The bedding materials used for children have come under scrutiny lately because of studies that are linking synthetic foam mattresses to the incidence of cancer and asthma. The typical new crib mattress, stuffed with polyurethane foam and covered with a fire-resistant and waterproofed synthetic material, can emit a host of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). This is especially disturbing when a child is breathing this material every day during a critical development period in his or her life.
For this reason, crib mattresses should be covered and filled with un-dyed cotton or wool, and untreated with pesticides, disinfectants and any other finishes besides the flame retardants required by law. A pure natural latex mattress is another option if you are sure your baby isn’t allergic to latex (most children are not). Latex bedding is resistant to mold, bacteria, and dust mites and when covered with wool is fire-resistant.
Finally, only a fitted sheet, zippered dust mite mattress encasing, mattress pad, and/or waterproof pad should be used under your baby that is under 12 months. In addition, choose a firm mattress that fits snugly in the crib