How to dress a crib

This is a guest post by Mary Bauer, founder of Bratt Decor.

Dressing your baby’s crib is a far more daunting task than outfitting your own bed. Not only are there style, comfort, and budget concerns, but there are also safety concerns. Arm yourself with the facts and eliminate the stress. Below is a list of what you need to know.

Crib mattress

This is a must have item. When choosing your baby’s crib mattress, the most important element to look for is a tight fit. If you can fit more than two fingers between the edge of your mattress and the side of the crib, the mattress is too small which will pose a potential safety hazard. Your crib manufacturer should be able to recommend the right mattress for their crib. Another consideration is the type of mattress you prefer. You will see coil, foam, and eco­friendly options. Each have their own special set of benefits, so be sure to read the information and find the one right for you.

Crib sheet

Crib sheets are essential. Look for fitted corners that will keep them secure on the crib mattress. Do not use any sheet that is loose or bunchy. You want them to fit like a second skin. We recommend having 3­5 crib sheets on hand, to cut down on daily laundering. When it comes to material, it’s all about what you love. You can never go wrong with any kind of cotton, but for a more luxurious look, opt for faux silks.

Crib mattress pad

Buy two waterproof mattress pad covers so you can have a back up. Even if you have a waterproof mattress, I still recommend covering it with a pad to keep the mattress as clean as possible.

Crib bumper

When it comes to crib bedding, nothing is more hotly ­debated. The use of crib bumpers has been banned in the city of Chicago and the state of Maryland. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institute of Health have all advised against their use and warn crib bumpers can cause infants to suffocate.

However, the U.S. Consumer Safety Commission has not created any regulation banning their use, and they are legal everywhere else throughout the United States. They were designed to prevent limbs from becoming entrapped between the pickets, which can result in serious injury.

If you do choose to use a crib bumper, make sure it fits around the entire crib without sagging or gaps, have straps or ties at least in each corner and in the middle of each long side, and tie at both the top and bottom edges. If all of the ties cannot be securely attached to the crib, do not use the bumper segment. Avoid pillow like bumpers and once your baby can pull up to a standing position, remove any bumper. It’s best to be armed with the facts, and make an educated decision.

Crib rail cover

A crib rail cover is a length of padded fabric that extends over the length of the front crib rail and is secured. Crib rail covers have a dual benefit. It covers your crib rail, which many babies use as teethers. When they chew on the rails of their crib, they risk wood and paint ingestion, so by adding a crib rail cover, you add a layer of protection between your baby and the crib. Additionally, a crib is a major investment, and a crib rail will help you’re your crib looking new. When your baby is no longer teething and a bit steadier on their feet, you can remove it.

Crib skirt

There are no real safety concerns when it comes to your crib skirts, so it’s all about style.   Most cribs today offer several heights for your crib mattress, so crib skirts often come in a variety of lengths to give you options on how you want your skirt to drape. The most common length for a crib skirt is 18” which will allow your skirt, in most cases, to gently grace the floor when the crib mattress support is in the highest position.

Loose items

Pillows, loose blankets or comforters, stuffed animals, and toys are beautiful and have a variety of uses, but they should be removed from the crib when baby is in residence. These loose items can be suffocation hazards for babies.

A well­ appointed crib is truly the jewel of your nursery. Now that you have the facts, relax and have fun putting it all together on your very own terms!

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