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Safe Sleep 101: The Evolution of Sleep Technology

Purchasing a crib mattress has become a big deal in recent years. Parents have to wade through countless options to find the best product for safety, comfort and price. It used to be a simpler process, because nearly every choice was the same: vinyl-wrapped and laden with potentially harmful chemicals. Safer sleep was not yet for sale, or even discussed.

Back to Sleep: Giving Parents Power

In the mid-1990s, the American Academy of Pediatrics discovered that parents held a lot of power when it came to making their child’s sleep environment safer. They began the “Back to Sleep” campaign and identified suffocation risks like bedding and bumpers that should be removed from the crib. Within a decade, the rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) was nearly cut in half. Parents now knew that they could give their children a safer night’s sleep.

Organic Mattresses: A Step Toward Progress

Around this same time, people began questioning what their babies’ mattresses were made of. The industry standard for nearly half a century contained a variety of potentially dangerous chemicals, in both the vinyl and the flame-retardant required by the government. Parents wanted better. The industry’s response was the “organic” crib mattress, in which the vinyl wrap was replaced with organic materials like cotton or wool.

These were considered state of the art and the safest option available. Although progressive, the design still required flame retardants.

Breathable Mattresses: Innovation Provides Real Solutions

No product addressed all dangers of infant sleep – something breathable enough to minimize suffocation risk and eliminate the need for flame retardants. That was the state of the industry when Kelly Obriot began his research into safe sleep technology in the mid- to late-1990s.

Through decades of dedication, he discovered passive airflow technology. This breakthrough technology grew into the Breathe Easy Baby Breathable Crib Mattress, which has demonstrated through scientific testing to be the safest baby mattress available on the market. The Breathe Easy Baby Breathable Crib Mattress dissipates Co2 10 times faster than the AAP’s current recommendation of a conventionally-filled mattress covered with a fitted sheet.

The industry has now embraced the idea of “breathability,” but lacks any scientific standards to back that term. There is no way to ensure a product’s claim is anything more than marketing material, except for independent testing. (See our results here.)

Breathe Easy Baby is the proud leader of the breathability movement and, as such, advocates for industry regulation. That way companies can be accountable for their claims, parents can be well-informed, and little ones can get the peaceful sleep they are promised.

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  • Wow! I am involved in building science regarding homebuilding and was googling the effect of co2 on children in bedrooms and came across sids and then your mattress. I can’t imagine why a parent would buy any other mattress. Not only to prevent sids, but the brain development of babies with a ventilated mattress has to be so much better. Want a smarter child, buy your mattress!

    Roger Kjonaas

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