When you’re expecting a new baby there’s so much to plan and so many new things to buy. Catalogues show beautifully decorated cribs with matching bumpers that can make you wish you were a baby again yourself. Before you run out to get the latest matching set, it’s important to know about bedding recommendations. The following are three sets of guidance about bedding as your child hits different milestones.
Newborn and Infant Bedding
If you’ve found that perfect sheet set, it can be disappointing to know that pediatricians recommend that your infant not be given any special bedding for the first year. Unfortunately, if you are wondering to yourself, “When can my baby sleep with a pillow?” The answer is, not for a while yet.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nothing more than a fitted sheet on a mattress that fits the crib well. Skip blankets, pillows, stuffed animals and the side bumpers. All of them pose suffocation risks for babies. Instead, use heavier sleep clothes and maybe a sleep sack to keep your baby warm.
Once your little human has reached about 18 months he enters the sweet spot of baby bedding. Once he’s hit the year mark he no longer needs to sleep on his back either. He’s probably safe to sleep with those stuffed animals, blankets and pillows.
You’ll still want to keep them on the small side though. Blankets should be thin and pillows should be flat and firmly shaped. First, you still want to avoid any potential for suffocation. He’s also exploring his world so make sure he can’t use the items in the crib to climb out of it.
On the other hand, once your baby is on his feet it’s time to remove some items you may have kept near the crib before. Remove mobiles that he can reach along with anything around the edge of the crib he might try to grab, like picture frames, lamps or other home accessories.
Big Kid Bed
The next big question is “When should my toddler move to a regular bed?” Pediatricians recommend keeping your toddler in the crib for as long as possible, and it is more important to go by height than age. Once he’s about 35 inches tall it’s time to make the move to a toddler bed. There are definitely fewer rules about bedding here, but the change in bed can mean a significant change in routine until you’re both used to the new setup.
If your child is feeling his oats about being in a big boy bed there are a couple of things you can do to encourage a good night’s sleep. Let him know that you’ll check on him during the night. If he gets up, guide him back to bed, praise him and quickly leave the room. Don’t set yourself up to have to sleep with your child for him to be able to sleep.
Bedding for children is all about finding what is appropriate to their age, size and strength. Following these guidelines can help you keep your child healthy and happy which is way more important than cute sheets.