Baby Bedding and Cribs Tips

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Portable Cribs

A portable crib can be a great item to have when traveling with the baby. It provides a comfortable and familiar place for her to sleep on while away from home. There are many types of portable cribs available, so make sure you get the right one for your baby and be sure to check for safety. Some things to consider are:


  • The durability of the crib

  • Pick a portable crib that is sturdy

  • Make sure that it is constructed well and with quality materials

  • Get a crib that has a comfortable mattress

An alternative to a portable crib is a 'Pack and Play' play yard. These fold into a portable size and they can double as a bassinet and crib (just place the base on its highest setting to use as a bassinet and at its lowest to use as a crib). The base is like a mattress and is comfortable enough to sleep on.

   

Bassinets

Another sleeping item that is widely used for infants is the bassinet. There are many varieties of bassinets, so it really is a matter of preference and taste. For parents that don't want to spend too much on an item that will only be used for a few months, there are 'convertible' bassinets.

These are part of a play yard system where you can place the infant to sleep on the raised base of the yard until the baby is about 15-20 lbs. These play yards also come with an attachable changing table, so they will provide lots of usage; not to mention the play yard itself, which you can use up until the baby is able to climb out of it.

Other types of bassinets include the ones with a removable basket. These are very useful, because you can move the baby around in the basket and place him anywhere around the house to keep him nearby while he sleeps. Then there are the traditional bassinets, which can be plain or have multiple features, like pockets, music and mobiles, changing tables etc.

It's a good idea to do some research and see which sleeping arrangement will work best for you. You can check out many types of bassinets at Amazon.com.

   

Baby Cradles

Baby Cradles are an old fashioned staple for a baby's place to sleep. They are decorative as well as useful to help put the baby to sleep because of the rocking motion they provide.

They will only provide use for the baby's first few months as cradles are made mostly for when babies are infants. So it is a matter of preference whether to invest on one or not. You could also get a bassinet, which provides the same purpose.

Prices can vary on cradles; so again, it's up to you and what your preferences are. It will ultimately depend on the decor you have in the nursery and on your spending budget. Cradles are made of wood, so if that's the look you want then this will work and then later can be replaced by a bigger crib, also made of wood.

*To get an idea on what cradles look like and what their prices run you can look at this website, or also on Amazon.

   
What items do I need for my baby's crib?

Baby Bedding for the Crib

When setting up your baby’s crib, it is all about safety. Which means less is more. Since babies do not have the strength or know how to remove items away from their faces, it is your job to make sure there is nothing that may suffocate them. Here are the items you will need to set up your baby’s crib.

• A fitted sheet with no extra wiggle room. You will want to have some extras on hand for those middle of the night accidents. You can now even find zip-on sheets that make those late-night changes a breeze.

• A waterproof mattress pad to keep your mattress dry. Or you can opt for a completely waterproof crib mattress (yes, they make them) to eliminate a piece of bedding.

• A wearable blanket. Since you cannot have any loose bedding, this is a great option to keep your little one warm.

That is it. The fewer items in the crib, the safer it is for your baby. If you have to have the cute decorator quilts or blankets, keep them just for tummy time or decoration until your child gets older.

NOTE: Crib bumpers are no longer recommended. Even though you may think they are necessary to keep your child’s limbs out of the slat openings or to pad his head from the wood, that is not so. More injuries have been reported from suffocation because of the crib bumpers than injuries caused by not having a bumper.

   

Quilts for Baby's Crib

Quilts can look pretty on the baby's crib and can enhance the decor of the nursery, but they should be taken out of the crib when the baby is put down to sleep.

Quilts can be dangerous and are a possible SIDS risk because they are loose on the crib so they can get entangled or wrapped around the baby's head. This could cause suffocation if the baby got stuck and couldn't get his head free.

Another thing to consider if getting a quilt for decoration is to make sure it doesn't have any buttons, beads or anything that could come unattached. Even if just used for decoration, once the baby gets mobile he could get a hold of the quilt and chew on it, making it easy for him to bite off any buttons or beads that he could choke on.

So be sure to take precautions when it comes to decorative quilts, or just use cute colorful safe blankets or a comforter, which can look just as nice. A quilt without detachable decorations or a comforter can be used later when the baby is over a year or older.

   

Choosing a Crib Mattress

Most cribs come without the mattress and even though it makes for an added expense, it can be a good to pick a mattress of your choosing. From personal experience I have found that a comfortable mattress will make a huge difference in your baby's sleep time. We picked an 'egg crate' mattress from IKEA and the minute we put our baby girl on it she was in sleep heaven! Mind you, she's always been a good sleeper, but she sleeps even longer and better than before on this mattress.

