Crib sheets may not be the first thing you think about when welcoming a new baby into the family, but they are one of those baby items that are just as essential as diapers. When you set up your registry and try to decide on all the things you need, you’ll focus on the nursery. First you need a crib, then comes the baby bedding. You want something lovely, comfy, and easy to wash. You look around and find all those adorable bedding sets. In your mind’s eye, you see the crib with that cute baby bedding looking picture perfect. It is something you have dreamed of. After all, the crib is always the nursery’s centerpiece in those beautiful home decor magazine photos.
Unfortunately, life isn’t picture perfect. With just a bit of research, you’ll see that cute bedding won’t always work and may even be a health hazard. You must be careful about your ideal look, especially because it won’t meet the current safety standards to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and baby suffocation. It’s true: that cute baby comforter, those bed bumpers, and stuffed animals could be the culprit of a baby dying of SIDS.
According to Dr. John McKay, Medical Director of St. Francis’ Neonatal Care Unit, SIDS should be a concern for parents and is a leading cause of death for American infants. He says, “When putting your baby down to sleep, you want to place your baby on his back and need to remove all products from the crib or bassinet.” The key point in this quote is “remove all products.” You can’t keep all those lovely baby bedding items in the crib. You must strip it down to the very basic fitted sheet. Parents may have to go against their instinct here. The idea is not to cover your baby with all kinds of blankets. Instead, you want to avoid overwrapping and overheating the baby with blankets and crib bedding. The safest sleeping environment is a basic fitted sheet made for the size of the crib mattress. No other bedding or crib stuff. So, before you think of buying that homemade quilt, be sure to think of the safety issues.
Babies sleep almost 16 hours a day, so choosing the right bed sheets is critical to helping your baby stay calm and get the sleep he needs. Picking a color and pattern may be fun, and it can be exciting to visualize the look of the sheets on your new baby bed. But the search for baby sheets shouldn’t end here. The fabric and type of sheet you choose are also important factors for your baby’s health and safety as well as for your budget.
Why Crib Bedding Might Be Dangerous
According to the CDC, bedding can be a danger to babies because it may cause strangulation or SIDS. Your baby only needs a firm mattress and a well-fitted crib sheet. Just be sure the mattress does not have an indentation when the baby lies on it. Keep your baby warm by using sleep clothing and sleeping sacks instead of blankets and baby sheet sets.
Avoid placing crib bumpers, comforters, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, or anything else near a crib. All of these things are cute but increase the risk of death or injury caused by smothering or entrapment. Instead of using bumpers, use a crib that prevents head entrapment. Most cribs made after June 2011 have new safety requirements to help you avoid these dangerous issues.
Despite the higher safety standards, baby bedding is still sold in stores even though the CDC and other health organizations post warnings. Keep in mind these baby bedding sets are only meant to be decorative. If you get quilts, blankets, and comforters as gifts, you don’t have to explain that you won’t use them. Instead, you might use a quilt as a wall hanging or for room decoration. Just remove these items from the crib when you put your baby down to sleep. Remember, your baby’s crib should look “naked.” No fluffy bedding items, just the fitted sheet.
Just think of all the money you’ll save if you decide not to get the crib toys, padding, and blankets. Instead, you can invest your cash in great quality crib sheets that stand up to safety standards and protect your baby from SIDS.
Tips for Finding the Right Crib Sheets
Crib sheets should fit the mattress snugly. You want your baby’s bed to look sparse and flat. You may think that a crib like this looks unmade, but according to the experts, that is exactly what you want your crib to look like at night, and because you want that totally flat look and feel, you need to find the right sheets for the crib you own. Here are some of the most important things to consider when shopping for crib sheets.
Not all crib sheets are fitted, but they should be. Fitted sheets are a wonderful invention that didn’t even exist before 1959. It was Bertha Berman who invented the first set. The fitted sheet is safest for your baby and prevents him from getting tangled up in them. Other sheets can be dangerous, making it difficult for him to breathe. Be sure to look for fitted sheets with elastic all around the mattress, not just in the corners. This will ensure a snug fit.
