The reason for this is that babies get hot and sweaty and they tend to leak! They dribble and can be sick and they can have an accident with their nappy. All these various bodily fluids will pass through the bedding and on to the mattress below.
Most cot bed mattresses are made from either foam or have springs with a thick layer of wadding covering them. A foam mattress is just a big sponge and will soak up any liquids spilt on it. Once a mattress becomes stained it is virtually impossible to clean it and it will start to smell as bacteria, mould and fungus start to grow on it. Once this happens you will need to replace it as you can’t leave baby to sleep in conditions like that.
If the mattress is unprotected then very soon dust mites will begin to colonise it. Dust mites live amongst household dust and can be found in all of our homes. It only takes a cuddly toy or a cushion or pillow to be placed on the mattress for dust mites to be transferred to it. To survive dust mites require food and moisture. They feed off the tiny particles of skin that we shed at night and their favourite place to live is inside an unprotected mattress. Dust mite waste products can cause respiratory conditions and sore eyes and runny noses and are known to be responsible for the onset of asthma in some children so you should do everything you can to avoid exposing your child to contact with dust mites.
Some cot bed mattresses have a wipe down waterproof surface. However these still should be covered with a washable waterproof cot bed mattress protector. The problem is that if the nappy leaks and the mattress becomes soiled you will of course need to clean it, but no matter how well you do clean it, you can never be certain that you haven’t missed something. Mattresses have seams and stitches and patterns all likely places for that unpleasant mould and bacteria to thrive, and do you really want to be scrubbing a mattress at two in the morning
The safest and easiest way is to fit a waterproof cot bed mattress protector. If baby has an accident at night just scoop it all up and bag it or put it in the laundry bin and fit another clean cot bed mattress protector with clean bedding on top. Simple, easy, clean and most important – hygienically clean. The soiled bedding and cot bed mattress protector then need to be washed at a high temperature to ensure that all bacteria is killed. The Snugnights Allergon Waterproof Cot Bed Mattress Protector is dust mite proof and can be washed at temperatures up to 90c