Bassinet/Crib mattresses TOO HARD? flat head? — The Bump
3rd Trimester

Bassinet/Crib mattresses TOO HARD? flat head?

Question for you all...

 I am concerned that the bassinet mattress I have is too hard.  I opted for a cute bassinet for the first 2ish months, before LO goes into her crib.  Her crib mattress is great, Im very pleased with it, but the mattress/pad that came with the bassinet is not what I would call comfortable.  It's very thin and firm, and plasticy.  I have read about babies having problem with positional flat head syndrome, and wondering if I am putting my LO at risk of such a thing.

Question is:  Is it safe to use a foam mattress topper/memory foam thing, on top of the mattress, but still underneath the sheet?  Nothing too super soft, but enough to be spongy enough not to flatten LOs head while she sleeps.

I have spent the last couple of days researching this, and plan to ask my OB/Pedi about this also, but was hoping for advice, thoughts, experience from STMs etc...

 TIA for your thoughts.


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Re: Bassinet/Crib mattresses TOO HARD? flat head?

  • Actually, the firmer the mattress, the better.  The softer mattress can cause suffocation, if their face is allowed to sink in (once they can roll).

    The risk for plagiocephaly is primarily due to babies being positioned on their backs to sleep, and preferring to always have their head turned a certain way.  If you lie baby down with head facing a different direction each time, it shouldn't be an issue. 

    Also keep in mind that these positioning guidelines apply to carseats, swings, and bouncers.  You don't want to leave baby in one spot for a long time as this can cause the skull to flatten on the preferred side.  

    Tummy time is also a MUST to prevent plagiocephaly.   

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  • Thank you... this leads me to another question I have been meaning to ask....


    How much tummy time should a newborn have?  when should it increase?

    Can you tell I'm a FTM, and getting closer to my DD all these questions start popping into my head!


    Thanks so much.

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  • 1. the firmer the mattress the better

    2. the goal of tummy time is 30 minutes a day.  this can be a variation of on the floor, on the boppy, on your chest, etc.  I had a spitter, so i was lucky if I got 10 minutes a day. We didn't start tummy time until 1 month. 

    Don't worry, there is plenty of conversation about tummy time on the 0-3  and 3-6 boards.  You will soon become a tummy time expert....

    ps- my LO spent a grand total of 3 days in his bassinet.  he needed to lay upright so he slept in the bouncer chair for the first 8 weeks of life.  take it one day at a time.


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  • image michellechacon:

     How much tummy time should a newborn have?  when should it increase?

    Can you tell I'm a FTM, and getting closer to my DD all these questions start popping into my head!


    It's better you ask than pull things out of your asss.  Smile

    Start with about 5 minutes of tummy time.  If LO enjoys it you can increase the time.  They also suggest starting tummy time with LO on your chest so they know you're there and then transitioning to the floor/mat.

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  • Thanks everyone, I guess I shouldn't get this anxious right now...

    I suppose it all gets worked out somehow after birth huh.  Thanks so much for the advice, info re tummy time etc. 

    H&H Ps to all. xx

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  • We had the same problem with our bassinet, it was extremely thin hard and plasticy. So we fold a blanket and put under it, it made him much more comfortable but he still slept on the firm matteress.
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  • We just got a normal spring mattress at BRU.  I didn't get anything special and my kids never got a flat head.  Either one.  We'd put them in the PnP and they never got anything from that either. And that's not even that well cushioned.  I think flat head is more genetic. maybe I'm wrong, but my friend's husband has a huge, oddly shaped head and both her boys have flat/deformed heads.  Even now.

    I think what happens more is if they lay on their backs/sides more then their tummies, their hair starts to thin out.  

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  • Lurking... If you're worried about flat head syndrome get the boppy noggin, it's an insert that goes into a swing, a car seat, down on the playmat, so they baby's head isn't compressed all the time. It's comfy and you can move it from place to place as needed. 
  • I thought the same thing about the mattress that came with our bassinet, if you even want to call it that. It feels like a 1 inch piece of foam wrapped in plastic. I'm worried that once I lay him down on it that he will sink right down to the wood bottom (think sleeping on a poorly inflated air mattress). I ended up getting a better mattress from BRU that is quite a bit sturdier.
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  • It's a tough call. We have a very firm crib mattress and I always wondered if that was one reason DS started to get a small flat spot on the back of his head by about 2 months. On the other hand, it's kind of what you have to do at this age. I used to teach parents about this stuff and my best advice would be to rotate the direction that your LO sleeps each night in the bassinet. Ie, on Monday his head is towards the top, on Tuesday his head is towards the bottom, etc. Babies will naturally look towards where YOU are in the room. This way, you are hopefully giving Baby a chance to turn his head each night in a different direction, to his right or to his left.

    Tummy Time is great. Start at the hospital with your LO lying on his tummy on top of Mommy or Daddy's chest, with the adult in a reclined seated position. Keep trying it when you get home on a blanket, as often as you can. Even a minute at a time is good to get them used to it. Get right down there with Baby on the floor. As they get a bit stronger and eyes can focus more, you can prop up board books with high contrast images, baby tummy time mirrors, toys, etc. Keep it  fun and do it often. Tummy Time is Baby's work and it is okay to let them fuss within reason--don't pick him/her up right away, but rub her back, talk to her, etc first. 

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  • DS was breech and was born with a flat spot on one side of his head.  He would then continue to sleep on that side, no matter how many times we moved his head, it would be back within minutes.  Anything you put under/around there heads may have a risk of suffocation, so be careful.  As far as flat heads go, DS did end up in a helmet from about 9 months through 21 months.  It actually was not as bad as I anticipated.  He loved his helmet - and always asked for it when we took it off for the hour a day.  He still looks at pictures with him in the helmet and asks for it.  His head is not perfect, but it's pretty close now - about an 1/8 of an inch difference from one side to the other.  DS loved tummy time, and we never left him in a swing/bouncer for long - our peds said that based on how his head was at birth, we couldn't have done anything to avoid the helmet.  So don't stress too much about - really it's a cosmetic problem, and it can be fixed!

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  • No I would not ad any other mattress....the mattress is suppossed to be hard!!! otherwise it is considered dangerous!!! 

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