Safe Sleep for Baby

As one of my MANY “nesting” projects, I set up our co-sleeper/bassinet the other day. I feel better now that I have such an important thing crossed off my list! The reason that this project warrants a blog post is that I put something very important on the mattress. It’s called a “BabeSafe Mattress Cover”, and it’s something that we believe is very important for the health and safety of our babies. We used one for our older daughter and I don’t intend to ever have our babies sleep on any mattress without it.

So, what is a “BabeSafe Mattress Cover”? Glad you asked! 😉 Well, you can get all of the details at Eve’s Best (look to the left column- it’s the first item under “Healthy Baby”), so here’s my summary. The theory is that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (called “Cot Death” in many other English-speaking countries) is caused by the toxins that the baby breathes in from the mattress and bedding. It makes perfect sense to me. This theory explains why babies that sleep on their tummies are so much more likely to die of SIDS than back-sleepers. Their faces are turned with their mouths and noses so close to the mattress, that they get a much higher concentration of the toxins. You might be wondering what toxins I’m referring to.

First of all, there are the chemicals from the very composition of the mattresses. They are synthetics that often out-gas toxins. Then there are flame-retardants, which are applied to all baby mattresses unless you spend tons of money (and you might even need a doctor’s prescription!) to get an untreated mattress. Flame-retardant chemicals are toxic… often they are neuro-toxins, which affect the nervous system (that could explain the “inexplicable” SIDS, when a baby just quits breathing). On top of the chemically-laden mattress, parents put a “protective” mattress pad to keep the mattress safe. That puts the baby in danger from more chemicals. There are ones that are “anti-microbial” (if it kills other things, why wouldn’t we expect a chemical to hurt/kill humans??), there are more flame-retardants for “safety”, there are cheap plastics that out-gas chemicals… the list could go on for quite awhile. One top of those, parents put sheets that are often doused in dangerous chemicals by the parents themselves! The synthetic scents in laundry detergent and the chemicals used in fabric softeners to “soften” the material are toxic, too. Wouldn’t it make sense that a tiny little body could inexplicably quit breathing with all of these toxins they get with every breath?

ON TOP of the horrible chemicals, there are several (usually harmless) fungi that feed off of the chemicals and emit a “toxic gas”, which is possibly even more dangerous than the chemicals themselves. Go the Eve’s Best to read about it yourself and check out the statistics that compare BabeSafe users and people who don’t use them. There have been NO reported cases of SIDS in babies sleeping on a properly wrapped BabeSafe covered mattress. None. I know that there are no guarantees about these kinds of things, but the statistical evidence is enough to convince me that it’s worth it!

Here’s what we do to protect our babies from high exposures to toxins. The “BabeSafe” can be ordered in several sizes each for cribs, bassinets and co-sleepers. We already have one on the crib (same one we used for our oldest and there is no need to replace it), so we ordered one for the new co-sleeper we bought. The special mattress cover prevents any toxic chemicals from getting to the baby, so once it’s on…

both the mattress AND the baby are protected! When it gets dirty, I just use a paper towel with some soapy water (liquid castile soap is non-toxic and works beautifully!) to wipe it clean.

Instead of a toxic mattress pad, we use several organic cotton flannel receiving blankets next…

They provide a little bit of softness on top of the mattress without added chemicals.

We finish with an organic cotton crib sheet, washed in a non-toxic laundry detergent and dried without fabric softener (it’s plenty soft enough without it!)…

And there you have it! Soft, safe and healthy for a sleeping baby!

15 thoughts on “Safe Sleep for Baby

    • Hi Stacy! Isn’t that something to think about? I had no idea until I started looking in to buying an organic crib mattress for our eldest. We couldn’t afford them, so I’m really glad I found the BabeSafe covers! That does look like the same thing, but they don’t specify on the amazon page about the material used for the mattress cover. I know for sure that the BabeSafe cover doesn’t give off dangerous fumes and I would assume that this one wouldn’t either, but I can’t say for sure without knowing what it’s made from.

  1. Our daughter sleeps in an antique wooden bassinet. I wonder if varnishes are a problem. I actually just switched out the basinet matress (from another basinet) with a pad that is 100 percent natural. I wonder if I should refurbish the basinet… It has had tons of time to off gas.

