Tag Archives: organic mattresses

Toxic Mattresses can cause SIDS, is co-sleeping safer

Anthropological and developmental studies indicate that mothers and babies are biologically and psychologically made to sleep together in the same bed, not only to breastfeed but also to nurture them during the night. Since the first ever baby was born, babies have always slept with their mothers – babies aren’t meant to sleep divided from their mums, alone in a different room.

Nowadays, so much fear is instilled in mums not to co-sleep because of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). 90% of SIDS cases occur in infants under 6 months of age. Did you know that SIDS has only been a common occurrence since the 1950’s? This is when fire retardants and various chemicals started being used on mattresses and when the VACCINES given to infants started to increase (as they still are today!)

Since the 1950s, the typical baby/child/adult mattress materials has been replaced with cheap, petroleum-based synthetics. Near enough all mattresses today contain polyurethane foam, vinyl (PVC), phthalates, chemical fire retardants, petroleum based chemicals, and formaldehyde – as well as a host of other added industrial chemicals. Studies, for a while now, have been coming up with findings seriously questioning the safety of these materials.

Babies, children and adults can become ill by continual exposure to the low level of chemicals given off non-stop whilst sleeping. Babies are especially susceptible to these chemicals. Concern is mounting among physicians, health professionals, environmental advocacy groups, public safety officials, as well as consumers because of the possible effects of these chemicals on our children. Many researchers suspect toxic chemicals have a significant role in the dramatic increase in SIDS and childhood disorders.

RELATED LINK: Toxic Chemicals in Baby Crib Mattresses

The use of lead paint was once widespread before being recognised as toxic and banned. Same as this, many components of today’s baby mattresses are also toxic – currently these chemicals are still legal, though they are likely to be eventually banned as well. The sooner the better.

Babies and toddlers spend around 10-14 hours a day sleeping and playing on mattresses. Thus, the first months and years of their life’s, the mattress is the most used object in a child’s environment. Their every breath means they are breathing in these chemicals.

However, there are always alternatives – there are natural ORGANIC cotton based mattresses out there. Co-sleeping benefits are immense, greatly enhancing a baby’s emotional and physical well-being and when safe co-sleeping guidelines are adhered to, SIDS rates for co-sleeping babies are far lower than for babies sleeping alone in cots, separated from mummy.

Some related links on the benefits of co-sleeping:

Dr Sears

Natural Child

Cosleeping and Biological Imperatives: Why Human Babies Do Not and Should Not Sleep Alone

Some doctors and researchers believe that during co-sleeping, the physiological regulation of the baby’s breathing and heartbeat with the mother’s makes co-sleeping safer in relation to SIDS.

A study done in the laboratory of James J. McKenna, Ph.D. of co-sleepers, 2 to 4 month olds, reveals that breastfeeding mums and their infants are highly sensitive throughout the night – throughout all sleep stages – to the movements and physical condition of the other. Mothers sleeping with their babies can easily respond to any changes in the baby – such as if it were choking or having trouble breathing.

CAUTION: consuming large amounts of alcohol/drugs impairs this ability, and can then cause SIDS.

If you co-sleep, make sure you make a safe sleeping space for your baby

Buy and read this book: Sleep safe in a toxic world 

DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational purposes only and is NOT meant to be SIDS prevention advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. NO claims are being made that co-sleeping or using a non-toxic mattress will prevent SIDS since this has not been 100% scientifically proven, and there can be other factors involved in SIDS. None of the information or options presented above or in related articles are considered to be SIDS prevention advice.

Natural Nursery

You will probably want to start getting your babies nursery ready for their arrival – unless you choose to co-sleep of course, or have your babies cot in your room. This may seem like an exciting idea, but a lot of different building materials e.g. glues, paints and chemical solvents will most probably be necessary. “Suddenly your house turns into a construction site with contamination levels that can be problematic,” Ted Schettler, M.D., M.P.H., science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network says. There are some precautions you should take:


Oil-based paints carry with them a ‘theoretical risk of exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) while the paint is drying,’ says Robert Geller, M.D., medical toxicologist and associate professor of paediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

Latex paint has very low toxicity but nonetheless still poses a small risk if used extensively in a poorly ventilated room/area. If you are the one doing the painting, open the windows the whole time or put on a fan and take frequent break. If using oil-based paint, wear a protective mask that is recommended by the manufacturer to protect against paint fumes. If you’re doing extensive painting, use a non-toxic, non-VOC- or low-VOC-containing paint. Or better yet, ask someone else to paint the nursery for you and stay out of the house while the paint dries. This will also give the fumes time to dissipate. At night, leave the window on the latch if you can and keep the bedroom door shut tight.

Most major paint distributors have low- or non-VOC water-based paints. Some companies produce milk paints, which are made from the milk protein casein, lime and naturally occurring mineral pigments. The American Pregnancy Association recommends that artists choose watercolours, acrylic and tempera paints over oil paints to work with, and also to avoid latex paints that contain solvents such as ethylene glycol, ethers and biocides.

The best option is of course ORGANIC PAINT. I found some on amazon. you can shop around on line for deals. A little more expensive than conventional paint, but you can’t put a price on your health.


 eco friendly paint

BUY organic natural paint

In the USA at least, (I am not sure about dates elsewhere) if your home was built before 1978, the walls may still contain lead-based paint. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests that a certified lead abatement contractor should be consulted before removing old paint. Or someone in your household can test for lead dust using a test kit. If you are expecting, please leave the house whilst someone else does the peeling, stripping and painting, and don’t come back until the room has been aired VERY well 🙂

Natural Flooring

New carpets may give off harmful chemicals from the carpet fibres, backing material and glues, dyes and fire retardants. If you’re buying new carpeting, ask the carpet layer to air the rolls out for 24 hours before laying. Also, open the windows once the carpets have been laid and, if at all possible, stay out of the room until the air clears – 2 to 3 days after installation. Try and use carpets that carry the new Green Label Plus logo, which determines products with low VOC emissions. Consider all-natural wool, sisal or jute carpeting, natural linoleum, tile, hardwood or cork floor.


Family hand me downs, such as antique rocking chairs, high chairs, or cots, will not meet current safety standards if they were finished with lead-based paint. However, furniture made specifically for babies after the 1970s shouldn’t be a toxic hazard even if a child chews on it, Geller says. Newly installed unfinished plywood or particleboard can produce formaldehyde vapours, so cover the wood with a low- or non-VOC finish or sealer.

Make a deca-PBDE (polybrominated diphenylethers) Free Area

There are several new animal studies that suggest a widely used flame retardant (deca-PBDE) used in carpets and upholstery can damage a baby’s developing central nervous system and brain. PBDEs can cross the placenta, transfer through breast milk and be absorbed through breathing in the gases that vaporise from household products. The effects are dependent on the amount of exposure over time.

You should DEFINITELY consider buying an organic baby mattress and bedding, to lessen the toxic load. There are many companies that sell beautiful organic products that are free of formaldehyde, pesticides, dioxins, fire retardants and synthetic petrochemicals. Each potential toxin eliminated, is a sure step toward better health.


Organic mattresses UK

MORE organic mattressres

Organic mattresses handmade in Devon

Organic baby mattress