As they grow, children become incredibly active – which means they also need much more sleep than adults. Good, restful sleep is crucial to a child’s development: it’s important to their physical health – and in letting them recharge after a tiring day. Children’s bedtime is also an important time for parents – a rare part of the day to spend in peace and quiet!
The mattress your child sleeps on plays a significant part in the quality of sleep they receive each night. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that children under five years old need up to 13 hours of sleep per day – that amount rises to 11 hours as the child grows towards twelve. To make sure your child’s bedtime is a time for rejuvenating minds and muscles – check out our guide to finding the right mattress!
As your child moves out of infancy and grows towards their teens, their mattresses must change with them. Crib mattresses should fit snugly in the bed-space – so much so that your baby can’t become wedged against the bars. Good crib mattresses should be soft enough to lull children to sleep – but robust enough to withstand damage when they start jumping up and down on it!
After around two years old, you’ll be able to move your child into a normal,. child-sized bed. As your child grows up, they’ll start to spend more time on their beds, playing, reading and relaxing. Changes in the physical weight of a child and their behavioural habits will place demands on their mattress and you should take this into consideration when selecting a particular type.
Types of mattress:
Sprung mattresses: spring-coil mattresses are cheap and easy to obtain. They provide a range of support-levels – from the bouncy to the firm. Coil mattresses are notoriously susceptible to damage – as springs may break, bend or burst through the fabric. This can be a problem if you have particularly active children with a habit of jumping on the bed!
Foam mattresses: more expensive than coils, foam mattresses are designed to flow around the body. They are conventionally suited to adults with back or neck problems – so young children may not be the best sleepers to experience their full benefits. Foam mattresses tend to ‘breathe’ in different weather conditions – keeping you warmer in winter and cooler in the summer. Some varieties can cause skin irritations – if your child has allergies seek out the hypo-allergenic foam models on the market.
Be aware of your child’s needs …
You should include older children in the process of buying a new mattress – but very young children will obviously not be able to tell you what they think. Babies and toddlers may cry and complain in the night, while other signs that it’s time to change mattress may be children who are tired, exhausted or irritable during the day – or complaining of aches and pains when they wake. Paying attention to your child’s sleep habits is really the best way of keeping on top of their needs – and ensuring you give them the best chance of getting the rest they need during the night