You don't necessarily have to go to IKEA to get an 'egg crate' mattress, they are sold in most baby stores, but we liked IKEA's price and quality. Another idea is to try out the mattresses in the store, if they have them on display see if you can lay your baby on them. Even if the baby can't tell you she likes the mattress, you should be able to tell if she's comfortable on it in most cases. Try going at a time when your baby is not cranky or fussy and you should get better results.

No matter what style works best for you and the baby, making sure to choose something that the baby is comfortable in will make a big diffrence in her sleeping. Just like us adults, we get a better night's sleep when we are comfortable and naturally, the same goes for babies.

   
What bedding should I get for my baby?

Choosing Baby Bedding

When it’s time to buy baby bedding it can get a bit confusing as to what items are the right ones. There are so many choices available, and with tons of advertisements in baby magazines, one can be left a little perplexed. The most important thing to remember is the baby’s safety.

Get the crib and mattress first because sizes vary depending on the crib style you get. A snug fit it vital, so you want to get the right size sheets to fit the mattress. Also get a mattress that fits snugly in the crib, this prevents any gaps where your baby could get caught.

These are some helpful tips to keep in mind when you pick bedding for your baby:

• Make sure to get sheets that are fitted and are the right size for the mattress you picked. If the sheet is too small, obviously it won’t fit over the mattress, and if they are too large they will bunch up, which can be a dangerous suffocation risk.

• As cute as crib bumpers are, they are not longer recommended. They have proven to cause more of a risk than they are worth. A crib without a bumper may look empty to you, but it is the safest thing for your baby.

• Get a waterproof cover for the mattress for the inevitable accidents that are bound to happen… diapers tend to leak occasionally, especially when your baby starts sleeping longer hours.

• To keep your baby a comfortable temperature, look for a wearable blanket. This will keep your baby warm without posing a suffocation risk.

   

IKEA's Baby Bedding

Cribs can be costly and of course, when it comes to your baby you don't want to skimp. But you can have a less expensive crib and still have the quality you expect by considering IKEA. They have great cribs and even if their baby bed selection is not as big as a typical baby store, you can surely find something that will work for you.

You can also find al kinds of sheets and blankets as well as tons of baby nursery accessories. Their items are very whimsical and innovative so you can turn the nursery into a great looking baby room. The quality is just as good if not better than other stores and the styles are very original and functional.

If you don't have an IKEA locally, you can order fromt their catalog as well as online. Even with the shipping costs you are bound to save some money. You can browse thier site for most of the items they carry in their stores, so if you don't have an IKEA near you, I strongly suggest checking out their website, IKEA.com, before going to another more expensive baby store.

You should know, however, that all of IKEA's furniture comes in flat boxes and you have to assemble it yourself (although they do offer assistance if you need it). Still, the prices and products you get are well worth it!

   

Crib Safety

When buying your baby's crib, safety is the most important factor. It can get quite overwhelming when trying to choose the right crib, so here is a list that should help you when out shopping for one:


  • Make sure the crib you choose is sturdy all the way around

  • Test the crib while at the store. Check to make sure the railings are stable and that all the latches and locks are easy to open for an adult, but hard to get to for a baby.

  • Thoroughly scrutinize the crib for any pointy or edges or sharp

  • Check to make sure that the crib bars are less than 2 3/8 inches apart so that the baby's head or body can't get trapped between them.

  • Get a crib that will grow along with your child; make sure the mattress height is adjustable and that the side bars can be removed once your child reaches 3 or 4 years of age.

Place the crib in secure area of the nursery, make sure there are no curtains falling into the crib, or other furniture that the baby could use for leverage once he can stand. Put it next to the wall away from other furniture and objects.

*You can check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's website to check for any recalls and to look for all safety issues to be aware of when buying a baby's crib.

   

Convertible Cribs

A very convenient item to get is a convertible crib. Convertible cribs can be used when the baby is just an infant all they way up to when she is a toddler. When your baby is an infant, if you choose not to get a bassinet, then your baby can sleep in the crib perfectly fine. Once the baby is older and starts to sit up and/or stand you can lower the mattress to make it safer so the baby can't fall over.

Then when your child reaches toddler hood and can safely climb in and out of bed by herself you can remove one set of the side railings and she'll have her own 'big girl' bed. Some convertible cribs may even have the option of removing both or all sides of the railings, although it's usually safer to at least have one side of the railings up to make sure the child can't easily fall off the bed when asleep.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Lynne Christen