” Colvin said. “The safest thing to do for a sleeping infant outside of a car is to place them in a bassinet or a crib, but at an absolute minimum, that infant should be directly observed and fully strapped in.”

Safe Sleep for Infants

The AAP continues to emphasize that the best place for a baby to sleep is on a firm, flat surface in a crib, bassinet or play yard. Parents and caregivers should never add blankets, pillows or other items to an infant’s sleeping environment. Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs. 

According to the AAP;s 2016 Safe Sleep Technical report, air permeable surface may be preferable to air impermeable surfaces for infants who roll.  There are many safety features of a completely “breathe-through” crib mattress that the AAP recognizes as safe sleep for babies.

You can check www.cpsc.gov often to see if your nursery products have been recalled.  If your product has been recalled, promptly follow the recall instructions to receive a refund, replacement, or repair. Consumers who register their nursery products with the manufacturer’s registration card (included with nursery items) can be contacted directly by the manufacturer if there is a recall.

Keep Baby & Toddler Safe at Home

Best baby crib mattress

Keeping baby and toddler safe at home can sometimes produce high anxiety.  We try to watch our kids every moment and be there to catch them for every tumble.  Unfortunately we cannot be there 100% of the time. It’s very important that we prevent injuries to our little ones as best as possible.One way is to identify and know hidden hazards around the home.

#1 Hidden Hazards in the Crib 

Many parents are unaware of the risks that a traditional crib mattress poses. Fiber-fill crib mattresses trap carbon dioxide.  If baby rolls over and breathes face down, or even has an arm or hand up near their face, there is a high risk of trapping and rebreathing carbon dioxide.  Rebreathing carbon dioxide leads to hypoxia, a form of suffocation.  In many instances, rebreathing deaths are coded as SIDS. 

One way of keeping your baby and toddler safe from this hidden danger while sleeping, is to use a Breathe-Through Crib Mattress.  The Safe Sleep Breathe-Through Crib Mattress is the only crib mattress where babies can breathe normally even if face down all night. There’s no crib sheet, or fiber fill to cause the hidden danger of carbon dioxide rebreathing.  Instead, the air permeable topper sits over a hollowed airspace producing constant airflow.  Baby’s face down can breathe normally right through the mattress without trapping carbon dioxide. BONUS: it’s made from recycled and eco-friendly products!

#2 Door Hinges

My son had a play date with his friend from school, and his mom had to cancel because he had a horrific injury happen. His middle finger was in the door hinge when someone closed the door and it cut the tip of the finger right off!

It is so sad to see our little friend sitting in the hospital with his cast.

After this happened. I was determined to prevent this hidden hazard.
I found some great solutions. They have many different door shield guards that are easy to install and protect against pinched fingers available on many e-commerce sites.

#3 Small Coins & Button Batteries can be Lethal Hidden Hazards

Always keep coins and button batteries far out of reach and tucked away where babies and toddlers cannot get to. According to poison control, “swallowed batteries burn through a child’s esophagus in just 2 hours, leading to surgery, months with feeding and breathing tubes, and even death.” SOURCE

If your child begins vomiting consistently for no apparent reason, chances are they swallowed  something that is lodged in the throat.  Many parents mistake this reaction as a food allergy.  Be sure to insist on a chest X-ray in the ER.  A chest X-ray can determine if your child did swallow something.

#4 Dressers, Bookshelves & TVs 

“In the U.S., a child dies every two weeks from furniture tipping over, and 42 percent of those fatalities occur in the bedroom.” (SOURCE)

We all probably remember that big IKEA recall due to the death of six children, but it’s not just IKEA furniture that poses a risk.

By securing all dressers, shelves, and TVs to the walls so if a child tries to climb up it, you can easily prevent this hidden danger.

#4 Things in the Crib

We have come a long way educating parents on safe sleep for babies, but we still have a ways to go because we see photos of babies sleeping in cribs packed full of stuff like pillows, blankets, bumpers, toys, and stuffed animals. NO. NO. NO. Please never have anything in the crib with your baby.These items all pose a hidden danger to your sleeping baby.

A SafeSleep Crib Mattress, the best breathe-through crib mattress for babies, and a wearable blanket on baby is all that should be in the crib EVER.

Get in the habit of not putting anything in the crib even during awake times. The crib is for sleeping and, babies can become confused if they play in the crib with toys.

#5 Crib Rail Covers

When babies start to teethe they chew on everything including the rails of the crib. Ingesting toxic chemicals and paint is a hidden hazard for baby, but there’s a simple solution.

KidKusion invented these amazing gummi crib rail covers that stick right on. Babies can now safely chew on their rails and get relief from the unique texture, but without ingesting anything toxic.

#6 Corners

When my little onestarted cruising around (holding onto furniture to “walk” around) anytime he was near a corner I would dash over to protect him. Kid Kusion has these awesome furniture edge and corner cushions to protect babies and toddlers from falling on sharp furniture.

#7 Eco Cleaners

Most parents lock up their cupboards so babies cannot get into cleaning products, but cleaning with toxic chemicals still harms your children.  Instead, make a swap for green cleaning products so that you and your family don’t have to be exposed to the hidden hazards in chemicals.

Favorite all time cleaners:

Let’s protect our little ones and make sure these hazards are not hidden anymore in your home. What other safety tips do you have?