There is nothing cuter than seeing an infant lying in a baby crib with furry little animals on the sheet, bumper and pillow. Wait! Pillows are not supposed to be in an infant crib. Baby bedding is about more than giving baby a cute place to sleep. There are many safety precautions parents need to take in order to protect baby from the dangers of linens.
Think Need not Want – Baby Bedding
When choosing baby bedding, the first consideration should not be cuteness, it should be safety. Baby bedding is all about need, not want. Adults can sleep in a bed with tons of pillows, fluffy covers, thick mattress pads and lacey sheets without thinking twice about safety. The same cannot be said for baby. Baby bedding needs to provide a safe place for baby to sleep that is warm and nothing more.
Baby sheets need to fit snugly on the baby mattress. It should take more than one person to fit the sheet onto the baby mattress until parents get into the swing of the tight fitting linen. Tight linens keep the surface of the mattress free from wrinkles that could obstruct infant breathing.
Baby needs only one blanket in the crib at any given time. If you feel there is a need for more than one blanket, baby should be dressed in warmer clothing or the heat turned up in the home. The blanket needs to be simple and free from lacey edges, adornments, buttons, or any small pieces that could cause an obstruction of the airway.
It is perfectly fine that grandma gave baby a pillow with her name embroidered on the front, but that pillow has no place in the crib. Babies cannot roll or move out of the way and if the pillow blocks breathing, the baby has no defense against that. Suffocation can occur so keep pillow away.
The baby bumper is a common linen used in infant cribs. The bumper protects baby from the bars on the crib and is generally considered safe. Baby bumpers need to have string tie attachments at the top and bottom of the bumper in several places around the crib. Ideally, these strings would be located at all four corners and twice on each side. The bumper should not have attachments, adornments, or any decoration that could fall off and cause a choking hazard.
Tips for Parents
Don’t just buy one set of tight fitting baby bedding. Multiple sets will be used as baby can make messes here and there. Baby linens should be machine washable. Stay away from the bleach whenever possible as bleach tends to break down the fibers of the cloth causing tears and wear more quickly with fewer washes.