Shopping for baby bedding and crib bedding is one of the expectant family’s greatest joys. There are a few things to keep in mind.
Before buying bedding for the new baby, determine that the crib mattress size is standard.
A mattress used for a full crib should be at least 51⅝ inches long and 27 ¼ inches wide, and the assembly instructions for the crib and the mattress must prominently display these requirements. If the size of the crib mattress is not according to the specifications issued by the Commission, it may lead to suffocation or entrapment of the baby’s head between the sides of the crib and the mattress.
As new parents it is most important that the crib and mattress be of the specified size. Again, the mattress must be 51 5/8″ long and 27 1/4″ wide. The newborn’s safety is far more important than the style and design of the nursery decor.
When shopping for baby bedding it is most important to know the size of the sheets. The sheets must fit snugly. There is no room for error with nursery crib sheets.
With a newborn, we must state again, there is no room for error. The baby will not be tossing and turning across the mattress, however, the proper fit of the sheet is as important as the fit of the mattress. A sheet that comes loose during the night could cover the baby’s head and smother the newborn or in some cases the infant could choke or strangle. Our purpose is not to upset a prospective parent. However, safety comes before decor, particularly in this case.
One of the main suggestions for keeping baby bedding safely on the mattress is to purchase a mattress that is firm. Mattresses that are too soft and “give” have a tendency to allow the pockets to come off the corners more easily than a firmer mattress. And, for the baby’s safety, a firm mattress is a better choice, particularly once the infant learns to roll over.
After purchasing the bedding for the baby’s crib try the fitted sheets on the mattress well before the newborn arrives. Bounce up and down on the mattress once the sheet is in place to assure that the sheet does not pop loose. Do this with each set of baby bedding. Return the sheets if they do not perform as desired.
Selecting Colored Sheets for the Newborn
Should you purchase colored sheets for the newborn? We suggest that the first sheets be white, without any dyes in the fabric. This is not to suggest that a colorful nursery is out of the question. This is only to suggest that until the new parents become familiar with the newborn’s skin it may be best to avoid dyes in the bedding. Most infants do not suffer any allergic reactions to dyes. However, for the first few weeks it is suggested that a white fitted sheet be used. After a couple of weeks, colored sheets can be introduced.
Of utmost importance is the texture of the fabric. A soft cotton percale may be the best choice. The cotton is a natural fabric. Percale, in most cases, suggests that the strands of thread used in the weaving process are fine. This will create a smoother, silkier surface against the baby’s skin. As the infant begins to grow and move about the softness of a cotton percale can reduce skin chafing.
Always wash the baby bedding before first use just as is suggested for all sheets and pillow cases. As mentioned in several previous articles the fabric of the sheet has what is called sizing applied during the manufacturing process. This makes the sheet a little stiffer for packaging, giving a smooth appearance in the wrapper. However, the sizing can give the bedding a rough feel to the touch. For that reason we suggest that all bedding, especially if used in a crib, be washed before first use.
Babies do not need a comforter, although many linen shops will offer a complete baby bedding ensemble. It is far better to purchase additional sheets. Once the child is ready to move around on his own, there is plenty of time to invest in a colorful comforter.
Of course, every new parent wants to show off the new nursery. We can certainly appreciate that. If you, as the expectant parent, have a color scheme in mind or a favorite pattern suggest it to the hostess of the baby shower. There will be plenty of baby showers and opportunities to receive baby sheets. Bedding is always a favorite gift.
Remember, the infant’s safety and well being is your primary concern. Check the size of the mattress and the size of the baby bedding. Try all bedding for fit and a bounce test before putting the baby in the crib. Pre-wash all sheets before first use. Check for wear as the infant grows. Always check the corner pockets for security around the mattress corners. Keep your new baby safe, even while he sleeps.