A less obvious concern, but one that still bears consideration, is dirty sheets. You should change the sheet on your baby's crib frequently. Of course, you're going to change the sheet if your baby's wet diaper leaks through to the crib or if he pees while you're changing his diaper in the crib and the urine gets onto the sheet. But there might be some diaper leakage that is less evident and that dries before you have the opportunity to become aware of it.
In addition, you might not notice or be able to see dried milk stains from a bottle of milk or formula he drank in bed which leaked, perhaps because he was playing with the nipple. Then there is spit-up, which again you might not be aware of if it dries before you have a chance to see it on the sheets. The milk will sour and create unhealthy conditions, both in terms of germs and in terms of attracting insects. Change the sheets as soon as you notice any sort of stain, and change the sheets every few days even if you don't notice urine stains, milk stains, poop stains, or any other stains on the sheets.
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that “all fabrics used in your child's room — sleepwear, sheets, curtains — should be flame-retardant.”
Finding the Right
Bedding The importance of tight-fitting crib sheets has already been covered, but what should the sheets be made of? There are two schools of thought on this subject.
One school of thought holds that you should buy only flame-retardant sheets that have been specially treated. Certainly, these are a safety-conscious choice. But are they the best choice?
There is another school of thought that says they aren't, for two reasons. To begin with, flame-retardant sheets are chemically treated, and some studies have found the chemicals used to be carcinogenic. In addition, these sheets are usually made either partially or completely from artificial fibers such as polyester. Those cute decorated sheets with favorite cartoon characters or circus themes on them are certainly adorable, but read the label: What are they made of? Artificial fibers do not allow the skin to breathe. Rather they trap moisture, whether it's your baby's perspiration, urine, or any other moisture, leaving your baby hot and sweaty instead of cool and comfortable, even in weather that might not normally cause him to be hot and sweaty. One hundred percent natural fiber sheets (usually cotton) are a much better choice.
If you feel that, despite the absence of flame retardant or because of the absence of it, 100 percent natural fiber sheets are best, be sure your baby's pajamas are made of 100 percent cotton as well. Again, both carcinogens and the nature of the fabric are an issue. Artificial material does not allow the perspiration to escape the way cotton does; in fact, the nature of the fabric is such that it promotes sweat.