Contrary to popular opinion, SIDS/Crib Death can be prevented.

This website gives you a way how to prevent SIDS/Crib Death.

Results of the New Zealand mattress wrapping campaign for crib death prevention, that is, SIDS prevention.

  • Start date of publicity promoting mattress-wrapping: 1995
  • Number of babies slept on wrapped mattresses (to December 2010) At least 205,000 (1)
  • Reported crib deaths among those babies: None
  • Crib deaths on unwrapped mattresses (or parallel bedding situations) during the same period: About 975 (2)
  • Reduction in New Zealand crib death rate since mattress-wrapping commenced: 72% (3)
  • Approximate reduction in Pakeha (majority NZ European ethnicity) crib death rate: 85% (3)
  1. Number derived from three studies which have reported the incidence of mattress-wrapping in New Zealand: NZ Med J. 2000; 113:8-10; NZ Med J. 2000;113:326-327; Eur J Pediatr. 2008; 167(2):251- 252.
  2. New Zealand Ministry of Health: official cot death statistics 1995 to 2010. Reduction in NZ European ethnic rate approximate, owing to changes in official ethnicity reporting which occurred in the mid-1990s.
  3. New Zealand Ministry of Health: official cot death statistics 1994 to 2010 (inclusive).

The Story behind Mattress Wrapping

In 1989 Mr. Barry A. Richardson, a British scientist, proposed the theory that SIDS/Crib Death was caused by toxic gases generated from elements commonly present in babies' mattresses. Dr. T. J. Sprott, a New Zealand scientist, had suspected the same since the mid-1980s. Dr. Sprott felt that SIDS babies were not dying from a medical condition, but from nerve gas being generated in the baby's sleeping environment.

As a result of their research, Mr. Richardson and Dr. Sprott found that most baby mattresses and many bedding items contain small amounts of the elements phosphorus, arsenic and/or antimony, which are incorporated for purposes such as plastic softener, fire retardant or as part of the manufacturing process. In addition, a normally harmless household fungus (Scopulariopsis brevicaulis) often grows in mattresses. Separately, the presence of the elements phosphorus, arsenic or antimony in mattresses and bedding does not pose danger. But when heat and moisture in the baby's crib results in fungal growth, the fungus interacts with these elements, causing the generation of extremely poisonous gases. If even a small dose of these gases is ingested by a baby, the baby's breathing and heart functions stop, resulting in SIDS/Crib Death.

In the mid-1990s Dr. Sprott commenced a nationwide mattress-wrapping campaign in New Zealand to eliminate SIDS/Crib Death. In 1996 he invented the BabeSafe® crib mattress cover, which is a non-toxic plastic cover in the form of a bag, manufactured under strict requirements to contain no detectable phosphorus, arsenic or antimony. The baby's mattress is sealed inside this protective cover, with the result that no gas generation occurring in the mattress can reach the baby.

Since BabeSafe® mattress covers came onto the market in New Zealand in 1996, there has been no reported case of SIDS/Crib Death among the very large number of babies who have slept on BabeSafe® wrapped mattresses (and using the specified bedding for a wrapped mattress). For the latest statistics about the New Zealand mattress-wrapping campaign select here.

Dr. Sprott has developed a simple and affordable method of protecting babies from toxic gases which can be generated in mattresses. As an authorized distributor of BabeSafe® mattress covers, we can process your order through our website and the mattress cover will be sent direct to you from New Zealand (by First-Class International Airmail). There are no shipping or handling charges. To have the mattress cover shipped from the USA to an address in the USA or Canada, select an Expedited option.

Using the Specified Bedding for a Wrapped Mattress is Essential

It is essential to use the specified bedding for a BabeSafe® wrapped mattress, because bedding can also contain the elements phosphorus, arsenic and/or antimony. By following the Bedding Instructions you can virtually eliminate the possibility of gas generation from those elements in bedding. Only 100% pure cotton single layer bedding (i.e. sheets, flat blankets, and towels) can be used on top of a BabeSafe® mattress cover and over the baby.

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For any questions regarding use of this site contact:

This website has been dedicated in memory of Patrick Jay who died of SIDS at 6½ months of age.

In Memory of Patrick Jay 


Patrick Jay McDonnell -
Sept 21 2001 to April 9 2002

I worked with Patrick's mother Marla, who is an RN working on labor and delivery. The shock of Patrick's death was compounded by reading shortly afterwards about Dr. Sprott's work in NZ. A needless death could have been averted if this information had been more widely published. Since reading and researching Dr. TJ Sprott's work, I have become a strong advocate of his theory. As of December 2010 there have been over 205,000 babies sleeping on BabeSafe mattress covers with no death due to cot death/SIDS. This is enough evidence to make me want to share it with you.

Barb Knoll, CNM, ret.


Although I am a Nurse-Midwife, for legal reasons I am not able to dispense any medical advice. My only purpose is to share the knowledge in this website with moms and dads and grandparents or any caregiver of infants. It is my desire to provide you with a safe environment for your baby.

Specified Mattress Covers

Pictures of How to Wrap a
Mattress Cover

Mattress Covers

NOTE:Use the information provided here as an educational resource for determining your options and making your own informed choices. Baby Mattress Covers, LLC does not claim that mattress-wrapping has been 100% scientifically proven to prevent SIDS. However, we believe that the fact that there have been no SIDS deaths among the vast number of babies in New Zealand who have slept on correctly wrapped mattresses is crucial information for parents. This fact cannot be denied and should not be suppressed. The evidence supporting this explanation is very compelling, and we believe that parents should be informed and have easy access to an inexpensive, non toxic, protective cover that is safe for babies and can certainly do no harm.
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