The K Man didn’t move into a big boy bed until he was well past his fourth birthday this year.
Part of this was his own hesitation about leaving the comfort of his little toddler bed, which – to him – still felt so much like the crib he’d loved for more than three years of his life, and even begged to go back to after spending a night in his toddler bed. (The answer was a big, fat “no” because these convertible cribs, as practical as they are, sure aren’t designed for quick converting convenience.)
And the other part, surely, was my own hesitation about waterproofing.
His crib mattress, you see, is totally waterproof. But as I’ve mentioned, that means it’s not 100 per cent organic either. But a crib mattress has a life of about four years max and I figured it was a short-term trade-off. And it’s a good thing, too, because I’ve wiped down that mattress more times than I care to count. (And it hasn’t just been pee; puke is remarkably watery.)
As we inched closer and closer to the big boy bed, it became abundantly clear that The K Man was nowhere near being night potty trained. I have no idea how to do this; how to make his body wake up and walk itself to the bathroom in the middle of the night while he’s off in dream-land. At this rate, I just hope GoodNites makes overnight diapers for eighth graders. I suppose I can always just put some cool stickers on Depends if I have to..
So, a non-waterproof bed? Yikes.
In my Soma organic mattress set review last week, I included this video about the two options you have to protect your mattress. If you need a refresher, here’s a helpful overview of the organic and mostly organic options available. In the end, I compromised on the totally organic option in favour of waterproofing. Eventually, when pee-pee accidents at night are a thing of the past, I’ll invest in a certified organic wool puddle pad or organic cotton mattress pad. For now, however, I need the peace of mind that The K Man’s mattress isn’t going to be full of pee stink for years to come. After all, that mattress should last him at least 20 years; a few more years of semi-organic protection still looks like a short-term trade-off.
When it came to finding a mostly organic waterproof mattress protector pad for a double-sized mattress, the pickings are slim. Really slim. Naturepedic’s pad was pretty much it. Organic Lifestyle was kind enough to send one for us to review for this safe sleep series.
There’s just no getting around it – the only way to completely waterproof your child’s mattress is to use some kind of plastic barrier. It’s all about choosing the “right” plastic. Not only are some plastics highly toxic (vinyl, for example), but they’ll also make you sweat like a motha. Then there are “safer” plastics that are considered – at least for the time being – non-toxic. The biggest difference comes down to the manufacturing process, and the chemicals used during that process. The Naturepedic protector pad houses a thin food-grade plastic membrane (representing just five per cent of the total pad) between two layers of organic cotton. This membrane is GOTS-approved.
Machine washable and it can go in the dryer, too! (Insert a few fist pumps here.)
Here’s what you won’t find in a Naturepedic waterproof mattress pad: fire retardants, antimicrobial treatments, vinyl, PVC, phthalates, phosphorus, antimony or arsenic.
Naturepedic has patented something it calls DrySleep. Interestingly, despite its waterproof characteristics, it’s also breathable. DrySleep technology prevents liquids from passing through the fabric but allows a certain amount of water vapour (like humidity) to permeate. The result? I can personally attest that there won’t be a sweaty back in sight. I’ve slept on The K Man’s bed a number of times now (all in the name of research, not because it’s too hard to resist curling up beside a perfect little slumbering angel) and I find it extremely comfortable in all aspects.
If your own parents subjected you to sleeping on top of a plastic mattress pad, as mine did, you’ll remember that slippery sound, crunchy feel under your sheet and its tell-tale aroma. You won’t be nostalgic when you strap the Naturepedic mattress pad onto your kid’s bed – it has none of the downsides of traditional waterproofing options with the one and only benefit. In fact, if you didn’t know there was a layer of plastic in the middle, you’d never know there was a layer of plastic in the middle! It just looks and feels like a flannel-soft layer that’s a bit thicker than a sheet.
As far as mattress protection goes in the organic family, this pad looks like a bargain at about 150 bucks. Compare it to the wool or cotton mattress protectors from any reputable organic retailer and it’s definitely the most economical choice.
I really wish this came in a fitted sheet kind of style. As is, it’s got elastic straps that wrap the pad around all four corners of your mattress, but the fit – if you have a thinner mattress, as most organic mattresses are – isn’t super-snug. I often have to smooth it out underneath my son’s fitted bed sheet.
THE GEARS (What does this mean?)
So…where can you buy it?
- Organic Lifestyle (which ships to Canada and the USA!)