From the generosity of my wonderful school who threw a beautiful baby shower, I was gifted enough gift cards to purchase my dream crib mattress! Crib Mattresses come in all price ranges with various labels and promises of safety. I believe they are generally all safe in regards to being firm and fitting the crib, both important for SIDS and the general health of baby. However, what they are made out of is another story.
Often crib mattresses claim they are "Green" or "Eco" because they contain a small percent of organic cotton or material from plants or soy inside. The key word is small. Worse, they are treated with chemical additives because it is cheaper. On the outside, these types of mattresses are wrapped in a plastic vinyl material that emits toxic chemicals harmful to a growing baby. As a baby spends most of its first year sleeping, this is a big deal. Not to mention, we got a crib that will convert to a toddler bed, so this mattress will last our little girl a few years!
I always knew that we wouldn't be able to afford a naturepedic crib mattress. Starting at $260, it was just too steep a price for our small teacher salaries. I toyed with the idea, that I would use gift cards and pay the difference, or ask a bunch of people to go in on that one gift as a shower present. In fact, if I didn't find the Lullaby Earth Crib Mattress, I probably would have paid the difference after gift cards. Lullaby Earth is actually made by Naturepedic. The only difference is the inside is made with cotton, not organic cotton like the true Naturepedic varieties. And as the exterior of the mattress is what baby actually sleeps on and touches, the inside being made with 100% cotton is good enough.
Here is a little information from the Lulllaby Earth website about what the mattress is made out of:
Even in very small amounts, chemicals can have a negative effect on a baby's development. The Lullaby Earth baby crib mattress was designed to be free from harmful chemicals and allergens. Unlike most crib mattresses, Lullaby Earth mattresses are completely free of polyurethane foam (including "soybean" foam blends), vinyl/PVC, polyurethane coated nylon or damask, PFC water-resistant treatments, antibacterial biocides and the various chemicals associated with these materials. Fire protection is achieved with hydrated silica, a harmless natural mineral.
If I hadn't gotten enough giftcards and wasn't able to spend the money on this mattress, I would try and find a mattress without vinyl on the outside (so probably it would not be waterproof) from amazon or babiesrus (good luck). Hopefully it wouldn't be filled with polyurethane. I would buy it as early as I could, let it "air out" and cover it in a naturepedic mattress cover which is around $60. This is a good option because that pad comes closest to baby.
It is comforting to know that the materials in the Lullaby Earth are safe for baby. A Bonus: it is made in the USA!! And finally, upon opening my brand new crib mattress, it does not smell (and this is coming from a pregnant woman)!