Honestly, I was so excited to be a parent that I hadn’t really taken into consideration the cost of crib bedding. I had zero ideas it was so expensive!
I quickly realized that other people were wondering this too so I made it my mission to find the answer. And now, after a bunch of research, I have the answer.
I’ll get straight into the details!
Table of Contents
- Why Is Crib Bedding So Expensive?
- Is Crib Bedding Really Necessary?
- How Do You Choose The Best Fitted Sheet?
- When Can Babies Safely Sleep With a Comforter or Blanket?
- Why Are Cribs Expensive?
- How Often Should Baby Bedding Be Changed?
Why Is Crib Bedding So Expensive?
To tell you the truth, there is a really simple answer to this — it’s so expensive because it can be. People are more than willing (especially new mothers, I’m guilty!) to shell out for that super cute crib bedding for their super cute new baby. Ultimately, this is what makes crib bedding extortionate, despite the tiny size.
Retailers know that they can hike up the prices for items that people either need or they want so much that logical reasoning doesn’t come into it.
Of course, some websites and highstreet retailers sell crib bedding for under $100 but you’ll rarely find anything below $50 unless you’re lucky enough to find a coupon.
My advice? Stick it on your baby registry (if you’re having a baby shower that is). This way, one of your besties can provide you with the cuteness and you’ll avoid paying out of your own pocket!
All this talk about baby bedding has probably got you thinking — is it even necessary? This was exactly my thought process so stick with me!
Is Crib Bedding Really Necessary?
You’ll find that a lot of crib bedding sets come with a lot of stuff. This could be anything from a bumper to a comforter to a dust ruffle (or all three).
While they may all look adorable, your baby doesn’t need them — not to mention that it’s rather dangerous!
So, Which Parts Are Necessary Then?
After a boatload of research and a few kids of my own, there are only three things you need (after you’ve bought the mattress). These are a:
- Crib mattress encasement
- Crib mattress pad
- Fitted crib sheet
When used together, they all help to ensure your baby stays clean, comfy, and healthy. Don’t get me wrong, these can still be expensive. However, the price drops considerably when you get rid of all the unnecessary extras.
Granted, the names of these bedding items are fairly ambiguous so I figured I’d include a mini description of each to help you.
The Crib Mattress Encasement
This is the bottom layer and “encases” the mattress. It zips up easily so there’s no need to faff around with complicated buttons and fixings.
They are handy for protecting the mattress and your baby from dust mites, pet fluff, bed bugs, and other allergens. In other words, they’ll promote healthy breathing and fend of asthma — I wouldn’t scrimp on this!
The Crib Mattress Pad
The mattress pad sits on top of the encased crib mattress. It’s fully waterproof to ensure your little one stays dry and comfy while protecting the mattress from liquids.
Aside from this, they add an extra layer of coziness so babies have the best chance of falling (and staying, hopefully!) asleep.
This is likely to get very wet so I’d recommend buying two to three so you can switch them out at a moment’s notice.
The Fitted Crib Sheet
In most crib bedding sets, this is the only part you’ll need. They come in a bunch of colors and designs (hence the typically steep “cuteness” price).
However, they aren’t just there to look pretty.
Fitted crib sheets actually add another layer of mattress protection, as well as extra softness to promote your baby’s sleep.
I promise you that all the extra bumpf is just a marketing ploy to make more money!
How Do You Choose The Best Fitted Sheet?
In my opinion, the best fitted sheet is one that has high-quality elasticated corners. Anything too loose can not only be incredibly uncomfortable for your little one but it can also be hazardous to their health!
There are a bunch of materials to choose from so it’s up to you on the front. Everything from woven cotton to lightweight flannel can be found these days (although I’ve always cone for 100% cotton myself).
Regardless of the one you choose, you’ll need to follow the care/washing instructions to the T. Why? Because they do tend to shrink if you’re not careful which causes the corners to pop up and scare or even suffocate your baby.
When Can Babies Safely Sleep With a Comforter or Blanket?
There’s no denying that those little comforters that come in the crib bedding sets are adorable. But they’re nothing but a risk for a while.
Depending on your baby’s development, they shouldn’t be sleeping with a comforter or blanket until they’re at least (with a capital L) 12 months. This is due to the risk of SIDS and sleep deaths that were recorded in previous years.
When your child is old enough, you still need to take the size, weight, and fabric type into consideration. Heavy comforters can cause suffocation and sometimes strangulation so the density needs to be looked into to ensure breathability at all times.
It can be a pretty risky business but you’ll know when the time is right — but if you feel like you need extra assistance you can always consult your baby’s doctor, it’s what they’re there for!
Why Are Cribs Expensive?
Okay, the crib bedding is one thing, but the actual crib is a whole different ball game. While all crib bedding tends to be on the expensive side, cribs range drastically from as little as $100 to $1,000 and beyond.
The range is massive. Because of this, I think it’s important to understand why some cribs are more expensive than others so you know what to look out for when you’re shopping.
I’ll jump straight in, I know you moms and dads to be are busy!
As you know, a baby should be sleeping in a crib for a relatively long time. However, there will come a time when they grow out of it.
This is where it gets interesting.
Generally speaking, all modern cribs have convertible features. Whether that means you can change them into toddler beds eventually or it acts as a day bed, they’ll do something.
However, this doesn’t actually make the price go up that much. You won’t have a problem finding a convertible crib for around $250.
It’s the higher-end, super-sleek cribs that are more expensive and don’t convert. In other words, you’ll pay for the look and still have to splash the cash for a toddler bed in the future.
Brand Name and Material Quality
This is probably the thing that came to mind first. It has to be said, you do get what you pay for.
Although I must say, the entire crib and bedding industry is strictly regulated. So even though the materials aren’t as good quality on low-priced models, doesn’t mean they aren’t safe. It just means that they either:
- don’t come from a big brand.
- aren’t as durable.
- don’t have a fully comprehensive warranty or money-back guarantee deal.
A crib that is more design-focused is always going to cost you more. The Instagram world has ensured that a lot of parents (me included) feel the need to have extravagantly decorated nurseries. But at the end of the day, you can get a standard cost-effective crib and your baby will be just as safe.
It all depends on what aspects you want to focus on.
How Often Should Baby Bedding Be Changed?
Cleanliness and hygiene are key to ensuring your baby stays safe and healthy. Sadly, that means a lot of washing for you and me!
Before I gave birth to my little one, I was debating this question hard so thought it was only right to give you a bit of insight while we’re on the crib bedding topic.
The Fitted Crib Sheet: Twice Per Week
Your baby lays on their sheet several times every day which leads to a build up of body oils, bacteria, and other residues. Over time, these may cause illnesses and colds so it’s best to keep them clean.
I tend to wash them twice each week (at least) but once might be enough depending on your baby. This is why many parents buy a few of these in the beginning so there’s no rush to do the week’s wash.
It’s a good idea to wash the sheets as soon as you buy them as well. Baby bodies aren’t as robust as adults so they can easily be affected by tiny bits of dust from the store.
Mattress Pad: Possibly Twice Per Week
Again, possibly twice per week since it can carry a lot of bacteria. If your baby doesn’t wet the crib as much as others, once a week could be fine too. I just like to be on the super-safe side!