The Must-Haves in Baby Bedding
New parents dream of a good night's sleep and it begins with providing your little one with a comfortable and safe sleeping environment. While your ideal bedding might include soft sheets, a fluffy comforter, and plush pillows, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using only a fitted crib sheet in baby's cribs. Additional bedding, including top sheets, quilts and pillows, increases the risk of SIDS and suffocation. Choose from a wide variety of fitted sheet colors and designs to decorate your baby's nursery in the safest style.
Building a Baby's Bed
- Start with a firm crib mattress that fits snugly into the crib. Be sure to add a waterproof mattress pad.
- To ensure that sheets stay in place, particularly as your baby starts to roll over, look for fitted crib sheets with elastic bands on the bottom or that zip around the top. Have five to eight fitted sheets on hand so that it's an easy change during those middle-of-the-night accidents. Choose from cotton fitted sheets for summer and flannel sheets for winter to keep your baby at the appropriate temperature year round. If you have a specialty crib, be sure to check out our mini crib, bassinet and cradle bedding section for specialty sheet sizes.
- While an optional add-on to your crib, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend using bumper pads in cribs because they can potentially increase the risk of SIDS, suffocation, strangulation, or entrapment. However, if you choose to use them, be sure that they are thin and tightly secured to the edges of the crib with the ties on the outside to decrease the potential of safety issues.
The Toddler Transition
Once your toddler has successfully mastered their jailbreak from the crib, it might be time to introduce a toddler bed. This transition can happen at any point between the ages of 1½ and 3. Moving your child into a big bed is a big change for both parents and kids. Your toddler will be testing the newfound freedom of being able to hop in and out of bed as they please—and parents will have to figure out how to safely set up a toddler's sleeping space and encourage them to stay in bed and go to sleep.
- To make sure the room is safe, position the bed away from windows, radiators, blinds, and lamps. Additionally, place the headboard of the bed against the wall, leaving space on both sides of the bed so that there's no risk of your child getting stuck between the wall and bed. If you have railings on your bed, you can put these up as an alternative to having space on both sides. You may also want to add a plush rug or pillows on the floor to soften any falls that may occur.
- Once you have the bed all set, it's time to get bedding. Now that your child can move much more independently, you can safely introduce additional bedding, like pillows and blankets. Be sure to check with your pediatrician before introducing any additional bedding, however, to confirm your child is ready. Just like for cribs, be sure to purchase bedding that is specifically sized for toddler beds so that there is no risk of getting tangled in larger sheets or blankets.
- Let your kid be part of the process—have them pick their favorite sheet sets, perhaps ones that have their favorite characters or objects. Allowing them to decorate their room might be the thing that makes them want to be in their bed instead of the living room after bedtime. Most importantly, stick to your normal bedtime routine. Before you know it, your child will love life in a big-kid room.