How to Choose the Right Mattress for Your Child

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Recently we found ourselves in need of new mattresses for both of our girls. My youngest Morgan, newly three-years-old, was ready to move out of her crib into her first big girl bed, and my six-year-old Emma, was ready to transition from her still toddler-ish room and old low-quality, twin mattress into a “going to be a 1st grader” room.

So when Serta contacted me about being a part of their blogger campaign for 2012, which included complimentary mattresses for review to help write about our experiences, the timing couldn’t have been better.

Now that my husband and are I sleeping on our Serta iComfort mattress (also complimentary provided by Serta) and KNOW firsthand the difference a quality mattress makes to your sleep, it just killed me every night to lay on Emma’s terrible mattress when reading her books before bed and feel the innersprings coming through the top of the mattress. She had no idea – but I did. Click here to read about the difference our new mattress has made to our lives.

To know that both of my girls were going to get to experience blissful sleep on a Serta mattress made me SO happy. But now we had a task at hand – and that was choosing the best mattress for our kids. As it turns out, there was a lot to think about!

I am sure many of you at some point will have to purchase a new mattress for your child so I wanted to provide some personal shopping tips that helped us, along with input from the experts at Serta.

How to Choose the Right Mattress for Your Child

The first thing to decide is what size do you want?  I immediately thought twin for both, because they are so little. Especially for my three-year-old, it seemed like a natural progression to go from a crib mattress to a twin.

But given the fact that we were going to be receiving high quality mattresses that will likely last them until they go off to college, possibly even longer, I had to think long term.

Even though my three-year-old might look small in a full size bed now, 10 years from now she will be 13, and who knows, she could be 5’8″ by then (I was!)

Some things to consider when selecting the mattress size:

1. How much space do you have in your child’s room? Could it fit a full size or larger?

2. Will you be “handing down” this mattress to a younger sibling at some point? Is there a chance it will it be moving rooms?

3. Will you want to consider bunk beds or will your kids share a room at some point?

4. Could you benefit from being able to use a larger bed or double up kids in a larger bed when guests visit to free up more sleeping space? How about for sleepovers?

5. Do you prefer to invest in a quality mattress so you don’t have to upgrade at some point if/when they outgrow it in a few years?

If you answered “yes” to questions #1 and #5, I would recommend to buy the biggest size mattress their room will accommodate that still makes sense space-wise.

Most children’s furniture stores now have great full size bed options and custom shops like Newport Cottages can also custom make a children’s style bed into a queen, even larger, if that is the direction you want to go.

This was Serta’s expert advice on choosing the size,

“A larger sleeping surface allows for more ‘room to stretch’ during sleep. For kids that are active sleepers, meaning they shift positions often, a larger mattress may help keep them more comfortable and help them stay asleep in the event they shift positions during sleep. The biggest benefit of a larger mattress for a child is longevity. A good mattress can stay with your child through childhood.” 

Once you decide on the size you want, next you have to decide on the type of mattress you want for your child.

The traditional innerspring, like the Serta Perfect Sleeper, is a popular choice for children. You can also consider the (now famous on my blog) iComfort memory foam mattress, or the iSeries, which is a hybrid of innerspring and memory foam.

No matter what kind of mattress you select, the most important thing to ask about is does it offer proper support? A mattress with a good support infrastructure will alleviate pressure point build-up which can cause tossing and turning and restless sleep.

From there, the level of firmness or plushness is totally personal preference.  I suggest having your children go into to the store and test them out themselves. Of course, it is helpful to narrow it down to a handful that fit in your budget before giving them free reign to chose!

We took both of my girls mattress shopping and it was quite an enjoyable event. The “rest test” was not so effective with my (then) 2 1/2 year old who thought the game of musical mattresses was one VERY fun game, but my six-year-old, after laying on probably 10 different beds, knew the one she thought was the “coziest” without a doubt.

I thought it was really interesting to see that she had a strong opinion of the exact mattress that felt best to her at such a young age.

Expert advice from Serta,

“Today’s mattresses combine advanced support systems with a varity of “comfort layers”, meaning that you can still get the support you need from a softer mattress. We suggest you look for a quality mattress with proper support, with comfort materials designed to provide pressure relief. This is important to help reduce tossing and turning which can disrupt sleep.”

