Whether you're planning an elaborate nursery or simply putting a crib in your bedroom, shopping for miniature sheets can be fun. After all, this is where your baby will be spending a lot of time—especially in the beginning, since most newborns sleep up to 18 hours a day. You want the space to be comforting and attractive, but you don't have to spend a fortune.
Your bedding choices will seem endless, from single fitted sheets to designer sets with crib bumpers that cost over $100. It's easy to get swept up into the excitement of shopping for this part of your baby's gear, especially with the vast array of fabrics, colors, and print choices available. That adorable organic collection with the vintage print might inspire you to paint your baby's room a certain color, or give you another decorating inspiration.
While bedding sets might look irresistible in magazines and have you drooling as you browse online, here's a reality check: Many of them come with features that can harm your child. That expensive bumper with the pretty ribbon ties? Skip it. Bumpers are a suffocation hazard and the ribbons are a potential choking or strangulation hazard.
The marketplace is filled with bumpers and other soft items for cribs that parents think are necessary (or at least harmless) and make a baby's sleep space cute and cushiony. But the bottom line, according to our safety experts, is that any soft, extraneous items in a crib besides a fitted sheet are unsafe for infants.
As you can see in our buying guide for Cribs and Crib mattresses, we recommend keeping the one for your baby simple to guard against suffocation. All you need to give her is a safe place to sleep.
Bedding sets can also come with a baby blanket or quilt, but as cute as they are, a child can easily get tangled up in one and suffocate. The same goes for foam wedges or sleep positioners. Our experts say you shouldn't use them, as does the American Academy of Pediatrics. And those stuffed animals you'll receive as gifts should never go in the crib with your baby, either.
You'll also see crib skirts (they're like a dust ruffle) for sale. They're safe but not essential. If you want one because you think it's pretty or softens up a room's decor, go ahead, since it won't be near your baby.
You also need to think about your crib if it can use the crib skirt.This is fairly common in more modern cribs. Sometimes it is a design decision made by the manufacturer, and other times it’s just the placement of some of the parts, but some cribs have pieces that block the crib skirt from being able to hang down. Keep in mind that if you can’t have a crib skirt, you might end up looking at the hardware when the mattress is in the top or middle position.
But the crib skirt also has its benefits.Crib skirts are safe because they lay below the mattress and do not interfere with baby's sleep. They are purely aesthetic and might be that final detail that refines your nursery. These come in handy months later when teething is in full effect.
How to choose the crib skirt
Crib skirts all function the same, but depending on who you purchase from, they may have 3 or 4 sides that hang down. If you are wanting your crib to be in the middle of the room or stick out from the wall from the shorter side, you may want to ensure the crib skirt you purchase has all 4 sides. Crib skirts that come with 3 sides typically only have one long panel and the 2 shorter ones.
your crib skirt doesn't have to only be used just as decoration. There's extra space under your crib; utilize it! Your baby will have lots of necessary items (diapers, wipes, blankets, onesies), but there will also need to be room for toys once he/she gets older. Whatever it is you have in your nursery, you can use the space underneath the crib for storage. And no one will even know! Your crib crib skirt can conveniently and stylishly cover it up and hide it away! Talk about multitasking! What are some of your favorite ways to multitask as a new (or experienced) mom? How else can other moms get the most out of their crib skirts? Tell us in the comments below!