Rip your waterproof mattress protector off your cot now.

Save our Sleep author, Tizzie Hall, has a warning for all parents, “Waterproof is NOT SAFE rip your waterproof mattress protector off your cot now. Because waterproof is airproof and airproof means if your baby ends up face down on their mattress protector they can not breath. ”

Tizzie explains further on her website, “I’ve found mattress protectors to be very problematic for babies and parents.

Most commonly available mattress protectors cause babies to sweat. This is the case even when they are 100 percent cotton. When a parent sees their baby sweating they assume the baby is too hot and reduce the amount of bedding.

The baby actually ends up cold, causing them to roll onto their stomachs in search of warmth and putting them at greater risk of SIDS and SUDI.”

Tizzie says, “a thin cotton bath towel works well as an alternative to a commercially made mattress protector. A towel absorbs moisture quickly, is easy to clean, protects your mattress and does not cause your baby to sweat. A thin cotton towel is a great alternative if you have a tight budget.”

SIDS info states, Babies control their temperature through the face. Sleeping baby on the back and ensuring that the face and head remains uncovered during sleep is the best way to protect baby from overheating and suffocation.

Research has shown that baby’s risk of dying suddenly and unexpectedly is increased if baby is sleeping on the tummy and that risk is even further increased if baby is sleeping on the tummy under heavy bedding or if baby’s head becomes covered by bedding in any position.

Sleeping baby in a sleeping bag will prevent bedclothes covering the baby’s face.

Safe Sleeping For Baby

SIDS also advises, A soft mattress or sleeping surface can increase the risk of sudden unexpected infant death if baby rolls over onto the tummy. Remove plastic packaging from the mattress and always make sure that the waterproof mattress protector is strong and a tight fit.

Never put soft bedding under the bottom sheet, such as a sheepskin, as this makes the sleeping surface too soft. A pillow, cushion or sofa is not a safe mattress as they are too soft and increase the risk of sudden unexpected infant death.

This is honestly something I didn’t even think about. Definitely worth sharing for new parents.

Do you use a mattress protector?

Share your comments below. 

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  • Interesting and further investigations would be interesting.


  • Interesting to read


  • This advice seems stupid. The statement “Because waterproof is airproof and airproof means if your baby ends up face down on their mattress protector they can not breath.” Infers that a baby is sucking air through a mattress protector. I am not a doctor or an expert on this but it if any baby is relying on sucking oxygen through a mattress protector or a towel as it suggests I would think that it’s not “ideal” regardless of what you are using as a mattress protector. This seems like classic silly fear mongering which creates unnecessary stress and anxiety of mum’s where it is not required and does more harm than good.


  • Always used tea-tree mattresses and pillows so that bub could breath if they turned on their tummies. And never bothered about mattress or pillow protectors – I wanted to protect the life of the bub.


  • Thank you for this important information.


  • This is really interesting new information. We’ve always used mattress protectors, from bub to now, on all of our beds. However, this new insight, is very important to new parents.


  • No, I didn’t use a mattress protector when mine were babies. For my youngest (4year old, Down syndrome, not fully toilet trained) I used Brolly sheets last year. I do have a mattress which is waterproof on one side, the other side isn’t. I assume she is now old enough to turn herself in her sleep, to use a waterproof mattress


  • I never realised this and must confess I always used a mattress protector with both of my kids. My youngest is 2.5 now.


  • the bassinet that i used actually came stock standard with a mattress protector and so it was used. thankfully everything was fine and i wasn’t even aware of the risk.


  • I did use a mattress protector on the bassinet, but stopped once they got into a cot. I notice my grandson doesn’t have one


  • Makes sense and I’ve wondered about it previously but didn’t see it promoted anywhere in safe sleeping articles etc


  • Not something I would have thought of but makes sense.


  • wow! this would never have crossed my mind. waterproof mattress protectors have been a given for myself with twins with reflux and one with a chronic cough/vomiting problem. i never even thought twice about the safety of it. very interesting to know!


  • Yes, we love to use pure cotton as well.
    I’ve only used mattress protectors when the kids where older, during the potty training stage.


  • Makes sense, so many things to be careful of with babies!!


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