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We converted our 2 year old toddler's crib into an an accessible bed a few weeks ago. He's doing well on it, so we want to replace his crib with the brand new single bed we bought for the spare room. It is a high quality mattress and Box Spring including a high quality 2" thick memory foam topper from Costco.

Is it generally safe for his body, spine, etc and ok to transition a toddler from a firm crib mattress to a memory foam top mattress, or is it advised to just stick with the firmer mattress top for now?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Not medical advice, but from what I've seen, there's nothing explicitly wrong with a toddler sleeping on memory foam or similar. They're past the risk of SIDS, and while some people may be better off sleeping on hard mattresses for back support, it's not true that it is strictly better - it depends on the person.

The main concern I'd have with memory foam is offgassing questionable organic compounds. Most of that offgassing happens early on (the first day or two if you air it out thoroughly), but some offgassing occurs all the time, and you do spend 1/3 of your life on your bed, potentially breathing in dangerous chemicals. I don't know enough to be an expert, and I use a memory foam mattress, so I certainly don't think it's that dangerous; but it's a risk some people prefer to avoid.

I would find out what your kid likes, and do that. If your kid likes the softer mattress, go for it. If not, stick with firmer. My oldest sleeps on a hardwood floor half the time because he really likes firm; my youngest just turned 1 and looks forward to sleeping on softer mattresses I'm fairly sure (given how much better he sleeps on our bed). Each kid is different.

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Th full bed set and memory foam cover is 2.5 years old and has been airing out in a spare room until now... So i suspect the glued and gasses are all gone. Not sure how much gas slowly dissipates from foam after 3 years though. I am more curious about his spine and body then the gasses... But maybe that is a wrong priority. – Heston T. Holtmann Mar 16 '14 at 6:16

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