Baby Beds and Cradles
Every parent, grandparent, babysitter and any other type of caregiver out there knows how difficult it can be to put a little one down at night. But, there are ways to make it a little easier: tell them a story, gently rock them, or create a beautiful bed that the little prince or princess can't resist.
Beginning with a bassinet and moving into a cradle because they're more stable, infant beds are designed to restrict baby's movement while they are in bed. If you're looking to design and create that perfect sleeping haven for your little one, remember that children are often more sensitive than adults, so it's best to avoid:
- Down-filled bedding.
- Foam products that may contain harmful chemicals.
- Feather pillows - pillows are not recommended for children under 12 months of age.
What about the mattress?
An important aspect of any bed, and certainly one not to be overlooked for infants, is the mattress. Bassinet and cradle mattresses are available in a plethora of types, styles, designs and fits - you can even get custom cradle mattresses. All this can complicate your decision-making process. So, here's a few things to keep in mind when cradle mattress shopping.
- There is no evidence to suggest that either traditional innerspring mattresses or foam are better or worse for your baby. However, if you're going with a foam mattress or even a foam mattress topper, make sure it is chemical-free.
- You'll want to find something that's soft, but with good support for baby's head.
- Babies have accidents, so it's a good idea to purchase a bed liner or mattress cover for your new cradle mattress - vinyl protectors work well.
- Some newer infant beds have special features to reduce the strain on the caregiver's back. If you or anyone else that may care for your baby has back problems, look for mattresses that have the ability to be raised towards you, or for one that has a drop-side (the drop-side lowers to make it easier to place the child in bed and it raises to re-enclose the baby and keep him or her safe).
- If you're looking for added health and safety for your baby, look for a mattress and cover with welded seems. No needle holes means dust mites and germs can't get in.