So, you are a first-time mom to be (or you are expecting again) and you have this recently vacated crib mattress that can save you a ton of money but you are not sure exactly how safe it is to reuse a crib mattress.
You’ve heard some scary things from friends and relatives, you’ve searched online, but you have still not made up your mind about this. It’s totally understandable!
We know exactly how you feel. You might think that the crib mattress from baby number 1 (or that of your super cute nephew) is a reasonable solution to your crib mattress problem, but you may not be right. That’s why we are going to give you all the information you need to make the right decision and be sure your baby is safe.
How to tell if a used crib mattress is safe?
- It has to be firm and resilient
Thoroughly examine the surface of the crib mattress. Is it firm and even? Are there any signs of body contouring or sagging? Does it quickly regain its shape when you press your hand on it? If the answer to any of these questions is “No”, it should be replaced. The soft and uneven surface of a used crib mattress can put your baby at serious risk so it’s definitely not advisable to reuse such a mattress.
- Its frame has to be intact
Carefully check the condition of the crib mattress frame. Is there any trace of a broken support bar (or the frame itself)? Can you feel any springs sticking up? If you find any evidence of a bad condition of the crib mattress’ frame, it’s not OK to reuse it. In case the frame’s re-enforced edging is no longer doing its job, your baby can easily get trapped between the old mattress and the crib leading to possible injury or even death!
- It shouldn’t hide any dirty secrets
If you are planning on reusing your current crib mattress, think about its past. Has it endured any severe soaking? We all know what harm a full baby bladder (or stomach) can do to a mattress – especially if you aren’t using a water-resistant mattress cover.
Are you considering using a secondhand crib mattress from a friend (or even a family member)? No matter how close you are with the previous owners, there’s no way for you to be sure what exactly the crib mattress endured in terms of pee, puke, and poop (not to mention spilled milk). In this case, we strongly recommend that you politely turn down the offer and head to the mattress aisle of your local baby-mart.
- It has to be the proper size
If you are reusing a crib mattress that was not bought for your current crib, you should make sure it has a proper fit. How to find out if it is proper fitting? Try to stick two fingers between the mattress and the crib – if they fit snugly, it’s the right size; if there’s still space for a third finger, it’s too small and it’s not worth the risk.
Did you know that there is a link between used crib mattresses and SIDS? A used crib mattress may hide harmful pathogens like bacteria, mold, mildew, and fungus that may cause respiratory problems (linked to SIDS). Add to this the probability of you not being able to inspect a reused crib mattress the right way and you’ll get the answer.