Buying organic mattress pads for your baby is a smart thing that any concerned parent would do. We know that we can't protect them from every danger, but it's important to keep their exposure to toxic chemicals as low as possible. New research is showing that many items that we thought to be harmless is actually posing a danger to our health. There is a good possibility that these toxic chemicals will be banned in the future, just like lead paint has been. If we recognize these toxic chemicals now, we'll be able to make our lives and our children's lives healthier today.

These chemicals are dangerous because they get released from the product that they are in. Once they are in the air, they can be breathed in by you and your family. This process is known as out-gassing or off-gassing. If you've ever smelled a new car, that is off gassing of the chemicals that are found in the vinyl and other parts. Unfortunately, the same thing happens in crib mattresses, which consist of materials like foam and vinyl. Unlike the new car smell, you might not notice this. But it is still there. Scientists observed this in lab tests. They haven't finished analyzing how these chemicals will affect health, but there seem to be some connections.

Adults with auto-immune disorders and other serious illnesses are most vulnerable to these chemicals. So our babies and children. They don't yet have a fully developed immune system. An organic mattress pad will help protect them from chemical exposures.

Although many of the materials used to make traditional crib mattresses can be toxic, there are safe alternatives. Vinyl is one thing that you want to avoid. Vinyl is traditionally used because it provides a waterproof surface. It's good to have a waterproof surface, because babies do spit up, wet the bed, and get other liquids on the mattress. Since this can lead to mold or bacteria growth, it is good for your baby's health to have a surface that is waterproof.

But vinyl isn't the best choice. It contains plasticizers such as phthlates which give vinyl its soft feel. But phthalates are a known carcinogen and the American Academy of Pediatrics have stated that kids may be at a higher risk from them since they don't have a fully developed immune system. Some kinds of phthalates have been banned in children's products, including mattresses, but others are still legal and are being used.

Manufacturers who want to replace vinyl have looked at various green materials to do the job. Two popular ones are bamboo and damask. In general, these are very eco-friendly materials and are good for many things. But they are not naturally water-proof. And having a waterproof organic mattress pad is important for cribs. If they are water-proof, they have probably been treated with harsh chemicals to get that way. So green mattress pads aren't always they best option.

Another thing to look out for is polyurethane foam filling. It's what is used to fill most mattresses. Unfortunately, this is a highly flammable material. It must be treated with flame retardants so that it will meet federal mandates. This prevents the mattress from catching on fire, but it doesn't make it safe. These flame retardants are chemicals that have caused serious health problems in animal studies. While there haven't been enough studies to ban these chemicals yet, few parents want to take the chance of exposing their baby to these as they sleep.
You might think that soybean or plant derived foam will be a better option. In most cases, this foam is still polyurethene with added soybean oil. So you have to be cautious about which organic mattress pads you buy. Another thing you want to watch for is natural latex and coconut or coir. While natural latex comes from trees, it usually undergoes processing in a factory where it is treated with various chemicals such as ammonia.

It is also a concern because of allergies. Some schools and hospitals have a ban on latex because of this. Mattresses which use coconut husk usually contain natural latex as well. So if you have allergy concerns with latex, you'll want to avoid this material as well. Another allergen concern is wool. Your pediatrician might have cautioned you against wool because it is so common of an allergen. Even if allergies aren't an issue, the processing often leaves it full of the chemicals that you are trying to avoid.

With so many things to watch for when you are looking to buy organic mattress pads for cribs and toddler bedding, you might wonder if there is anything on the market that will meet your needs. Fortunately, there are several products that do have what you want. Look for a product that uses food-grade and non-toxic waterproofing. It should be tested and certified by an independent agency. Many parents prefer to buy products that are made in the US, which has stricter manufacturing guidelines than many countries.

Some companies that you may want to consider are Naturepedic, the American Baby Company, and Snoozy. While these aren't the only brands that make organic mattress pads for babies, they are some of the most popular. Depending on where you live, you might be able to find these items locally, especially if you have a baby store that carries a lot of health-conscious and eco-friendly products. In general, you'll find the greatest selection and best prices from online retailers such as Amazon. Consider shipping charges in the total price or look for places that offer free shipping. You may also check directly with the retailer to see where these items are carried.

We don't currently know the extent of the dangers posed by the chemicals you and your children are exposed to. But since babies spend so much time sleeping in their cribs, many parents prefer to be cautious and buy organic mattress pads for babies. Knowing what to avoid and what to look for will help you make an intelligent choice that will be best for your child.