    • Thanks for the comment! I’m guessing that you’re right about it having had plenty of time to off-gas, and since it’s a varnish (rather than paint) I don’t think there would be lead in it, either. We had some furniture in my daughter’s room that I was concerned about (one piece from a smoky home, another was brand new and we could smell some of the nasty chemicals), so I used something called “Safe Coat”. It’s completely clear and non-toxic. You just paint it on and it will seal in all of the chemicals! It really worked well for us (even putting my nose right up to the changing table, I couldn’t smell the cigarette smoke at all!), and I highly recommend it. The website I found it at is http://www.afmsafecoat.com/products.php?page=2 if anybody is interested. By the way, I’m not affiliated in any way with this company, I just really love their products! 🙂

  2. Julie says:

    Thanks for the useful info! Just curious – I notice in the photo that the velcro mattress straps are sealed inside the wrap. Have you had any problems with not securing the mattress to the frame? Ours seems pretty sturdy, but baby isn’t here yet so I could use some advice from an experienced mom!

    • Hi Julie! If you like, you can cut very small slits in the plastic, but I would recommend a little piece of duct tape at each end of each slit to make sure the plastic doesn’t tear further. We have found that with the plastic secured tightly around the mattress with tape, there are no issues with it folding up or moving around. Thanks for the comment! 🙂

  3. I know when New Zealand mandated that baby mattresses be sealed to avoid toxic leakage like you are refering to their SIDS rate plummeted. But likewise in Japan, where babies sleep in bed with mom and they don’t start vaccines until 2, they have a near zero SIDS rate too.
    I think society did a grave diservice for forgetting ‘crib death’ and letting it be replaced with the more ‘benign’ SIDS. The typical way American infants sleep could hardly be more dangerous barring rampaging animals.

    • Thanks for the comment, Jespren! I think it is very possible that “SIDS” is mostly a situation where the combination of vaccines and toxins from the bedding do more harm together than either tends to do on it’s own.

      Here are a few links with information about vaccines:

      ~Vaccines Did Not Save Us shows that epidemics of diseases were already on a swift decline before the introduction of vaccinations- even the diseases for which there are still no vaccines!

      ~A new study is showing that multiple vaccinations, especially on young babies, drastically increases hospitalization and death rates.

  4. I’m familiar with the links. I always have a nearly overwhelming, and I’ll admit occassionally overwhelming, urge to start talking about the effectiveness of the scarlet fever vaccine on making that horrid disease a thing of the past whenever someone starts praising vaccines for regulating childhood diseases to the dustbin of history. 😉 because we all know things like indoor plumbing, acceptance of germ theory, refrigeration, antibiotics, public hygeine etc has absolutely no effect on the spread of sickness! All those Jews back in ancient London missed the Black plague because they had vaccines don’t you know!

    • Mumps are a lot less common that things like measles and whooping cough, so that’s pretty impressive (not quite the right word, LOL!). Were you old enough to remember it? I’m just curious because I’ve never known anybody personally who has had the mumps.

  5. Naw, I totally get ‘impressive’, it works. I was 20, had a booster before college at 18. 2/3rds of mumps cases are mild, I was one of the 2/3rds. My lymph nodes and jawline swelled up like a chipmunch, incredibly sore throat, fever around 101, which is actually low for me. I’m very prone to high fevers (record 106.5). Took about 3 days to get over the worst of it. Really, no big deal, strep throat or a bad flu was worse. But my lymph nodes under my jaw were really painful. The 1/3rd cases where it’s ‘serious’ is supposed to be much worse, but it really wasn’t anything to write home about, except for, you know, THE MUMPS. Who gets the mumps now in days?? To be fair it appears I might have some sort of genetic predisposition for the disease. My dad and uncle both caught the mumps as teenagers despite being vaccinated as well. Weird part was I wasn’t part of any mini outbreak either, the doctor said they had no other reported cases.

  6. Oh my… I was looking for the best baby mattress for my soon-to-be born boy. Little did I know that inhaling the chemical emission from the mattress is actually one of the possible cause of SIDS. Thanks a lot for the pointer. I’ll be more wary when looking for the mattress and I’m definitely considering getting the BabeSafe Mattress Cover.

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