New babies need a lot of stuff. That is why not only do parents to be and new parents need to make lists of what they might need but also to avoid overstretching their budgets – and overcrowding their new nurseries – by purchasing too much baby stuff. Which brings us to a very commonly asked question; how many crib sheets do I need?
A very basic answer would be at least two – one to put on your baby’s crib mattress while the other is in the wash – and no more than seven. Seven crib sheets = a crib sheet for every day of the week, and you really do not need more than that.
This basic answer may not go far enough for some parents though, especially for first time moms and dads who are usually unsure about almost EVERYTHING. That is why we are going to take a closer look at the question here as well as at some other basics about baby crib sheets in general.
Also Read: Best Crib Sheets
Are crib sheets necessary?
A fitted crib sheet is a must. Not only will it protect your baby’s crib mattress – which is likely to be exposed to all kinds of stains if not covered – but the right crib sheet can help keep Baby comfortable.
How many crib sheets do you really NEED?
How many sheets you – or rather your baby – will really need depends on a number of different factors.
For example, how often will you be changing that sheet? Are you going to swaddle Baby, which will mean you need a fitted sheet as well as a flat sheet? How often are you willing to do laundry (do keep in mind crib sheets are light and easy to handwash, so not too much of a chore to handwash and line dry).
Answering these questions may help you find your personal sweet spot between the general two to seven suggestion we made earlier.
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How often do you change crib sheets?
Technically, you could change your baby’s crib sheet as little as once a week and provided you have chosen the right material (more on that in a moment) that would be just fine.
However, babies, especially very young babies, can be messy things and between spit up, sweat, and bathroom accidents (even the best diapers leak sometimes) most parents do find themselves changing their child’s crib sheet(s) more often than that.
Four (gross) things that might happen if crib sheets aren’t changed enough
Changing your child’s crib sheet often enough is about more than keeping the nursery looking nice too. If you do not change the crib sheet after a messy spill then any stains left behind may become impossible to shift, making that cute sheet set obsolete far more quickly than you bargained for.
Dirty crib sheets can also attract dust mites, leading to baby sneezes and snuffles, even if they are not particularly sensitive to such things elsewhere in their environment. Harmful bacteria can build up on too dirty crib sheets too, and that is the last thing you want; to think that Baby is sleeping among bacteria when you are trying so hard to keep that kind of thing away.
And finally, if breast milk or formula has been spilled on the crib sheet it may attract ants in the summer, again, something that is a rather nasty thought for any Mom or Dad to entertain.
What sheets do you need for a crib?
The recommendations about baby bedding in general have changed over the years – especially as a result of extensive research into SIDs – and now pediatricians recommend that baby bedding is kept to a minimum.
This means that you need just a fitted sheet – and one that fits very well at that – and a flat sheet only if you are going to swaddle your child. Babies SHOULD NOT sleep under sheets in the way that older kids and adults do.
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What size crib sheet do I need?
A fitted crib sheet should fit your child’s crib mattress snugly. In the US, a standard crib mattress must be between 51 ⅝ to 53 inches long and 27 ¼ to 28 inches wide in order to be certified as safe. A crib mattress can vary in thickness from between four and six inches though.
The key to buying crib sheets that fit is knowing how big the crib mattress you purchased is and how big the sheets you are considering are. Do not try to ‘make do’ with a sheet that is too big or too small, as both may put your child at risk.
Are white crib sheets a bad idea?
Given that babies are messy, and that white shows every stain and every bit of dirt more easily than other colors it might make sense to assume that white crib sheets are indeed a bad idea.
However, if you choose an easy to launder, more durable crib sheet, and a good baby detergent – then you can add that clean, neat, white crib sheet that looks so nice in the package to your baby’s first bed with as much confidence as you would a darker or heavily patterned crib sheet.
How many bassinet sheets do I need?
Many babies do start out in a bassinet rather than a crib. However, the number of sheets you need for them if they do is the same: a minimum of two and a maximum of seven fitted sheets and perhaps one or two extra flat sheets for swaddling, as bassinets are suitable only for the youngest babies, but that is when swaddling is most helpful.
Once again it is crucial that any bassinet sheet fits snugly. Very young babies cannot roll and get tangled in sheets that are too big or too small, but they can grab things and a bassinet sheet that does not fit well can still be a danger.
Some bassinets are designed for use with a standard crib mattress, but most have a custom sized version that does not have to conform to the same safety standards in terms of measurements as cribs do. This means you will need to measure your bassinet mattress before you start to shop for bassinet sheets and take careful notice of the stated sheet size in order to make the right, safe choices.
Also Read: Best Fabric for Crib Sheets
Is it worth the extra money to buy organic bedding for crib?
Some organic baby bedding offers advantages like hypoallergenic properties – especially cotton or bamboo – and some of it is free of artificial dyes. If your Baby has allergies or extremely sensitive skin spending more on organic crib sheets may be a good idea.
For most babies though a superior quality crib sheet that is not organic is just fine, if not quite as eco-friendly. Do not blow your budget on awfully expensive organic crib sheets if it means you will not be able to change them as often as you would like or if it would mean skimping on other essentials for your baby’s care. Organic crib sheets are nice, but not a must.