Decorating the nursery is a favorite project for new parents and caregivers. Bedding must always be used as instructed by the manufacturer to help ensure baby’s safety.
Here are some bedding guidelines when setting up your nursery:
- To reduce the risk of SIDS, pediatricians recommend healthy infants be placed on their backs to sleep, unless otherwise advised by your physician.
- ALWAYS use a tight-fitting crib sheet.
- NEVER place additional padding under an infant. Only a tight fitted sheet, mattress pad and/or waterproof pad should be used under the baby
- When using bumper pads avoid those that are pillow-like. Bumper pads must fit properly in your crib and tie or snap securely into place. Bumper ties MUST NOT exceed nine inches. Make sure the bumper pad can be secured along the sides of the crib. *
- Use bumper pads only until the child can pull up to a standing position. Then remove them so baby cannot use the pads to climb out of the crib*
- Many bumpers are now sold in four pieces. For each bumper segment, if all ties on that segment cannot be securely attached to the crib DO NOT USE the bumper segment.
- NEVER place infants to sleep on pillows, sofa cushions, adult beds, waterbeds, beanbags, or any other surface not specifically designed for infant sleep
- Remove pillows, sheepskins, pillow-like stuffed toys and products not intended as infant bedding from the crib when infants are sleeping. NEVER place additional padding under an infant.
- Do not overdress your baby. Consider using a sleeper, wearable blanket or other sleep clothing as an alternative to any covering.
- For newborns, consider swaddling. Discontinue swaddling when infants show signs of rolling over or can break free from the swaddle blanket or commercial products designed for swaddling.
- Check periodically for loose threads or stitching which could cause gagging or choking.
Did you know the crib mattress should fit snugly with no more than two fingers, or approximately one-inch width, between the edge of the mattress and the side of the crib?
Creative options for that beautiful bedding!
Consider these creative options for utilizing those beautiful blankets, pillows, and quilts that came with your crib bedding set:
- Hang blankets on the wall as art. It's a great place to store them for the first few years until your toddler is ready to use them in their toddler bed.
- Hang the blanket on the back of your glider/rocker! A blanket comes in handy to keep moms' legs warm during night feedings.
- Pillows are great on gliders to help support mom's back or arms during feedings.
- When your toddler is old enough, pillows are great on the floor for a reading retreat before bed.
- Another great use for cute blankets and comforters is as a "tummy time" mat when your baby is awake and playing. Tummy time is important to strengthen baby's upper body muscles and prevent bald spots on the back of the head.
*Download this quick and easy guide Bumper Basics to learn more tips on how to safely use bumper pads as well as improper bumper use.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the greatest risk is to an infant sleeping in the prone position or in a crowded sleep environment that includes pillows, cushions and adult bedding: Unsafe Sleep Hazards Associated with the Infant Sleep Environment and Unsafe Practices by Caregivers: A CPSC Staff Perspective