Why Nook Sleep?
There are some burning questions I get daily in my Instagram DMs and on Facebook - "What made you choose their mattresses? To work for them? Why are you so passionate about them?" - Well I am here to answer your questions and boil it down to facts alone. Buckle up - We have some facts to cover!
Three years ago I was pregnant with our youngest daughter Ryan, with having three kids close together our plan was to pass down the mattress. I mean, why not right? Money-saver and we kept it in great shape, so we bought some new crib sheets and put it to use when our sweet girl arrived. What we weren't prepared for was the issues that came with using a mattress that was handed down (even though it was clean and always had a mattress protector on it - seriously it looked brand new). We later found out, that Ryan had severe asthma and was inhaling dust and other bacteria that can hide in the fibers of a used mattress. She was having to get regular pulmonary scopes to have fluid drained from her lungs, it was so rough on her little body. (For more info on her story I have another blog to cover that so I won't dive in to that here).
So, we went on the hunt for a new crib mattress and that is when my research started. We needed something breathable, safe, and water resistant was a plus. I read a lot about how mattress protectors can limit the oxygen that comes through a mattress (due to the water resistant plastic layer) increasing the heat around your sleeping baby. This limit of oxygen and increased heat can cause re-breathing which then can lead to SIDS. So using a mattress protector this go around was out of the question with a baby with severe asthma who has difficulty with her oxygen to begin with.
We started our search at our local Buy Buy Baby, looking through the brands that lined the shelves and saw that most just didn't have the composition we needed for Ryan to sleep safely and have significant breathability. We then moved on to Newton baby, we were impressed at first. Breathability by a "Wovenaire" Core system aka plastic if you look up the definition of "food grade polymer". Although a downside, this wasn't a huge deterrent, because I read that the core itself was washable. Sounds really cool right? Well, to get more informed I hopped on a chat on their website and asked some questions. (see below) - What I found was surprising. Now, I am not bashing them by any means - as a mom of a special needs baby I needed the most information I could get, Ryan's health was significantly dependent on her sleep quality in so many ways, we had to be confident in our decision!
You can take the cover off of your Newton baby crib mattress and "give it a bath" or a good rise with mild detergent, "bye bye bacteria"...right? - I asked the kind customer care representative how I would know when the core is dry all the way through after washing, and about how long it would take for the core itself to dry. She advised me to never use heat on the core to dry it and that she didn't have a time frame for me on how long it could take for the core to dry completely. Which means (as you can see in our chat) that the inside of the core could be damp but the outside feel dry and you put the cover on thinking you have a nice and clean mattress all the way through. Which may not be the case, I asked her about mold growth and she told me it was a possibility that if the cover wasn't dry all the way through (which she didn't know how long the drying process would take) that mold could possibly grow. That my immune compromised baby who has asthma could possibly be breathing mold if I thought the core was dry and it actually wasn't. She suggested using a fan to dry it, but again, no time frame on how much time I needed to let it sit in front of the fan to guarantee that the core was fully dry to prevent mold growth. Mold can grow in damp areas within 24-48 hours. Now, Newton offers a waterproof cover with a newborn side to it they say is breathable, but eventually your core would still need washing as I have not seen any evidence of an antimicrobial feature with their products.
We felt defeated, our fragile girl needed a safe place to sleep. At the time we owned a Nook Lilypad we found on Amazon and Ryan loved it, I knew that their products were antimicrobial and machine washable but at that time I did not know they had mattresses! I went to their Instagram and saw not only did they have mattresses but numerous options. So I reached out to them for more information. Marcella was who I spoke to, she took a look at my Instagram and saw the images I had of Ryan on their Lilypad 2 and asked if we would like to try one of their mattresses they were about to release in exchange for some images and an honest review. Before I agreed, I told her of our situation and what we were looking for in a mattress and why. Ryan needed safety, breathability, waterproof and as germ free as we could get...we were beginning to think all these requirements just did not exist in one mattress - Safe for the environment was a huge plus. She thoroughly explained all the mattress types and said if it didn't work for us we could send it back no problem. We decided the Dream Cotton was best for Ryan. It checked ALL our boxes. We were so skeptical, actually waterproof AND she can breath through it safely? - No way, it felt too good to be true. At the time they only had their pebble mattress covers, which also made me nervous. How on earth could those bumps be comfortable?