You would think that all baby crib sheets are the same size, but they aren’t. That would make things too simple. Crib mattresses come in different sizes, so the crib sheets do as well. There are three crib sizes:
Standard cribs – A baby crib has measurements of 28×52 inches.
Mini cribs – The size for these cribs is 24×38.
Bassinets – These cribs fluctuate in size but generally are 30 to 33 inches in length and 15 to 18 inches wide.
Almost all crib mattresses are rectangular, but designer cribs are hexagonal, round, and other shapes. These beds usually come with custom mattresses, so you’ll need special crib sheets. Sometimes a crib can be custom-made with its own special sheet sizes. In this case, you will need to buy the sheets from the manufacturer.
The more standard your crib is, the easier it is to find crib sheets you like. However, check your mattress size to ensure you get the right size sheets.
Different Types of Materials
Crib sheets are made from all sorts of materials. But when choosing sheets for babies, think carefully about the materials used. The most popular are cotton, bamboo, silk, microfiber, flannel, percale, lyocell, sateen, and eucalyptus. Let’s go over the best materials for your baby.
Cotton has been grown for thousands of years. We use it in clothes, sheets, and towels, but we also use it for numerous other things like cooking oil, animal feed, packaging even biofuels. Why? Because it is a great material. Cotton is one of the best materials for crib sheets because it is a breathable, clean, and natural resource. Are there any other reasons to use cotton? Sure! A baby’s skin is very porous, so you don’t want it to absorb things like plastics and petroleum-based materials.
Cotton has no artificial materials. So, when the cotton threads are woven together, it lets your baby’s body breathe and is good for the baby’s sensitive skin. Best of all, cotton helps regulate your baby’s body temperature and can absorb heat, act as a natural ventilator in hot weather, or work as a warm insulator in the winter. Cotton is also easy to maintain, and you don’t need special cleaning methods.
When buying cotton crib sheets check to ensure the sheets are prewashed. You don’t want them to shrink so much that they don’t fit the mattress. Sheets made of 100% cotton tend to hold up best to all the washing, although they are sometimes wrinkled when they come out of the dryer. If wrinkled sheets bother you, try a cotton blend. Just be sure that there is a higher percentage of cotton in the blend to give your baby’s sheets more breathability.
This material is not breathable, but the higher-quality polyester baby sheets can feel like silk. Sometimes polyester can be a good thing as sheets made of blends of polyester and natural materials are wrinkle-free and do not shrink.
Bamboo is a new type of natural material for sheets. Well, not that new; it has been used as a blend material for years. However, its use as a sole fabric is a new method of making bedding. Bamboo can be a great sheet choice for babies with extremely sensitive skin. This material may be the best choice if your baby suffers from skin allergies. However, you can expect these fitted crib sheets to be more expensive.
It Is All about Color
As we mentioned, there are different colors for baby crib sheets. Baby pastel colors are fun. Toy trains, dolls, and Sesame Street characters can be so much fun to shop for, but when you get them home, it’s like having a wildly abstract painting in your country-styled home. It looked great in the gallery but sits over your mantle like a sore thumb. Sheets that have too many colors, designs, or cartoons simply do not promote sleep. But does this really matter?
Yes, it does! Babies distinguish lights and darks in the womb. After birth, they see black and white and in just a few months can distinguish bold colors. So when the sheets are bright and vibrant, your baby’s brain is working hard to distinguish the colors, meaning he isn’t relaxing and getting ready for sleep.
Solid neutral colors are more inducive to sleep. White, grey or solid colored pale colors work best as they promote a calming effect for your baby.
Soft and Temperature-Regulating
Baby crib sheet sets are much better than they used to be; they benefit the skin and encourage the relaxation you want for your baby. There are some great advances in materials for baby bedding for the standard crib mattress. Some brands even create baby bed sheet options with a warming or cooling effect. Don’t be afraid to test out cooling or soothing crib sheets. Baby bedding sets the tone for your nursery, but more importantly, it helps relax your baby and keeps them relaxed, comfortable, and safe.
Our List of the Best Crib Sheets to Buy
Are you still a little confused about what crib sheets to buy? Here are a few of the best crib sheets on the market today. These options fulfill both your need for cuteness and your baby’s need for safety.
