First, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room…
Yes its true, children can grow up sleeping on any sleeping surface– from rock hard cave floors to standard spring/latex mattresses that are common place today. There, acknowledged… But as modern science has advanced and developed so has our understanding of the factors that increase sleep related risks for infants and young children.
Parents are well aware that as important as they are, the guidelines for safe baby sleep address only the very basic and well-established criteria. What about accumulation of dust and dirt? what about dust allergies and eczema? And what about the poor parents and the never ending cleaning of number ones, number twos and all the other digits?
Luckily, mother technology has solved these issues for us in the form of breathable mattresses which as their name implies, allow better airflow. There are a number of breathable mattresses available but although they belong to the same family, they are certainly not the same.
Most breathable mattresses are foam based. These are “sponge” like mattresses, allowing more air to pass through their volume. In this type of breathable mattresses, the mattress is doing the breathing, however, in a mesh/net mattress design it is your child that is doing the breathing. A net mattress volume is air and the only barrier between your baby and pure air is a thin (yet firm, strong and comfy) mesh. This allows your baby to breath normally even if she accidentally turns her face into the mattress.
Here are five reasons your baby needs a net breathable mattress:
#1 Allows best air circulation
“Certain crib mattresses have been designed with air-permeable materials to reduce rebreathing of expired gases, in the event that an infant ends up in the prone position during sleep, and these may be preferable to those with air-impermeable materials. With the use of a head box model, Bar-Yishay et al found that a permeable sleeping surface exhibited significantly better aeration properties in dispersing carbon dioxide and in preventing its accumulation” (p. e18)
American Society of Paediatrics
The net design breathable mattress is as air-permeable as they can get. Period.
This has proven impact on babys health and safety- a great resource for further reading is our new blog post on "SIDS safe mattress- bursting the bubble"
#2 Prevents Overheating
“They also found the measured temperature within the head box to be substantially lower with the more permeable mattress, concluding that it was due to faster heat dissipation. This finding could be potentially protective against overheating, which has been identified as a risk factor for SIDS. Colditz et al. also performed studies both in vitro and in vivo, showing better diffusion and less accumulation of carbon dioxide with a mesh mattress. “ (p. e18)
American Society of Paediatrics
Overheating is identified as one of the risk factors for SIDS. That’s a fact. Mesh/net design breathable mattresses are completely ventilated and were found to be superior in heat dissipating.
#3 Beneficial for Asthma, eczema and allergies
“Concern regarding the possibility of toxic substances and allergens in the infant mattress or immediate sleep environment as a factor in the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) were raised by some investigators. One of the etiologies of SIDS which was mentioned by some investigators was and allergic reaction and an association between SIDS and sleeping on used mattresses was found”
“The correlation between dust mite exposure, development of allergic disease and asthma and exacerbation of disease has been documented in many studies. Sensitization to HDM has been found to be an important risk factor in the development and persistence of asthma. Exposure to HDMs begins in infancy and significant levels have been showed in infant beds. Due to the significant correlation between HDM exposure and allergic disease and asthma many studies have been carried out in order to examine the hypothesis that prevention of HDM exposure may decrease the development and exacerbation of allergic diseases”
Internal Medicine, Allergy and Clinical Immunology
House Dust Mites (HDM’s) are not just ugly, they are also extremely bad for your baby. Recent research has identified HDM’s as a major cause of allergies and asthma episodes in children, it is even suggested that SIDS is a form of allergic reaction that might be caused by these nasty critters.
In a different study, net design mattress were found to be far superior in preventing HDM growth on the mattress
#4 Better sleep…
If baby can breathe which ever way she turns during her sleep, and she wont overheat on account of the superior air circulation the net design mattress allows – chances are, her sleep will be better. And guess what that means? (oh Mama…!) you get to sleep a bit better as well. You deserve as much!
#5 Super easy to clean and fast to dry
Safe sleep notwithstanding, mattress requires cleaning. Regular mattresses and even some breathable mattresses require a water-resistant cover to prevent seepage of fluids into the mattresses. This also means that baby might be sleeping in a puddle of sweat or milk that he spits up (or both...) and could be at risk of re-inhalation. The net design mattresses do not require any additional covers, in fact it promotes seepage of fluid so that they won’t accumulate.
when its mattress cleaning time, the net design shines supreme… clean wipe or quick dip in the tub with a quick dry – we have a winner. Incident at 2am? Not a problem, A net mattress is truly your best friend.