It is a constant source of struggle for many parents: the night-time routine, the lack of sleep and ridiculously early starts with children bouncing wide awake.
From nightmares to monsters under the bed, there are all kinds of reasons why children can find it hard to get to sleep and stay asleep at night.
As well as over-imagination, there may be physical reasons too. For example, the bed and the mattress on which they sleep, along with bedding and pillows may be contributing to their lack of night-time and sleep comfort.
What is it that every parent needs to know about pillows, bedding and single mattresses for children and how they affect sleep?
The Importance of the Right Mattress
When it comes to buying a new mattress, we are all guilty of not doing enough research. We tend to be guided by budget alone.
But it can also be confusing getting the right mattress, mainly because in the 21st century there seems to be many different kinds and styles to choose from. From pocket sprung mattresses to memory foam, it is a confusing cacophony of products.
But it is important to get the right mattress for a child so that it supports them in sleep, but also supports them as they grow. Don’t forget that babies, toddlers, and children do most of their growing whilst they are asleep, thus promoting good sleeping habits is crucial.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the right mattress for a child – budget, the bed it needs to fit and so on all play a part but there are some suggestions that mattress and sleep experts suggest;
I. I. Coil sprung mattress
With so many different types of mattress, it can be tough knowing which one is best. You need a mattress that provides support but that doesn’t mean opting for a firm or hard mattress. But what you do need is a high level of support and comfort – and that means for children too.
Two of the best types of mattresses that offer great support are memory foam and a box spring mattress, also known as an open coil or a pocket sprung mattress. A pocket sprung mattress, in particular, will provide maximum support for a child at night time, leading to a good and comfortable night’s sleep. That means less tossing and turning, and less night time visits for you!
II. II. Safety regulations
All new mattresses and soft furnishings in the UK must be tested to a high standard, especially in the case of flammability. The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989, 1993 and 2010) sets the levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and products containing upholstery, including mattresses, in the UK. There is currently consultation about further amendments to the regulations so always make sure that any new single mattresses you choose for your children meet these high standards.
III. III. Which comes first – the mattress or the bed?
When looking for a new bed or mattress for children, you will come across combined packages that sell both bed frame and mattress together. Whilst these can seem like a bargain, the mattress is unlikely to be of the highest quality and so it pays to buy the two items separately if you are replacing both.
I. Mattress – start with the mattress and then find a bed frame to fit. Most single mattresses come in a standard size and so finding a bed frame to fit it will not be an issue.
II. Bedframe – there are all kinds of bed frames from cabin beds to divan beds. The choice is entirely yours because with a high-quality mattress offering great support, the bed will be comfortable no matter what kind of bed frame you choose.
IV. The Right Bedding and Pillows
Of course, once you have selected the right mattress and bed frame, you now need to make sure that you get the right bedding.
Once a child is over 12 months, a duvet and pillow can be a welcome addition to their bed, mainly because now that they are older, they will move more in their sleep.
As well as buying a light TOG duvet and a soft pillow, consider buying a mattress protector too so that the newly-bought mattress will stay looking as good as new for as long as possible.
And then you have the really fun bit of picking some stylish and fun duvet covers and pillowcases. There is a growing range of fabulous designs for children that make bedtime fun and in some cases, more appealing!
A new mattress makes all the difference to how well we sleep and this is crucial for children too. Do you think your child’s mattress could be contributing to their sleepless nights?