Then it came in the mail, I washed the cover, put it on and shoved my face into the mattress and was pleasantly surprised it was easy to take a big breath. The pebbles felt like squishy clouds and were so soft. Ryan's first night on the mattress she slept so solid I was almost worried, no tossing and turning and her O2 stayed at 98% through the night. This wasn't enough to convince me though. About a month went by and we had another follow up appointment with Ryan's pulmonologist (we had been going monthly for over a year to monitor her fluid build up), her lungs were clear for the first time since she was just a couple months old. At first, I thought this was just because she had a scope done just a couple months prior, until we went back for a second follow up and the same thing...no fluid. Her oxygen continued to stay at 98% (unless she got a cold) but before the mattress switch she would be low 90's for her sleeping O2 levels.
To be clear the Nook mattress didn't cure Ryan, she still has low O2 sometimes, we wash her cover regularly (but thank goodness we don't need to wash her core). The mattress simply improved her sleep quality, minimized bacteria and dead skin accumulation it overall drastically improved the environment she spent so much time in. An environment where babies spend most of their time - their cribs. You spend about 26 years (minimum) of your life sleeping, on average we spend 33 years in bed (this includes the time it takes falling asleep and waking up) - not mention many babies play in their cribs. I know we don't spend our entire lives sleeping in a crib, but where you start matters. What you breathe early on matters to the overall development of the lungs in a brand new baby. Healthy sleep is vital to their development and health and it doesn't stop when they grow out of their cribs.
With our new knowledge on Nook Sleep's safe sleep system we invested in a full mattress for our older son who is asthmatic. See, their fulls have the same breathability and safety that their crib mattresses do, so a transition from a crib to a big kid bed can be seamless and safe. No risk for mold, waterproof for all the blowouts and accidents and antimicrobial to help protect those developing lungs.
Nook wasn't our first option, or even our second, it was our BEST option. My relationship with the Nook Team grew after we were gifted Ryan's mattress and they decided to hire me as their brand photographer. My passion for Nook didn't begin with paid sponsorships or a paycheck, it began when I realized that Nook was there for us as parents, to answer my questions, to provide safety and quality where it matters most. Of course I post about them all the time, but not because I have to. But because they produce a product that can't be questioned, my kids sleep safer because of Nook, my kids breath better because of Nook. Don't believe me? - Jump on a chat with Newton, go to the local stores and check out the hundreds of other brands - it is your responsibility as a parent to choose what is best for your kids - Just know, the proof is in the pudding with Nook - undoubtedly the safest and most comfortable mattresses you'll find.
For full transparency I have included transcripts from my chat with Newton, this is NOT to bash them or say their products aren't good, or not safe. It is to simply give context and reason behind the questions I am always getting about why we chose Nook. This blog only reflects my choices, opinions and facts behind our family's choices. I chose to include the transcripts for clarity to help parents who may have the same questions as me when choosing a safe place for their baby to sleep.
- I did more recently get on a second chat with Newton (2020) and they did say that it could take and estimated time 2-4 hours with a fan on high to fully dry the mattress core but it could take longer. Putting the cover on with any moisture in the core from rinsing it could potentially cause mold growth - That you need an adequate environment to make sure the core drys evenly and all the way through - time limits will vary.
Transcripts with Newton Baby
Newton Baby Customer Care: Hello Cortney! How can I help?
Cortney: I am looking for a crib mattress. Are your covers breathable and waterproof for newborns?
Newton Baby Customer Care: Our crib products are 100% breathable.
Newton Baby Customer Care: Our sheets are not waterproof.
