When buying essential items in preparation for a baby’s arrival, we always focus on things such as diapers, cribs, bassinets, swaddles, clothing, etc.
As parents, we often overlook things like crib mattress covers because we feel it is not of much importance.
According to recent findings, a baby spends an average of 15 hours daily sleeping in the first 12 months. This is to tell you how necessary it is to make the crib comfortable and safe.
The major reason for using a cover on a crib mattress is to protect the mattress from stains and leaks. However, is it safe to use a crib mattress cover? That is what we’ll be discussing in this article.
Before we discuss how safe a mattress cover is, it is expedient for us to know the difference between a mattress cover and a mattress pad.
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Table of Contents
Mattress Cover Vs. Mattress Pad
The major function of a mattress cover is to protect the mattress from stains, while a mattress pad is majorly for comfort.
While mattress covers protect the full mattress, a mattress pad is aimed at providing extra comfort on the surface of the mattress.
It is very common for people to use these two terms interchangeably because they offer similar functions. Apart from protecting the mattress from stains, a cover can also provide some levels of comfort.
Also, apart from providing comfort to your baby while he or she is asleep, a mattress pad also protects the mattress from leaks and stains.
A cover and a pad are two different things that provide similar functions. I hope this little explanation gives you a clear understanding of these two mattress accessories.
Related: Are crib mattresses waterproof? (Read this first!)
Are Crib Mattress Covers Safe?
Crib mattress covers are absolutely safe to use and can save you from the unnecessary stress of trying to clean stains on the mattress. As long as the cover is snugly fitted and your baby is sleeping on his or her back, there would be no problem.
However, since most of the covers out there are waterproof, it is not recommended to place a baby directly on the mattress cover.
Some waterproof covers are made of plastics which can be somewhat uncomfortable during hot weather. Also, there may be the risk of suffocation on plastic covers if your baby rolled over face down during sleep.
The ideal thing for you to do is to have a mattress protector or pad, with a clean cotton sheet covering the whole layer. A 100% cotton sheet is breathable and suitable for both cold and warm weather.
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What Are The Consequences Of Placing A Baby On A Waterproof Mattress Cover?
There is no negative consequence whatsoever for placing your baby on an organic waterproof mattress protector. However, you should be wary of plastic covers because that is the real threat to your little one.
Whether it is an organic or inorganic waterproof cover, I usually never miss spreading a fitted sheet on it before sleep time. That way, I know my baby is safe and comfortable in his or her crib.
Even though we don’t know all the causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, we just have to do things correctly to reduce the risk of any mishaps.
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How Many Mattress Covers Do You Need To Buy For Your Baby’s Crib?
You can get up to 3 covers for your baby’s mattress because you would need to change them often. The essence of the cover is to prevent leaks from sipping through the mattress.
This means that the leaks will be stopped by the cover, and there is a need to always keep the covers clean and dry. A dirty or damp mattress cover can be a breeding ground for germs, which is never good for your baby.
Also, if you want to save yourself the stress of changing a cover and a sheet during night hours, you can plan ahead by arranging layers of covers and sheets.
The arrangement should be as shown below:
Mattress —— Cover —— sheet ——–cover ——sheet
Once your baby messes the crib, you’d remove the topmost sheet and cover, leaving the next sheet at the top. Doing this will save you some time.
However, you must remember that your baby’s sleeping surface need not be too soft and indented. If you are not comfortable with the above arrangement, please simply go with one cover and one sheet at a time.
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Do I Need A Mattress Cover On A Waterproof Mattress?
Even if your baby’s crib mattress is waterproof, using a cover or protector is still necessary because it will help to keep the mattress clean.
One good thing about mattress covers is that they are easy to wash. You don’t want to spend much time trying to scrub tough stains from the mattress. Using a cover would save you the stress.
Also, buying a mattress is more expensive than buying a mattress cover. If you use a crib mattress without a cover, the mattress would become an eyesore within a short time and you’d want to get another.
To save yourself from that expenses, you should use a cover that is cheaper to buy and easier to clean.
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Using a crib mattress cover for your baby’s crib is safe and saves you time and money. However, you should always use a breathable sheet after covering the mattress with a protector.
The essence of the cover is to protect the mattress from being messed up by your little one.
Also, you shouldn’t allow your baby to sleep directly on a mattress cover (especially the ones made from plastics). Your baby’s face could get stuck to it which could lead to suffocation.
Apart from these precautions, using a mattress protector is safe and good for you and your little one.