What Crib Bedding Do You Need for a Newborn?
Becoming a parent is exciting, thrilling, and sometimes complex. You might feel like the happiest person on earth when you become the parent of a cute little baby, but some things may leave you puzzled. For instance, selecting the perfect crib for your baby may be a confusing task - but that’s just the beginning. After getting a crib and assembling it, you will need to make sure that you have crib bedding for your baby. However, most parents are confused about what type of bedding to buy. So, what crib bedding do you need for a newborn?
The crib bedding you need for a newborn includes a mattress, mattress pad, mattress cover, and crib sheets. You may choose to purchase a baby quilt, a baby blanket, sleep sacks, bumpers, toys, or a baby monitor, but these items are optional to have and should not be left in your baby’s crib.
A newborn baby spends most of its time sleeping (about 17-18 hours a day, according to a 2019 study). In order to keep your baby happy, healthy, and comfortable, the baby’s sleeping space must be suitable for them, and bedding is necessary to make a crib suitable. Crib bedding is available in many varieties, which can be confusing. In order to make things easier for you, we have created a list of essential and optional bedding items for your baby’s crib.
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Essential Crib Bedding for a Newborn
As we mentioned above, there are some crib bedding items that you must have in order to provide the best possible sleeping environment for your newborn. These essential items will help your baby sleep well and keep them safe and protected. But what is considered essential crib bedding for a newborn?
Here is a list of essential crib bedding for a newborn:
- Crib Mattress
- Mattress pad
- Mattress cover
- Crib sheets
In order to help you select the right crib bedding for your baby, we will explain each of these essential bedding items in more detail below. You may also enjoy our article about crib sizes and crib mattress sizes.
Since babies sleep for up to 18 hours each day, choosing the right crib mattress is imperative. In the first few months of your baby's life, they deserve the sound and healthy sleep needed to grow well. There are several crib mattresses available that can provide that much-needed adequate sleeping surface.
Out of all the options available, it’s best to choose a mattress made of synthetic foam or natural latex, as both are very safe for your baby. The foremost benefit of these types of mattresses is the hypoallergenic layers that assure the sound and healthy sleep of your baby. There should be no adhesives or glues involved in the manufacturing process of the mattress, and the mattress must be waterproof and free from dust mites.
Additionally, a good crib mattress should be firm and flat. The height of the mattress is another important factor for your child's safety, as a mattress that’s too high could cause your baby to fall or climb out of its crib.
Mattress pads play an important role in prolonging the life of your mattress. In this regard, it is essential that the mattress pad be made of viscoelastic polyurethane, which has fine chemicals that are essential for the resilience and firmness of the material and make it feel softer.
The primary benefit of a mattress pad is the addition of cushioning to the mattress, just like having a pillow in bed. It’s the most significant item of bedding to have, along with the mattress. The mattress pad must be made of soft material that serves its core purpose - to give your baby a cozier and quieter environment.
Good-quality mattress pads can provide your little one with adequate warmth so that they sleep comfortably. In addition to this, a mattress pad can add extra comfort for your baby's body in the crib, and it can help distribute body weight evenly.
Cleanliness is another considerable benefit of having a mattress pad. You don't always need to clean the entire mattress; you can simply clean the mattress pad if the mess or stain hasn’t penetrated through to the mattress.
A mattress cover is an essential crib accessory that helps keep the mattress clean and dry. Since the mattress cover protects the mattress, it is necessary to have a quality mattress cover with no harmful chemicals.
Apart from prolonging the life of your new mattress, the foremost benefit of a mattress cover is that it protects the mattress from any leaks and spills and keeps the bed clean and sanitary.
Crib sheets are another essential bedding item. Medical experts say that a newborn baby should get between 12 to 20 hours of sleep each night (for more information, see this article from the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine). Since you can’t always hold your baby while they sleep, soft and comfy crib sheets can help them sleep soundly.
The fabric the sheets are made from must be 100% durable and breathable. The sheets must also be able to keep your baby warm when the weather is cold, and cool when the weather is warm. Crib sheets are commonly hypoallergenic so that babies won't get any skin irritation from their sheets.
Crib sheets are affordable and not very likely to shrink or get wrinkled when you wash them. There are many waterproof options available, but if you are using a mattress cover, you can use any type of sheets.
What Crib Bedding Is Optional for a Newborn?
There is some optional bedding that you may choose to put in your newborn’s crib to enhance their sleep. This optional bedding can make your baby’s crib more comfortable and can give you peace of mind knowing that your baby is safe and cozy. But what crib bedding is optional for a newborn?
The following crib bedding is optional for a newborn:
- Baby quilt or blanket
- Sleep sacks
- Baby monitors
In order to help you decide whether you want to get some of this additional bedding for your baby’s crib, we will explain each of these optional bedding items in more detail below.
