Decide if you want a 4-piece or a 6-piece crib set. A 4-piece crib set includes: a quilt, fitted sheet, bumper and a dust ruffle. A 6-piece set includes the same items in the 4 piece set plus a diaper stacker and a window valance.
You may also want to consider organic based fabrics. Certain styles are made from 100% organic cotton which means the cotton has been grown without the use of chemicals. The patterns are printed on the bedding sets with environmentally friendly dyes. Organic is good for a baby with sensitive skin or allergies, and is available in crib bedding sets as well as individual pieces.
CRIB BEDDING COMPONENTS:
Quilts - Are most commonly draped over the crib railing (while the crib is not in use) for decorative purposes completing the look of the nursery. Also know as comforters, quilts should never be used while baby is in the crib. They can also be used as playmats for tummy time or as a wall hanging.
Fitted Sheets - Should always fit the mattress snugly to prevent baby from pulling the sheet loose and getting tangled up, causing a possible suffocation or strangulation hazard. Fitted sheets come in a standard size to fit a standard size crib mattress. And you will want to have lots of extra sheets; we recommend at least 3-4. Sheets come in a variety of fabrics.
- Percale - which refers to the way the fabric is woven. Percale can be either 100% cotton or a blend of cotton and polyester and are available in different thread counts. (In general, the higher the thread counts the softer the sheet.)
- Jersey Knit - feels like a T-shirt and is good in the cooler months.
- Velour - a very plush fabric used in cooler environments.
Bumpers - Are oblong fabric pads tied to the slats of the crib along the inner walls protecting your infant from bumping into the side of the crib and for keeping arms/legs inside. Bumpers should be removed as soon as the baby is able to pull themselves up to stand (around 5-6 months). Bumpers should fit the crib precisely without gaps or overlapping. Crib bumper ties should be located on both the top and bottom of the bumper. Some parents prefer breathable or mesh bumpers (which are not included in bedding sets and must be bought separately) as they can be used beyond 6 months since the fabric collapses to prevent climbing, plus they reduce the chance of suffocation.
Dust Ruffle - Also known as a crib skirt, it hangs from underneath the mattress to complete the look of the crib. It is purely decorative and optional and functions to hide the mattress support hardware and any under crib storage items.
Diaper Stacker - Is a great place to store clean diapers that coordinates with the decor. The safest and most convenient place to hang the diaper stacker from is the changing table. If you hang it from the crib, remember to remove the stacker once the baby is able to stand up inside the crib.
Window Valance - Is the upper portion of a window treatment and helps to tie the room decor together. Most sets only include one valance so if your nursery has more than one window you will want to buy extra valances (sold separately).
ADDITIONAL BEDDING COMPONENTS:
Mattress Pad - Is placed on top of the mattress under the sheet and makes the mattress softer and in most cases water-proof. A fitted pad is the best choice for crib mattresses, while a flat pad is better for cradle or bassinet mattresses.
Mattress Encasement - Protects the mattress from bed bugs, dust mites and provides allergy protection.
Sheet Savers/Ultimate Crib Sheet - Is placed between the baby and the sheet and tied to the slats of the crib, providing water-proof protection for the sheet.
Cradle Bedding Sets - Includes quilt, bumper and fitted cradle sheet.
Port-A-Crib Bedding Sets - Includes quilt, bumper and a fitted port-a-crib sheet.
Changing Pad - This is the pad the baby lies on during changes. Two sided contoured pads are raised on the sides of the baby. Three sided contoured pads are raised on the side of the baby and at the baby's head.
Changing Pad Covers - Like sheets, you will want to have extras on hand, at least 2-3. They are available in terry, water-proof, organic and plush fabrics.
OTHER NURSERY CONSIDERATIONS:
- Wall art
- Decorative pillows
- Drapes/extra valances
- Extra sheets
- Extra/breathable bumpers
- Ultimate crib sheets/sheet savers
- Water-proof mattress pads
- Mattress encasements
- Sleep positioner
- Sleep sack/swaddling/receiving blankets