Sleep, it’s a beautiful thing. Even more so when it’s your baby that you’ve just put down for bed. To make your baby comfortable and to have everything they need for a safe, restful night’s sleep is among one of the most important tasks in preparing the nursery. There are so many things when it comes to the “baby sleep” category, so what do you really need and how much of it do you buy, is one of each enough?
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Baby Bedding Guide
1. Bassinet (do you need one?)
3. Crib Mattress
4. Crib Mattress Protector
5. Crib Sheets (how many?)
6. Crib Bumpers (yes or no?)
♥ Keeping Your Baby Warm
♥ What Does a Safe Sleep Nursery Look Like?
Where to Begin?
Apart from trying to decide how many bed sheets to buy or if you need crib bumpers or not; even more so, how do you actually know you are buying the best for your baby, have you thought of the what is the safest baby crib to buy?
What do other parents suggest or recommend?
What about the safest and non-toxic crib sheets or waterproof mattress cover?
How many sheets do you need?
What type of crib bumper should you get to ensure your baby can breathe if they roll close to it?
See how there is so many question marks?
To ensure you aren’t just buying just anything, we have put together the ultimate guide on how to set up and buy everything you need for your babies crib. Here are our recommendations and also top picks in each category to ensure you are not only buying the safest crib, safest crib sheets and safest bumpers for your baby but for all that a nursery requires, the baby bedding essentials…
I guess the best place to start in the beginning is with the most basic and probably most obvious item.
Many parents choose to buy both and this is actually a great idea!
However deciding on whether to buy a basinet comes down to person preference or needs, its not mandatory that every parent needs to buy one (view entire range here)
Many new moms feel they get more sleep in the beginning with their baby in their bassinet next to their bed. There are a ton of features available with bassinets, some have lights, music and even vibrations. Many of the bassinets come with wheels to make it easy to move from room to room during the day for babies nap time.
As a parent, you can get your usual tasks completed and keep an eye on your sleeping babe at the same time. However, babies don’t stay small forever and within a few short months, they will outgrow the bassinet and be ready to move on to the crib. If you don’t opt for a bassinet when your baby is young, some start out directly with the crib and that is fine too. Like I said, it’s personal preference.
2. Crib Shopping
Crib shopping is pretty fun but slightly stressful at the same time. Finding the best crib that suits your nursery theme and personal style is sometimes difficult and can take a few hours to pick.
You have to think so many things when it comes to baby’s crib..
Dark wood, or light wood? Or not wood at all?
Colored or Natural?
You need to think of so many other things also, we have written more in detail about this in our guide (see link above).
The structure on some cribs may seem more feminine than others, some come with an attached changing table or dresser, the choices are seemingly endless.
From my experience, I went to at least 5 stores but found my luck online. I ended up buying one in store and returning it, finding it cheaper to get it delivered straight to me.
*TIP* If you’re a thrifty shopper and are considering buying a second hand crib, our advise would be NOT to get a second hand crib. Second hand when it comes to cribs is not always a safe idea. Keep in mind that drop side cribs were made illegal and recalled many years ago due to safety concerns so you need to ensure that you are buying the safest crib for your baby and any of our top baby cribs will help you out there, all the cribs that we have included are the most popular, best selling, top rated and safest for your little one (view our crib guide here).
3. A Crib Isn’t Complete Without a Crib Mattress
Once you’ve picked the perfect crib for your sweet baby, you’ll need a crib mattress for it. While you want something comfortable, you need something firm. Babies can’t have soft pillow top mattresses like we can, if the mattress starts to sink in a little bit from them laying on the same spot, their airways can get blocked.
Just remember, your baby will be spending most of their early life sleeping on this piece of furniture so really, quality should not be sacrificed here.
If you are worried that the mattress is too hard and firm, don’t worry, your baby will be absolutely comfortable on it. There are many choices in crib mattresses, some even come in natural fibers and are made out of completely natural, non-toxic materials.
While a non-toxic crib mattress might be a little more expensive, if that’s what you decide is best for your baby, price won’t matter so much.
4. Crib Mattress Protectors
I can’t stress to you enough how important to you these waterproof crib mattress pads and covers are!
They go on like a sheet, are washable and they protect the crib mattress from stains, dust, and other gross messes that your infant will most certainly have
We would highly suggest finding one that it also water resistant and buying WAY WAY more than one. 2-3 AT LEAST would be ideal because right now as you never know how often you’ll be changing the bedding and sheets in your child’s crib but you will surely find out soon enough 🙂
5. Crib Sheets
And many of them….After buying a few crib mattress protectors, start thinking of doing the same with crib sheets, but this time, maybe double your quantity with this item. Crib sheets.
