Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sleep on it

We've had a successful run at the BGB experiment (Big Girl Bed) with the crib/toddler conversion and Sophie is ready for a real bed. The honest truth is that Tucker is officially ready for Sophie's sturdy crib that won't fall down as he rocks and rolls and bounces off the sides.

First day in big girl bed. I was nervous. She did great, per the usual.

But I had no idea that shopping for a mattress was going to be, um, horrifying. {Shakes fist at Google.} Before I continue, in full disclosure, all of the mattresses that currently reside in our home are of the regular store-bought variety (i.e. the carcinogenic, toxic kind), and it makes me ill.

There are no labeling requirements for mattress manufacturers. So unless you do some due-diligence research, you have no idea what you're spending a third of your life lying on - and breathing in. My kids have spent more than half their lives in bed (hands in the air for good sleepers!) and sleeping on these toxic little packages. Traditional mattresses are made with synthetic materials, Arsenic, Boric Acid, Formaldehyde, PVC, vinyl, Polyurethane, PBDE... known carcinogens that are banned in many parts of the world. These chemicals have been linked to skin irritation, respiratory problems, hormone disruption, fertility problems, learning disabilities, thyroid problems and even cancer. They can be traced in our breastmilk and in cord blood from newborns. Poison!

Mattresses made or sold in the USA are pumped full of poisons in order to meet fire "safety" requirements - they must resist open flames. Why? Because people died from fires that started as a result of smoking in bed.

As a mattress ages, it gets worse. The chemicals and compounds off-gas (that's the "new" smell) and create a cloud of hazardous fog in our breathing space adding to our already full chemical load.

Here is a really good FAQ on why you should buy an organic mattress.

Organic mattresses are made with organic cotton, wool, sustainably sourced natural latex, or a combination of these materials. With springs and untreated wood frame, or not. And the natural flame retardants (again - thanks for the frivolous requirements) are commonly made of natural wool or hydrated silica - or sand - that will melt instead of ignite.

So, to go organic or not? We vote yes. While I'm on the quest to lower the amount of toxic products in our home, we can only afford to do so one thing at a time. Now that it's time for this purchase, we're going organic for Sophie's new bed. Only the best for my best girl. But honestly, it's not even a question when we considered what is in a conventional mattress. 

There has been a significant amount of hand-wringing and hair-twisting when it comes to which mattress we would spring for. Organic mattresses can quickly jump to more than three times to cost of a traditional mattress and there are lots of options. Next up, the final selection!

1 comment:

  1. Hooray for big girl Sophie! And hooray to you too for thinking about what’s best for your daughter. I was also shocked after reading about the harmful materials conventional mattresses have. Good going in thinking green!

    Dante Storey