Baby sleep

'How many crib sheets do I need?'

We broke down this common question, plus how often to change crib bedding.

By Megan Sweeney
'How many crib sheets do I need?'

One of the most important parts of planning for baby is where they are going to sleep. An empty crib or bassinet is the safest place for baby, in the same room as their parents at least for the first six months. Choosing the right mattress and properly fitted crib sheets is critical to ensure safe sleeping.

"Crib sheets are important as they provide comfort for your baby and also protection to the crib mattress" says Alanna McGinn, sleep consultant and founder of Good Night Sleep Site. "As a sleep consultant, I follow the safe sleep steps of the American Academy of Pediatrics and creating a safe sleep environment is an important step that I educate my families on."

McGinn emphasizes that "a boring crib is a safe crib and until your baby is 12 months of age you want a firm mattress and fitted crib sheet and that’s it. Anything else can be dangerous and not necessary. Keep that crib sheet fitted to your mattress. If your crib sheet doesn’t fit it can become loose and become a suffocation hazard."

With so many cute crib sheet designs, it's easy to get carried away. You're probably trying to decide, how many crib sheets do I need, anyway?

Good question.

baby sleeping in a crib

How many crib sheets do I need?

If you are purchasing new crib sheets, add at least three to four to your newborn checklist. This way you won't need to do laundry daily. You'll also have enough crib sheets on hand for both regular sheet changes and for when they get unexpectedly soiled.

When you have a new baby, you quickly learn that you can never have enough extra clothes when you leave the house. The inevitable up-the-back blow-out always happens at the exact time you forgot to restock the diaper bag. Crib sheets are very much the same. The last thing you want to be doing in the middle of the night is searching for a clean sheet when baby has soiled through their pajamas and sleep sack—or spit up that feed you just finished. It happens more often than you think!

baby sleeping in a bassinet


How many bassinet sheets do I need?

Budget for three to five bassinet sheets. Many babies will sleep in a bassinet for the first few months. Bassinet sheets should have a snug fit to the bassinet mattress and not cause any extra material collection where baby is sleeping. Similar to crib sheets, you'll want enough bassinet sheets to be able to change them 1-2 times per week and extra for when they get soiled.

How often should I change crib sheets?


It's most commonly recommended to change your crib sheets at least twice per week, more often if they are soiled or stained. Sheets can get dirty easily and collect bacteria just by contact baby has with other people, spit up, milk or diapers.

Should I wash crib sheets in baby detergent?

When it comes to washing clothes and sheets for your little one, you need your detergent to be as gentle on their sensitive skin as it is tough on stains. We've rounded up and reviewed the best baby detergents where you can find what works best for your family. Skip the dryer sheets for any of your baby's clothing or bedding though, their skin is too sensitive especially in those early months.

This article was originally published on Feb 21, 2023

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