Baby Quilt or Blanket
Give your baby a warm and cozy quilt so that they can feel safe and comfortable while they sleep. Most baby quilts are large enough for your infant to use until they are approximately two years old. One great thing about having a baby quilt in your baby's sleeping accessories is that they are gentle, washable, and allergen-free.
All baby quilts are exceptionally soft and can be folded easily, which is perfect for taking your baby to the beach or wherever else you might take your little one. Some experts recommend not leaving loose quilts or blankets in your baby’s crib while they sleep, so be sure to exercise caution if you put a quilt in your baby’s crib.
Sleep Sacks or Baby Sleeping Bags
A baby's sleep is an important part of its growth, and temperature control is a crucial part of making sure that a baby sleeps well. Sleep sacks are wearable blankets that cover your baby thoroughly to make them feel warm and safe. Having your baby wear a sleep sack is a good way to give them the ideal temperature for sleeping.
The best feature of sleep sacks is the center zipper, which makes changing diapers easy and quick. They are also available in various sizes to ensure that your infant has an ideal and comfortable sleep. However, some experts suggest avoiding sleep sacks because they can make a baby too warm. For more information, see this article from the British Journal of General Practice.
Bumpers are a good, but optional, sleep accessory for your baby. They are not essential to use, but we recommend them for a few specific reasons. Note that cot bed bumpers are illegal in some states and there are much safer alternatives that provide the same benefits.
The foremost reason to use a bumper is that they help prevent your child from being injured in their crib. If your child is unconsciously moving to the side of the crib while they sleep, bumpers can protect their head and other body parts from the sides of the crib.
Along with that, they can help you feel satisfied that your baby is safe when you are away from them while they sleep. If your child's crib has a full railing, bumpers can help prevent your baby’s upper or lower extremities from getting caught in the railing. Bumpers will also help ensure that your child won't get any bone fractures while they sleep.
Some experts believe that bumpers can be dangerous for your baby in specific scenarios. For example, bumpers are relatively thick, so if a baby thrusts its face into one, it may put them at higher risk of suffocation. So, before buying bumpers for your child’s crib, think carefully about whether or not you need them.
Toys can make your baby’s nursery more attractive and fun. Experts believe that toys help your baby learn, even when they aren’t playing and entertaining themselves. Therefore, every toy can boost your child’s learning experience by helping them develop new skills. The right choice of toy is important for your child, whether they are sleeping or having fun in the daytime.
You must choose a sleep toy wisely, because a careless choice can put your baby at risk for some specific health issues. For example, some experts advise against putting toys in cribs because they can cause babies to suffocate. It is advised to remove toys from your baby’s crib at night.
If you’d like to buy some toys for your baby’s crib, please keep in mind that only stuffed toys are recommended.
A baby monitor allows you to keep an extra eye or ear on your child while they sleep. With a baby monitor, there is no need to peek into the nursery constantly to see whether your baby is sleeping or what else they are doing. Some baby monitors can also sense and adjust temperature and give your baby a more comfortable environment to sleep in.
Baby monitors are great because there are many ways that they can make the life of parents and their infants easier. For example, you can review your baby's sleep patterns and the atmosphere of their room through the monitor. Using your smartphone, you can access HD videos and sound recordings of your child. With the help of audio features, you can also communicate with your baby easily. However, some experts doubt the reliability of baby monitors and advise not to use them. For more information about the reliability of some baby monitors, see this publication from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Should a Newborn’s Crib Have Pillows?
Based on what you’ve read above, you may be wondering if there is any additional bedding that should be included in your baby’s crib. For example, you may be wondering if a newborn’s crib should have pillows.
No, a newborn’s crib should not have pillows. It is not a good idea to have pillows in your baby’s crib because they can cause babies to suffocate. For this reason, babies younger than 18 months old should not use pillows, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Does a Crib Need a Box Spring?
Most cribs come with a built-in set of wood slats or springs that you can put a mattress on top of. If you have a skirt for the crib, you can place it over the springs of the crib. After that, you can put the mattress on top. But does a crib need a box spring?
No, a crib does not need a box spring. Cribs have their own mattress foundation which will keep a mattress in place and provide support.
Checklist: Crib Bedding That You Need for a Newborn
|Item||How many?||Example from Amazon||Price|
Newton Baby and Toddler Breathable Cot Bed Mattress
|Mattress pad||1||SureGuard Mattress Protector for Cribs||~$25|
|Mattress cover||4||Sealy Crib Mattress Cover||~$16|
|Crib sheets||4||Burts Bees Fitted Sheet for Crib Mattresses||~$12|
|Optional Items||These items should not be left in the crib when the baby is unattended.|
|Baby blanket||2||American Baby Company Baby Blanket||~$40|
|Sleep sacks||2||Hudson Baby Sleeping Bag||~$12 - $21|
|Bumper||1||TillYou Crib Bumper Pads for Standard Cribs|| |
|Toys||5-6||Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother Musical Crib Toy and Sound Machine||~$33|
|Baby monitor||1||Motorola Baby Monitor||~$100|