So now that you have selected your new mattress, and maybe invested a little more, you want to make sure you get the most years you can out of your new bed.

Serta advises,

“The most important mattress care tip is this – use a liquid resistant mattress pad or cover.  This will keep the mattress cleaner and healthier and insure that your warranty remains in tact and prevent the comfort layers from being impacted.  There are many options out there made from breathable materials, so the mattress pad or cover won’t cause heat build up.”

Stay tuned for another post on the mattress we selected for our girls and how we came to the decision.

These new mattresses started a pretty big home project that entailed moving three of our bedrooms and a VERY fun redesign of them all. It was a project that we needed to do, and these mattresses were the perfect push to get us started. I can’t wait to show you the results.  Coming soon!!!

[Disclosure: We received complimentary Serta mattresses to help facilitate this review and I am a participant in the 2011 and 2012 Serta blogger program. It is a company I am very passionate about sharing as I have been thrilled with their products and the dreamy sleep they have brought to my family!]


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Artimus Art: Custom Books of Your Child’s Art!

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Have you ever wondered what to do with your child’s art?  Personally, I feel guilty throwing it out, so lots of time they end up in a drawer or box with the thought “someday I will do something with these…” But that day never comes! If you have found yourself in the same boat, I am thrilled to tell you about Artimus Art, a company that takes the hassle out of preserving children’s artwork.

You send them your child’s artwork and they send you back a beautiful, professionally crafted fine art coffee table book to showcase your little one’s creations.The oversized books measure 11″ x 11″ and even include customizable covers a dedication page with photo upload. And, Artimus Art is giving away one of their 30 page Red Wagon books this week, so make SURE to enter below mamas!

Wouldn’t this make a darling gift for a grandparent? And seeing that we are approaching the end of school, wouldn’t it be a great idea to do an art book for each school year?  Or how about having children in a class each contribute a piece for a special teacher’s gift?

When I first heard about this company I wondered how they would get my child’s art into a printed hard cover, case bound book, so let me tell you how it works

1. First you count the number of art pieces you have, then choose a package on their website that fits the amount of artwork you have. You can order down as you can always add pages to a book package.

The Red Wagon package is a 30 page book, the Trolley, a 50 page book, or a Dump Truck, an 80 page book.  The art collection box shipping is included in all packages.

2. Once purchased, your art collection box will be shipped the next business day and includes a return label to send in your artwork. The collection box will include an order form to add pages, extra oversized artwork, and to order extra book copies. All you have to do is take the stack of artwork and put it in the oversized bag and mail it in along with your order form. Easy peasy!

3. When it arrives, each piece is scanned, digitally enhanced, gently restored, digitized and posted to a web gallery. By the way, you will also get email updates along the way to let you they received it. They can even scan pieces with glitter, macaroni or other materials!

4. Once a customer’s artwork is posted, they are notified by email. They can then log on to their account to customize their book. You can customize the cover, color, font, do a dedication page with a photo, even title the artwork if you would like.

5. When your customizing is complete, your book will be printed and bound, and they will return your artwork along with your art collection book.

Each book package includes one book, but if extra copies are desired, you can order duplicate copies at a reduced price.  For $20.00, you can even do a unique dedication page for grandparents, aunts, friends, anyone!

In addition to preserving your child’s artwork in the hardcover book, Artimus Art now also offers a CD with high resolution files of all your child’s art images. You can turn these files in a JPEG for use in countless projects such as iron-ons, invitations, cards, etc.  You can add on a disc to any package for only $35.

And let me just reiterate about the quality, these are not your run of the mill photo books, these are fine art quality books.  Quality is the number one priority for Artimus Art, so each piece is beautifully scanned with high attention to the color enhancement so the finished project is jaw dropping. All you have to do is Google “Artimus Art” and you can read all the rave reviews for yourself.

If you have a specific favorite piece of art, you can also order a canvas print to hang on your wall.  Such a darling gift idea or fun for a sibling’s room or new baby nursery. Oh la la I just LOVE the possibilities of Artimus Art!

And ONE very lucky reader today has the opportunity to win one Red Wagon Book ($165 value!) To enter, complete as many of the Rafflecopter entry options as you would like below. The more you do, the more chances to win. GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[Disclosure: Artimus Art is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share this brilliant company with you!]


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