On average, people tend to buy 4-5 crib sheets prior to giving birth but soon find out once the baby arrives, about 8-10 sets of crib sheets is the sweet spot. Save yourself the hassle and buy them altogether.
From my own personal experience, my daughter is a rather sweaty sleeper and she drools. Adorable, and pretty gross at the same time 🙂 Even if your child isn’t like mine, you will find yourself needing and using many many sheets.
I find myself changing my baby’s sheets every day, if not twice a day. If her diaper leaks or she spills her bottle or has a bad night and throws up, I might be changing her crib sheets a few times just in the middle of the night. Once you’ve settled on a theme for your nursery, start by buying a lot of sheets.
If you buy a crib set, they usually only come with one matching sheet. Look around, you might be able to find a similar pattern in a regular pack of sheets, and if not, solid colors that match your theme are another great option. Having at least 8-10 changes of baby sheets will be sufficient enough to get you through even those stomach flu nights. I know it may seem plentiful however, you’ll soon realize that you will be running out of sheets in no time at all.
6. Crib Bumpers
What else do we think of when we think of crib accessories? Crib bumpers of course! We don’t want our little ones getting anything stuck in the bars.
In many places, the regular plush thick bumpers have been made illegal and have been replaced with a new style of crib bumper.
These new style of crib bumpers are made from mesh material. Mesh crib bumpers cover the bar gaps in the crib and are breathable so if your baby rolls over and pushes their face against it, they can still breathe. They come in a variety of colors so you can certainly find something that will go along with your nursery theme and decor.
*TIP* Many crib sets can come with a bumper set as well as a comforter and matching sheets. If you have bought one and it comes with a crib bumper (one of those standard plush bumpers), we recommend also buying a mesh crib bumper or liner as this is a safer choice. There is a few on the market and they typically aren’t expensive at all. Nothing is as important as a safe sleep space for your baby.
7. A Crib Mobile
Lastly, is the mobile. Some parents find that a crib mobile soothes their baby to sleep but others find that it stimulates baby for the opposite effect.
Many people buy this at the same time they buy their crib and furniture sets but it is ultimately up to you and what’s best for your baby if you choose to use it.
Keeping Your Baby Warm
Here are some other necessary items that get categorized under keeping your baby warm.
Comforters are typically more of a decoration piece in the crib set while your baby is little. You might lay a comforter down and tuck in the sides before the baby learns to roll around and simply lay them on top of it.
At night time, you need to think how you are going to keep your baby warm. There is swaddle blankets and sleep sacks that are a much safer choice than having blankets in the crib or cot.
Swaddle Blankets have some that look like little baby sacks that you put baby in and Velcro over. They are definitely a life saver in the beginning stages and even for some older babies.
The traditional swaddle blankets are a life-saver to all parents. Made of 100% Muslin Cotton, swaddle blankets are used for a variety of purposes, anything you wish really, not just for swaddling your baby, versatility to the max and an excellent buy!
Not only is it a safe way to blanket your child, being swaddled gives babies the sense of security that they had in the womb and makes it easier for them to fall asleep and stay that way.
Sleep Sacks are great for older babies or babies that like to have their arms free at night and still want to be warm and covered everywhere else. You can zip them up in it, just like pajamas but it looks like a sleeping bag outfit. Adorable, cozy and safe.
*TIP* It isn’t always necessary to have a cover or blanket for your baby. There are fleece sleepers or blanket sleepers that you can put on them and lay them in the crib like that. It all depends on the temperature of the room and the comfort of the baby. Sometimes in summer a simple onesie will suffice.
Remember, Healthy Sleep = Healthy Baby
While it seems there is a lot to go into just the babies crib, having these simple necessities will ensure a safe and comfortable night for your baby…. (Once you get them down, we can’t really help with that, sorry!)
After all, what allows you to sleep better at night than the peace of mind in knowing that you have everything you need for your baby to have a safe, clean, comfortable place to sleep? Remember, babies spend most of their life sleeping (estimated at around 75%) at the start so if you want to cut the budget in the sleep area, we recommend not, it’s not something you should be thinking twice about.
We always buy for ourselves and our family and friends, crib bedding and accessories made from chemical free, non-toxic and organic materials, ensuring that you don’t cut any corners will ensure the safety of your baby.
The Safe Sleep Nursery Looks Like This
A safe sleep space for your baby looks like this:
A crib made from non-toxic materials or varnishes (view safest cribs here) and;
A firm mattress with tight fitting (view safest crib mattresses here), secure sheets, breathable mesh bumpers, no blankets and no stuffed animals or pillows. You don’t want anything that could restrict or increase the chance of any suffocation and nothing that isn’t absolutely required. (i.e Dream catchers taped to the side or anything with a dangling string that they might break or choke on are NOT recommended).