Most new parents choose their crib bedding for aesthetic reasons. Some realize crib sheets must also be hardy to cope with the pee, vomit, perspiration, not to mention constant washing, all of which takes its toll.
But how many parents consider the safety of their crib sheets?
How can crib sheets be dangerous?
If a crib sheet comes off the mattress your baby can grasp the fabric and roll, wrapping themselves in the sheet.
The consequences can be fatal due to strangulation or suffocation.
Don’t let this happen to you and your baby. Consider the following safety checklist:
1. Use a firm and well fitting mattress and securely fitting crib sheets.
There should be no gaps between the crib mattress and the edge of the crib, where a baby’s head or limbs could get jammed.
On your mattress, use snug fitted sheets with elastic that goes the whole way around the sheet. Check that you have at least 2″ of material under the mattress on all four sides and corners.
Never use a top sheet as a bottom sheet (check at hotels).
2. Take the “Pull Test”.
If you can pull up the bottom sheet of your ladybug crib set then so might your child.
Do not use sheets that fail this test, even if they are your favorite.
3. Check after playing or jumping.
Make sure that if baby has been playing or jumping in the crib the sheet has not been pulled up.
4. After each wash conduct a safety inspection:
- check for shrinkage, particularly after tumble drying.
- check the elastic. If the elastic has stretched or broken, do not use the sheet.
- if the sheet has elastic straps or ties, ensure they cannot come undone and haven’t stretched.
5. Consider alternatives
- Safer Bedding
Several manufacturers have developed a safer solution to the traditional fitted crib sheet.
Priva have developed the Baby Luxe range with Safety Stay-On corners that ensure the sheet cannot come loose.
A similar product is the Hallo Secure Fit Crib Sheet that features deep pockets and uses Velcro to keep the sheet on tight.
Some manufacturers produce sheets that slip onto the mattress like a pillow case or use zippers to enclose the mattress.
The disadvantage of these products is that the mattress must be lifted to remove the sheet – not much fun in the middle of the night!
An alternative is the innovative QuickZip Sheet Set which has a two piece sheet where the top comes off for easy changing.
- Baby Sleeping Bags and Sleeping Suits.
Many experts recommend that baby is put to bed on his/her back in a crib with only a tight fitting bottom sheet and kept warm using a baby sleeping bag or sleeping suit.
With no comforter, top sheet, pillow, blanket or soft toys in the crib there is minimal risk of suffocation by accidentally covering baby’s head and face.
The added advantage of sleeping bags and suits is they are not able to be kicked off during sleep.