Pack n Play Stretchy Fitted Pack n Play Playard Sheet Set BROLEX 2 Pack Portable Mini Crib Sheets
Pack n Play’s sheet set contains two ultra-soft, jersey-knit stretch fitted play sheets for portable mini cribs with an elephant and whale print that provides a cute, decorative touch. Jersey knit is a single knit cotton material, which is ideal for a baby’s skin. One of the biggest problems with the mini crib is finding the sheets to fit the mini crib mattress. Standard crib sheets are often too large for the mini crib, but this Pack n Play set fits any Playard mini mattress thanks to the elastic ends. Baby’s skin will love the feel of these warm, ultra-soft jersey sheets. You can find these cute printed sheets on Amazon for $14.99
Everyday Kids 2-Pack Fitted Crib Sheets, 100% Soft Breathable Microfiber Baby Sheet, Fits Standard Size Crib Mattress 28in x 52in
This 2-pack fitted crib sheet set is made of polyester microfiber, a synthetic fiber that is extremely thin, even thinner than a strand of silk. The nice thing about this high-tech material is that it is super soft and can wick away sweat and keep the baby warm or cool at night. The sheets measure 52x28x8 inches. Everyday Kids, the brand that makes these sheets, ensures they are cozy and colorful, perfect for everyday use. At just $9.99 on Amazon, you can’t go wrong with this sheet set.
Mix and match with different patterns or soft, muted colors. They fit a standard crib or toddler mattress and have full elastic trim around all sides.
Amazon Basics 100% Cotton Jersey Fitted Baby Crib Sheet, Fits up to 6-Inch Mattress – 28 x 52-Inch,
Looking for something that looks more organic, maybe in an oatmeal color? These sheets are an Amazon favorite, made of soft natural cotton to fit a standard crib. They come in pale oatmeal color with no frills or fancy patterns. The solid neutral color may be best for a baby’s sleep. The sheets are 100% cotton jersey, ideal for baby’s comfort. Best of all, they are made in an eco-friendly way and have undergone strict ecological testing. The sheets measure 28x52x9 inches. Amazon offers them for just $10.99.
Burt’s Bees Baby – Fitted Crib Sheet, Solid Color, 100% Organic Cotton Crib Sheet for Standard Crib and Toddler Mattresses (Cloud White)
If you are looking for an organic crib sheet option, this could be it. These cloud white crib sheets fit the bill for any new parent. They are soft and comfy organic cotton, an excellent option to protect baby skin. The sheets are a solid white. Burt’s Bees Baby makes products that are eco-friendly, organic, and all-natural. You can’t go wrong here. Made with the patented Beesnug 360 elastic, the sheet adds a little extra stretch to provide a snugger fit and prevent the sheet from creeping up the mattress, allowing your baby to sleep well. These sheets are GOTS-certified and breathable organic cotton, ideal for a baby’s porous skin. They measure 28×52 inches for standard crib and toddler mattresses. You can find these sheets on Amazon for just $19.95.
Burt’s Bees Baby – Fitted Crib Sheet, Boys & Unisex 100% Organic Cotton Crib Sheet for Standard Crib and Toddler Mattresses (Hello Moon!)
Cute, cuddly, and soft. The Hello Moon crib sheets are made of organic cotton but have a cute minimalistic moon pattern. Made by Burt’s Bees Baby, you can be sure these baby crib sheets are organic and meet stringent ecological standards. They are GOTS-certified and made of 100% organic cotton. They measure 28×52 inches and fit any standard crib, which makes them a perfect baby gift, even when you don’t know what the baby’s room looks like. Find these Burt’s Bees crib sheets on Amazon for $19.99.
Contrary to what maybe people think, warm blankets and soft pillows are not good for babies. They may be cute and make the nursery look inviting, but they can be dangerous. These items put your baby at risk of sudden infant death syndrome. When putting your baby down for the night, you should use warm clothing and lay them down on their backs on a snugly fitted sheet that does not come up off the mattress. Any other materials could put your baby at risk of strangulation. Soft, natural-fibered fitted sheets work best to help your baby’s skin breathe and stay warm in winter and cool in summer. Choosing one of the fitted sheets reviewed here will ensure comfortable and safe sleep.