Many adults spend lots of time, effort, and money choosing the right mattress to sleep on. If you are sleeping well at night, it can make the rest of life miserable. So many people will go to no ends finding the perfect mattress. What we often forget as parents is that a mattress can affect our babies and kids sleep as well.
Honestly it can be hard for parents to realize their baby or child has any problem with their current sleeping arrangement. Kids tend to be able to sleep in any situation, whether it be a bed, backseat of a car, or even on the floor. You just won't hear complaints too often from kids about the quality of their mattress (and obviously won't from a baby). But that doesn't mean it isn't important. Parents need to take the time and effort to make sure they find the right baby mattress for their baby and ensure their sleep is as good as their own.
Often the only consideration parents use when selecting a mattress is size. Obviously they need to pick one that fits in the crib or toddler be they chosen, but there much more to choosing a good baby mattress than size. Because with babies you are dealing with the possibility of potty accidents, many mattresses have plastic type coatings. These make sense, and obviously will extend the life of a mattress in the case of an accident. However some surfaces are known to be uncomfortable to sleep on. You can often get the same or better results with sheets that have similar protection but are more comfortable.
Just like a regular mattress, thickness can have a factor in comfort. A child mattress that is too thin can have insufficient padding. However one consideration when choosing a mattress for a crib is not choosing one that has too much height. This can result in your child being able to climb out of the crib if the mattress is too high and the wall too low.
Another safety factor is if the size of the mattress is not snug with the corners of the crib or bed. Babies and children get injured in beds when there is room for a limb to get caught between mattress and bed. It's important your mattress doesn't create this situation. Often your crib or bed will have specific instructions on the size mattress to purchase, as safety is paramount.
A final related consideration for baby bedding is the sheets that you buy. Again, safety is the key here as you want sheets that fit securely around the mattress have do not create a possibility of coming off. As babies and children move around a lot at night, sheets often come off and again create a situation where injuries can occur. Again, follow the instructions that come with your crib or mattress.