There’s lots of literature out there about the best time to introduce a pillow to your infant. I first gave a pillow to my son just before moving him from a cot to a bed. I wanted him to get used to having something under his head so there weren’t too many changes all at once. Lots of little ones love a pillow; others prefer a flat surface for a bit longer and will move the pillow away themselves throughout the course of the night.
Interestingly though, what I’m never asked about is mattresses. We are all aware of the importance of a good mattress for adults, but this is often not discussed for little ones. I’m not sure if that’s because some cots come with mattresses, or because for the first six months babies aren’t always in a proper cot, but it’s something us parents often overlook.
There are some really important things to look for when picking a mattress for your baby:
- Always make sure it fits the bed snugly, clean & has no tears and it shouldn’t have gaps around the edges, this will help prevent any risk of getting caught in the sides. Make sure you take time to match your cot dimensions with the mattress.
- Choose one that is firm and supportive. Even if you enjoy a soft mattress, young children should have a firm mattress. They are at an age where their little spines are developing rapidly and it’s important to offer their back the right support. A good test of this is if you put your baby in their cot they should not sink into the mattress.
- Make sure the mattress is breathable. A mattress that allows air to flow and draw moisture away from your baby will help reduce heat retention. One of the reasons little ones have trouble sleeping or wake early is because they are too hot. They aren’t as able to keep their temperature regulated so it’s important to make sure their sleeping environment and bedding stops them overheating.
I’m a big fan of the mattresses from ClevaMama. Their ClevaFoam® technology has been designed with babies in mind. Their mattresses cover all of my major requirements above and their increased support has also been proven to reduce the pressure on the baby’s head, which helps with positional plagiocephaly (also known as Flat Head Syndrome).
Photo Credit: Cleva Mama
Above everything, make sure you are practicing safe sleep guidelines; ensuring that babies are placed on their backs when sleeping and that their feet are towards the bottom of the cot. Please visit The Lullaby Trust for more information.
As an infant sleep consultant, my main aim is to get babies sleeping better and longer.
I’m a baby and toddler sleep consultant specialising in designing gentle sleep training programmes for babies and toddlers. I work with clients on a one to one basis and I also have a series of age-specific online courses for you to implement at your own pace.