Sleep is essential for all members of the family—especially for growing and developing infants and toddlers. That’s why the crib mattress is one of the most important purchases a parent will make when completing a baby nursery. When completing baby’s bed, there are three essential layers to remember for the ultimate in protection for an infant and toddler’s mattress: a crib mattress encasement, a crib mattress pad, and a fitted crib sheet. These three items help to create a clean and healthy nursery, which is especially important for little ones whose immune systems are still developing. Protecting baby’s crib mattress with the proper bedding not only creates a sanitary sleeping surface by keeping allergens and leaky messes from seeping through to the mattress, but also creates a cozy, comfortable sleeping environment.
Crib Mattress Encasement
The first and bottom layer of bedding for a crib mattress is a crib mattress encasement. An encasement easily zips around the mattress to fully encase it, acting as a mattress protector from bed bugs, dust mites, pet dander, and other household allergens. Encasements are allergist recommended, as they create a healthier nursery by reducing the number of asthma instigators on baby’s sleeping surface. Additionally, many encasements are laboratory tested and have a waterproof membrane to provide an additional layer of protection that can be used underneath pads and sheets.
Crib Mattress Pad
The middle layer of protective bedding for baby’s bed is the crib mattress pad. To prevent liquids and other leaky messes from seeping onto baby’s crib mattress cover, most pads have a 100% waterproof layer. Not only do crib mattress pads provide an additional layer of protection for baby’s mattress, they also offer added comfort and softness for infants and toddlers. Stretchy skirts that wrap underneath baby’s crib mattress provide a snug, secure fit. Crib mattress pads are machine washable and dryer friendly for easy cleaning. Parents should buy 2-4 crib mattress pads so that they have extras on-hand for late-night bedding changes.
Related Article: Benefits of a Crib Mattress Pad
Fitted Crib Sheet
The top layer of baby’s crib mattress is a fitted crib sheet. In addition to bringing a beautiful design element to baby’s nursery, a crib sheet also further protects your little one’s crib mattress. Furthermore, a comfortable crib sheet can help baby get the good night’s sleep they need for development. To create a safe sleep environment for infants, no blankets or flat sheets should be used—a bare crib with only an encasement, pad, and fitted sheet should be used on baby’s bed. Parents should purchase at least 2-4 fitted crib sheets so they have additional sheets to use while the others are in the wash.
Multi-Use Pads—A Baby Essential
While encasements, pads, and fitted sheets keep baby’s mattress well protected, another baby essential provides added protection for parents and babies both at home and on-the-go: multi-use pads. Multi-use pads come in a convenient travel size for easy storage in baby’s diaper bag. They can be used on shoulders, laps, and changing pads for feeding, burping and diaper changes. Some offer waterproof protection and are made of a cozy fleece material for baby’s comfort. Multi-use pads are usually sold in packs containing multiple pads so that parents can always have one handy.