School-aged children usually get around 9.5 hours of sleep per night, though experts recommend at least 10 hours. Babies, however, spend as much as 16 hours of every day sleeping, so you’ll want to be sure you have the right crib sheets for your little one.
You’re also going to need a crib sheet protector—also known as a baby sheet protector, or baby sheet savers. With a new baby, you have a lot of messy years ahead of you, and the expensive mattress is one place you‘ll want to keep them out of.
But it’s important not to settle for the first generic sheet cover you can find. By selecting the right crib sheet protector, you’ll not only be helping to maintain the health of your baby—you might even get to sleep better at night, as more comfortable bedding encourages infants to sleep more soundly through the night.
The following are some tips and best practices for taking care of your high-quality crib sheet protector, to maximize its usefulness and the lifespan of your crib mattress, as well as to keep your baby safe and healthy.
Properly Caring for Your Crib Sheet Protector and Bedding
When you first open up your new baby bedding, you’ll want to start by using a light steamer or iron to get any wrinkles out. Smooth sheets are both safer and more comfortable for your baby.
Baby bedding, including blankets and rail covers, ought to be washed separately from the rest of your laundry. Use a very mild, infant-friendly detergent—remember that babies can be sensitive to perfumes and other chemicals that adults aren’t affected by. Use the “delicate” option on your washing machine, with cold water.
When drying baby bedding or crib sheet protector, you should use the lightest setting on your drier, if it offers different settings. Using a cooler dry cycle minimizes shrinkage, and avoids causing any damage to typically-delicate baby sheets.
If you use a crib skirt, you won’t have to wash it as often as the rest of your bedding, since it doesn’t touch your baby directly.
Similarly, unless your baby is old enough to pull himself up the side of the crib, you don’t need to wash the rail cover as often, either. However, you should wash the rail cover after purchasing it, at least before your baby begins teething. The filling in your rail cover shouldn’t be exposed to high heat while drying. You may have to rearrange the filling through the cover after it’s done being washed and before you put it in the drier.
Don’t forget: if your baby is under a year old, crib sheets and a crib sheet protector is the only bedding he or she should have. Blankets or additional sheets can cause health complications to a very young infant.
With these tips, you’re now ready to best care for your baby’s bedding and crib sheet protector. Remember—caring for your baby’s bedding is a part of caring for your baby. Show your love to your child through your care for his or her bedding, toys, and environment.