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How Much Baby Bedding does a New Baby Need?

By J. Beam
Updated May 16, 2024
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Few things are as adorable and hard to resist as baby items. Scaled-down versions of most anything are simply cute and many baby items, including baby bedding, are so sweet that purchasing a lot of it is easy to do. However, where baby bedding is concerned, less is actually more. A new mom may find it hard to resist buying a complete bedding ensemble and all its coordinating accessories, but in truth, there are far more practical ways to approach baby bedding purchases and things equally as fun to buy with the money saved buying only what’s necessary.

To start with, the most important and functional pieces of baby bedding are the fitted crib sheet and the receiving blanket. When it comes to these two specific types of baby linens, a new mom simply can’t have enough of them. Babies often need their crib sheet changed multiple times throughout the day --due to a leaky diaper, spit up or vomit -- and nothing is worse than discovering you’ve run out of clean crib sheets in the middle of the night. Similarly, most infants enjoy being wrapped up “papoose-style” in their receiving blankets, but those too can become quickly soiled for the same reasons. Having an ample supply of crib sheets and receiving blankets ensures that mom has more time between loads of laundry.

While some forms of baby bedding can actually be in short supply, there are other forms that aren’t even necessary at all. For example, the crib comforter, no matter how adorable, is an unnecessary piece of baby bedding that will likely end up hung over a nearby rocking chair or merely displayed on the wall or nearest quilt rack. Crib comforters are included in most crib bedding sets, but due to their plush nature, are actually unsafe for use in a crib.

Babies laying on top of a comforter can have their breathing obstructed as their head sinks down into the quilting, and because they are too small to lift and turn their heads, could potentially suffocate. Pediatricians recommend not using comforters or other form of plush bedding, stuffed animals or pillows in a baby’s crib. While they might look cute all made up in the crib, no mom is going to find the efficiency in removing and replacing the comforter every time the baby naps and wakes.

Other forms of baby bedding, such as bumper pads and dust ruffles, often included in crib sets are equally useless. A dust ruffle poses no danger and can dress up a crib nicely, but is a tremendous pain to remove and wash and many moms find them not worth the bother. In the case of bumper pads, their use can actually be avoided until baby starts scooting around in the crib on his or her own. In the mean time, they actually only serve to obstruct the view of the baby when sleeping in the crib.

As baby grows, more and different types of bedding may be needed. A tightly fitting crib mattress protector might be a good investment, but avoid the ones that are too plush and the varieties made of cheap vinyl, as the former poses the same threat as the comforter and the latter will create an uncomfortable surface for baby to sleep upon. In the mean time, whether you are a new mom-to-be or buying gifts for a new mom, invest in quality crib sheets and receiving blankets, as well as baby washcloths and towels, and it will be money well-spent.

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Discussion Comments

By Grivusangel — On Mar 12, 2014

Some people think babies have to be swaddled in warmth at all times, but the opposite is true. My mom said her pediatrician told her, "If you're comfortable, that baby is hot," which explains why I was never much interested in footie pajamas and the like. I was happiest in a onesie or a T-shirt and my diaper. Babies just don't get cold that easily, if the house is comfortably warm.

Certainly, a supply of crib sheets is crucial, with plenty of blankets, too. Babies who like to sleep under a cover can be covered lightly with a small sheet or a very light blanket. This will keep them covered without the danger of them getting their faces in the bedding and smothering.

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