I don’t feel strongly enough about keeping our babies free from toxins. In fact, wanting to keep my own baby safe was the reason I started The Natural Sleep Store 13 years ago. We live in a toxic world where it is virtually impossible to avoid toxins. If you are breastfeeding your baby, there are toxins in your breastmilk. It can’t be avoided! However, I also feel strongly about giving babies the best chance possible, and to give them the best chance possible is to keep them away from the toxins we CAN control. Babies spend most of their time sleeping, therefore, they should be sleeping someplace healthy and free from toxins. Keep your babies safe: keep them away from mattresses with chemical flame retardants, polyurethane foams and synthetic fabrics that outgas during their entire life cycle. Keep them away from the outgassing of a vinyl waterproof layer often found in conventional crib mattresses. All you momma bears out there… PROTECT YOUR BABIES.
Now, here is where I get to share my opinion. I don’t think you need an organic crib mattress, because I think all babies crave being next to their parents. I think everyone should consider co-sleeping (unless you are a drinker or a drug user, in which case, please choose an organic crib mattress). I co-slept with each of my babies for several years. If they cried in the night, no one had to get up, I just nursed them right in bed. When they cried, someone was there to meet their needs IMMEDIATELY. They felt secure. They knew they were loved. They felt attached.
I’ve been reading up on emotional attachment theories in adults. The theory is basically that all adults want to feel connected and attached to their partner, like a baby feels with his or her parent(s). That reminded me of all the research that shows babies grow and develop much better if they are emotionally attached to a caregiver. This means that a caregiver needs to make the baby feel safe, secure, and protected. Well attached children grow up to have better social and emotional outcomes. I think this type of attachment is not promoted as fully as it could be by parents who use cribs. The child is alone while sleeping, and does not receive immediate comfort upon waking. In my opinion, it is even worse to place a baby in a crib and allow them to cry themselves to sleep. The argument for this is that if a baby is placed in a crib and allowed to cry themselves to sleep, they will learn to self soothe. Let’s apply that theory to an adult relationship. If your partner used the “self soothe” theory when you were upset, how would that make you feel? Let’s say you are upset and crying and your partner walks away in an effort to let you self soothe, and only comes back once you aren’t crying anymore. What does that teach you? How does that make you feel? To me, that does not feel good. I doubt that it feels good to a baby either.
Love your babies. Yes, it can be difficult for parents if a baby can’t easily fall asleep without you right there, but if you are there for them, they will grow up strong and secure knowing they were always loved and connected. My children have faults like all, but they are ridiculously well adjusted, loving, secure kids. I want all babies to feel good and learn they are secure and loved! I want a better, happier, healthier planet, and LOVE is the only way to make that happen.
So, no, DON’T buy an organic crib mattress. Let your baby sleep with you on YOUR organic mattress. Keep them free from toxins and give them all the love in the world.
Sleep clean. Love madly.