As with any purchase you make for your baby, comfort and safety should be the primary concerns. Crib bedding should be comfortable on a baby's skin, but not too soft or slippery. If the material feels soft and comfortable to you, it's probably a good choice for a baby's sensitive skin. Don't compromise on quality of materials — you want the material to be washable (since odds are, you'll be washing it a lot), without it wearing or pilling. But don't purchase something that's going to require harsh cleaning, since bleaches and chemical cleaners can be rough on a baby's skin.
Style-wise, modern baby bedding comes in just as many cute and contemporary patterns as bedding for a queen or king size bed. After you've decided what material will serve your child best, search for a crib bedding set that will complement the look of your nursery and home the best. You want your nursery to feel like a safe haven for your child and you (since you'll be spending a lot of time in there), so try to avoid anything with colors and patterns that you might get sick of.
Make sure you buy a lot of crib bedding, so you don't have to spend your child's entire infancy washing it! A four piece crib bedding set usually includes a fitted sheet, crib bumper, dust ruffle, and blanket. A six-piece set usually adds on a diaper stacker and a window valance.
Blanket: A crib blanket is usually just for decorative purposes. Some pediatric safety experts suggest leaving the quilt or blanket out of the crib when the baby is on his or her own, since they can get tangled up in it, risking strangulation or suffocation. A quilt can also be used as a play mat, when the child is supervised. Fitted Sheet: These sheets should fit your crib's mattress very snugly, for the same safety reasons a blanket shouldn't be left in a crib with an unattended child You want to make sure that there's absolutely no risk of it coming off. Most fitted sheets come in a standard size to fit a standard size mattress, but try it on and test it out before putting your child back into the crib. Try to find a fitted sheet with deep pockets and elastic edges so that the sheets won't slip off of the crib mattress. Bumper: A crib bumper is a fabric pad that attaches to the inner side of the slats of the crib, preventing your child from rolling and bumping into the sides of the crib. It also helps keep any fingers and toes inside the crib, so they won't get caught or hurt in the slats. Make sure that the ties are facing outside of the crib, so there is no chance your child can grab them. Dust Ruffle or Crib Skirt: A dust ruffle on a crib serves the same purpose it does on a standard bed. It completes the look of the crib, and helps hide any unsightly mattress hardware. Diaper Stacker: This is usually a simple place to store diapers on a changing table, that just coordinates with the rest of the bedding. It's a great way to pull together the look of a nursery. Window Valance: A window valance often comes with six-piece nursery bedding sets, and are installed at the top of a window treatment to help coordinate the entire look of a room.
Other baby bedding components include mattress pads and mattress encasements, which can help protect a mattress from accidents and spills, as well as provide extra padding and support for your baby.
Browse through a variety of baby bedding in different styles, types, and materials here, along with information on where to purchase them.