Cortney: So if baby has a blow out it would go to the core of the mattress?
Newton Baby Customer Care: Yes, it is very possible.
Cortney: I was reading on your website that you can "give your mattress a bath" and rinse it. Would this completely get rid of any bacteria the blow out may have left behind?
Newton Baby Customer Care: We offer a waterproof and standard option. You may view them here: https://www.newtonbaby.com/products/newton-crib-mattress
Newton Baby Customer Care: It would clean them as would would washing your clothes remove any bacteria left behind.
Cortney: Do I wash the core with soap?
Cortney: How do I make sure the soap residue gets off the core? I use detergent on my clothes to make sure they get clean so would I use the same process with the mattress
Newton Baby Customer Care: Caring for your Newton products are easy! The mattress cover and mattress pad should wash on cold cycle, mild detergent, tumble dry on very low heat or hang dry. The Wovenaire core of the mattress can be taken into the bathtub or shower and rinsed through with mild detergent and cool water! NEVER use hot water or a heating element to speed the drying process.
You can see full care instructions here: https://www.newtonbaby.com/pages/help#care.
Cortney: So how long does it take for the core to dry after being rinsed?
Newton Baby Customer Care: That I am not sure.
Newton Baby Customer Care: I am certain with a fan placed in front it shouldn't take too long.
Cortney: So if the outside of the core feels dry but the inside is possibly wet and I put the cover on - would that possibly accumulate mold?
Newton Baby Customer Care: Yes, as that happens in situations such as those.
Newton Baby Customer Care: The mattress is 100 percent breathable so there would be no reason for the air to not flow and dry the mattress.
Cortney: So we have a platform based crib, with gravity the remaining water would go towards the bottom & that could possibly still accumulate mold? Mold only takes 24-48 hours to grow so if the core wasn't dry ALL the way through (but feels dry on the outside) and I put the cover on to put my baby down I am risking mold exposure?
Cortney: Do you recommend the waterproof cover for newborns.
Newton Baby Customer Care: I would just recommend drying the mattress completely before placing it back in the crib.
Newton Baby Customer Care: After cleaning.
Cortney: But how would I know its totally dry?
Newton Baby Customer Care: The waterproof mattress has an infant side so it is perfectly safe.
Newton Baby Customer Care: By feeling it.
Newton Baby Customer Care: The mattress is 100% breathable so it will dry evenly and fully.
Cortney: Plastic takes a while to dry, (well woven air) which means the inside layers would take longer to dry right?
Cortney: I just dont want to be in a situation where I need to wash my core and then it isnt dry and my baby needs a nap and I am stuck without a mattress.
Newton Baby Customer Care: For any further reassurance, I would recommend purchasing the mattress to try for yourself.
Newton Baby Customer Care: If it is not to your liking you have 100 nights to return it.
Cortney: Is there a way for you to find out how long it takes for the core to dry? As we know newborns have blow outs all the time & of course sleep all the time lol
Newton Baby Customer Care: The drying time would be dependent on the temperature in the house or wherever you decide to dry it.
Newton Baby Customer Care: Whether you use a fan or not.
Newton Baby Customer Care: How high or low the fan may be.
Newton Baby Customer Care: We do not have a set drying time for the mattress as we know different variables with anything produces a different result.
Cortney: So what is the best method to dry the mattress?
Cortney: The Core
Newton Baby Customer Care: The Wovenaire core of the mattress can be taken into the bathtub or shower and rinsed through with mild detergent and cool water! NEVER use hot water or a heating element to speed the drying process.
Newton Baby Customer Care: These are the recommendations for anyone with the mattress.
Cortney: So a fan?
Newton Baby Customer Care: Yes.
Cortney: So if I have a box fan there isnt any time frame recommendation for how long the fan needs to be on the core to completely dry it all the way through?
Newton Baby Customer Care: No, we do not have a recommended time.
Newton Baby Customer Care: Are there any other questions I can answer for you today?
*** Newton Baby Customer Care left the chat ***