While purchasing crib bedding is generally a simple process, there are a few baby safety guidelines that you should understand. Many recommendations have been issued by various child safety organizations concerning the selection and use of crib bedding. Baby bedding manufacturers follow many guidelines to assure the safety of your baby.
It is recommended that babies sleep on their backs with no extra cushions in the crib. For safety purposes, babies should not be surrounded by any items in their crib, regardless of the lack of aesthetics. To meet the requirements of this guideline, you will only need to have a fitted sheet to cover your crib mattress. A blanket may be used in the crib but should be tucked in firmly at the foot of the bed and reach no farther than the baby’s chest.
There is no established consensus as to whether or not cribs should have bumpers; even if they are fastened tightly to the rails so that there is no risk of suffocation, some pediatricians maintain that having them in the crib can restrict airflow. Problems with bumpers have led to the production of many alternate methods. A sign of the confusion surrounding the use of crib bumpers is the fact that they are still included in most baby bedding. Parents should use crib bumpers at their own discretion, as there is variable information regarding the safety of their usage.
Follow American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines on crib bedding until your baby is at least a year old, by which age she should be mobile enough to push items such as bedding away from her face. Before your baby is a year old, you may need to make some changes to his crib bedding to ensure safety. Once babies are able to sit upright–and certainly by the time they can pull up to standing–the mattress height should be lowered and any items which can be used as steps should be removed. A crib bumper is easily used as a foothold; it should be removed to keep the baby from climbing out of the crib.
After age 1, the risk of SIDS drops and a number of bedding items can be put in a child’s crib for comfort or decoration. Choosing a matching comforter and bed skirt can enhance the pink and brown baby decor. Fuzzy blankets provide warmth and are wonderful for snuggling and can be found in child appropriate sizes. While many toddlers appreciate a plush toy in the bed to help ease the nighttime routine, pillows are better for two-year olds.
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