There are several reasons that babies need to sleep on a firm mattress. In addition to reducing the risk of SIDS, sleeping on a firm mattress is thought to be the safest place for a baby to sleep, and avoids a variety of other problems.
To avoid the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) there are things that you need to keep in mind in terms of your baby’s sleeping arrangements. First, your baby needs to sleep on a firm mattress, so that he is less likely to move to a more vulnerable position during the night, or to suffocate in the mattress. In addition to the mattress firmness, you need to make sure that there are not soft objects in the crib, and certainly no objects that the baby could pick up and put into their mouth, choking on. Sheets for the mattress need to be tight fitting, as well. It is also thought that giving a baby a pacifier at bed time and at nap time helps as much as your baby sleeping on a firm mattress at preventing SIDS.
In addition to your baby needing to sleep on a firm mattress, you also need to take care with how you put your baby to bed. The safest position for a baby to sleep is on his or her back, with a blanket tucked around him or her. Sleeping on the side or on the back, even on a firm mattress, is thought to increase the risk of the baby dying of SIDS.
When you buy your baby’s mattress, be certain to check that it is a firm mattress. In addition, you want to check for specific sorts of fibers, if you have a family allergy to synthetics, for example. If you are using an old mattress, or if you are buying a used mattress for your baby’s crib, you will want to make sure that it is firm, but also that it does not have mold or mildew.