Before you even pick out a pattern or color scheme for your baby’s crib bedding, make sure you are up to date on key safety considerations. Safety appears to be on the forefront of many moms’ minds – more so than price and durability – when they shop for baby bedding. In a recent survey by Kids Today and Mom Central Consulting, safety was the most important factor for moms buying nursery linens. It may cost a little bit more to invest in well-made and safe products to dress your crib, but it will be worth the peace of mind.

Should I Put A Bumper In the Crib?

The American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines back in 2011 that advised bumper pads not be placed in cribs due to the potential risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment. Since then, the case against bumpers – while controversial – appears to have strengthened. The Journal of Pediatrics published online in November 2015 a new study that found that bumpers caused 48 preventable deaths from 1985-2012. Regardless, we know some parents do like to add a bumper to the crib when the baby is older to prevent the child’s arms and legs from getting stuck (or broken) in the crib slats. In fact, the Kids Today and Mom Central Consulting survey found that almost half of moms with a child under 2 years still use crib bumpers. In response to the safety recommendations about bumpers, Liz and Roo offers our signature 4-piece bumperless crib bedding sets.

Here are some tips to keep in mind if you decide to buy a bumper:

  • The bumper must cover the entire perimeter of the crib with no gaps. If you have gaps in the bumper, your baby can get wedged or stuck in those gaps.
  • The ties on the bumper must be sewn securely into the seams (there are regulations about this). They should not be attached to the outside or sewn under bias tape at the seam. Those ties risk being pulled off when your baby is older and is exploring the crib.  
  • All ties must be able to be secured. A strong knot and then a bow will ensure your little one won’t be untying the ribbons.
  • If your bumper cannot be tied at every interval, meaning every tie completed, you should not put the bumpers in the crib. A bumper with a loose middle (not tied) is a risk for baby getting entangled in the bumper. Many of today’s convertible cribs do not have slats or even a place to tie the ribbon, particularly on the flat wood paneled back that these cribs often have. It is dangerous to leave a bumper untied.

How Do I Keep My Child From Chewing on the Crib Rail?

Classic Blue Oxford Crib Rail Cover

Once your baby can pull himself up in the crib, your little one will be tempted to chew on the crib rail when teething. Swallowing this wood is a choking hazard, and can upset your baby’s tummy. Newer cribs are made with lead-free paint so there is no risk of lead poisoning, but older cribs could have paint that contains lead. We recommend buying a crib rail cover so you never have to worry about the consequences of your baby ingesting any wood, paint or varnish. Liz and Roo offers a wide-variety of crib rail covers. In fact, a crib rail “teething” cover is included in all of our 4-piece sets.

How do I know if my crib sheets are safe?

It’s extremely important to buy sheets that feature elastic all the way around, and not just in the four corners. A sheet that comes loose could make it hard for your baby to breath if it is close to their face. You want a high-quality sheet that will stay snug, even after repeated washings. We reinforce our Liz and Roo sheets with a 360 degree, one-inch elastic band that goes all the way around the sheet. They have extra deep pockets that are 8″ to ensure a snug fit. They’re also made of durable all-cotton or linen/cotton blend. We guarantee the quality of our hand-sewn, made in the USA crib sheets.

Take a look at the two sheets below. On the left is our Liz and Roo mini anchors sheet, with its one inch band. On the right is a sheet made overseas with a very thin, almost non-existent band. The difference is quality … and safety.

Liz and Roo sheet comparison

What can go in the crib?

Blankets, pillows, stuffed animals and sleep positioners should stay out of the crib because they pose a suffocation hazard, according to this American Academy of Pediatrics article and this Consumer Reports article. To keep your baby from being cold, dress them in footed pajamas or wearable blanket. There’s no reason to be concerned that the blankets and pillows you have will go to waste. Our Liz and Roo Minky Baby Blankets are ideal for wrapping your baby while in the glider or stroller or for use during tummy time. And our Liz and Roo Baby Shams will look great in a chair or glider as back support.

The Bottom Line

Our goal is not to overwhelm you with all these safety concerns, but to arm you with the knowledge you need to recognize potential harms. Your child’s pediatrician is one of your best resources. Talk to them about any questions or concerns you have.

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