Baby Crib Sets: What To Look For When Furnishing Your Nursery

Mom putting baby down in new baby crib set

With your baby due soon, you’ve probably got your eye on baby crib sets so that your little one can sleep safe and sound when you bring them home! But what should you look for when furnishing your little one’s nursery?

In this article, Newton Baby tells you everything you need to know about shopping for baby crib sets.

What Are Baby Crib Sets?

new baby crib set

A baby crib set is a bundle of items that provides everything your newborn needs to sleep well right from day one.

Baby crib sets may include:

  • Crib
  • Mattress
  • Mattress pad
  • Fitted sheet
  • Top sheet
  • Blanket
  • Pillow
  • Pillowcase
  • Bumper
  • Dust ruffle

But before you rush out to buy the baby crib set with the most items, it’s important to understand the basics of providing a safe sleeping environment for your newborn. Especially when it comes to things like blankets, pillows, bumpers, and dust ruffles.

We’ll talk about these last few pieces of the baby crib set later on in this article. For now, it’s enough to say that you should not put extra bedding in your baby’s crib until they’re much older!

So what should you include? Only the essentials! Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for baby crib sets.

Things To Consider When Shopping For Baby Crib Sets

new baby cribs sets in the nursery

Crib Size

Cribs come in two basic sizes: mini and standard. Mini cribs typically measure 24” x 38” inside the rails, while standard cribs typically measure 28” x 52” inside the rails.

You might find cribs with slight variations from these measurements, so always check the fit of your mattress before allowing your baby to sleep there for the first time. We’ll look at this more in the mattress size section.

Mini cribs are ideal if your nursery is tight on space or if your newborn is sharing the room with other siblings. The downside of a mini crib is that your baby will outgrow it rather quickly — anywhere from 18 months to 24 months old.

Standard cribs are the first choice for many parents because their babies will get years of use out of this one piece of furniture. Many standard cribs even convert into toddler beds so that your baby’s sleep area can grow as they do!

Mattress Size

Once you’ve chosen the right crib size for your space and your baby’s needs, it’s time to choose a mattress.

If you purchase a mini crib, you’ll need a mini mattress. And if you purchase a standard crib, you’ll need a standard mattress.

Like the crib itself, mini mattresses measure 24” x 38” around the outside (so they’ll fit on the inside of the crib). Standard mattresses measure 28” x 52” around the outside.

As we mentioned in the crib size section, you will find small variations in frame measurement depending on which brand of bed you buy. One standard crib might be 28” x 53” or 28 ⅜” x 52”.

To provide the safest sleeping environment possible, make sure there is very little or no space between the mattress and the crib frame. It might be a good idea to measure both the inside of the crib and the outside of the mattress several times!

Once you’ve situated the mattress in the crib, see how many fingers you can place between the edge of the mattress and the rails. If you can fit more than two fingers, you need a bigger mattress (or a smaller crib).

One of the perks of using a standard mattress is that, even if your standard crib doesn’t convert into a toddler bed, you can purchase a toddler bed set and transfer the standard mattress to the new frame.

Mattress Breathability

baby sleeping in a new baby crib sets

Mattress breathability is one of the most important variables to look for when purchasing baby crib sets!

Breathable mattresses allow air to flow freely through the top, bottom, and sides of the mattress. In fact, the best breathable mattresses — like those from Newton Baby — are 90 percent air by volume.

With a Newton Baby mattress and sheet set, even if your baby turns onto their stomach while sleeping, they’ll still be able to breathe thanks to our unique Wovenaire® and Breathe-Thru technologies!

And because all Newton Baby breathable mattresses are made of safe, food-grade polymer, they’re also:

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Free of biocides
  • Free of toxic fire retardants
  • 100 percent recyclable
  • Fully washable

That’s peace of mind you can’t get anywhere else!

Mattress Firmness

Another important factor to consider when shopping for baby crib sets is mattress firmness. For newborns, infants, and even most children, the firmer the mattress the better. But firm doesn’t mean hard!

Most traditional crib mattresses are encased in non-breathable plastic to prevent your baby’s head from sinking into the mattress so much that it cuts off their breathing. While keeping your baby safe, the plastic wrap makes these types of mattresses hard and uncomfortable.

Newton Baby, on the other hand, has created a firm and breathable mattress that keeps your little one safe and comfy throughout the night and doesn’t feel like they’re sleeping on a piece of plywood.

Test your baby’s mattress firmness by pushing down around the edges and in the center. It should require a fair bit of effort to make a dent. And when you release your hand, the mattress should spring back immediately into its normal shape.

Sheet Size

When shopping for crib sheets, make sure that they fit the mattress that goes in your baby’s crib.

(If you have a mini crib and mattress, purchase fitted mini sheets. If you have a standard crib and mattress, purchase fitted standard sheets.)

Regardless of size, crib sheets should fit tightly around the mattress with no extra fabric along the top and sides. And, again, the mattress should fit tightly inside the crib frame. This will help keep the crib sheet from bunching up in places.

Finally, it’s also a good idea to purchase several sets of pre-shrunk and machine-washable sheets.

Pre-shrunk because you don’t want to wash the sheets for the first time only to find that they no longer fit the mattress. And washable because, well, your baby will make messes while they’re in their crib!

If you have multiple sets, you can wash one while your baby sleeps on another.

Sheet Material

Many baby crib sets come with sheets that are made from a wide variety of materials. Some of these materials may not be the best for your baby!

For maximum safety and softness, Newton Baby’s fitted crib sheets are made from organic muslin cotton. This allows for 100 percent breathability, comfort, and washability!

Why does breathability matter, other than for the safety reasons we mentioned earlier? Simply put, sweating is one of the main reasons babies wake up in the middle of the night, and breathable fabrics help keep sweating at bay.

With fitted sheets like those from Newton Baby, you can help prevent night sweats and give your baby a longer, more restful sleep!

The organic muslin cotton in Newton Baby’s crib sheets also means that there will be less moisture build-up and fewer allergens near your baby’s face. This helps create the best environment for your little one’s sleep.

And when they sleep better — whether it’s a quick nap in the middle of the day or a long stretch through the night — your baby will be happier and healthier for years to come!

Extras In Baby Crib Sets

toddler laying on crib mattress

At the start of this article, we mentioned extra items that may come with some baby crib sets, such as:

  • Blankets
  • Top sheets
  • Pillows
  • Pillowcases
  • Bumpers
  • Dust ruffles
  • Crib skirts

Do you and your baby really need that bedding material? No. In fact, experts recommend avoiding these additional objects until your baby moves into a toddler or regular bed (usually around 18 months).

So while they’re sleeping in a crib, bare is best! No blankets, no pillows, no top sheet, and definitely no bumpers.

If you choose to buy a baby crib set that includes these extra items, you can save many of them for later when your little one transitions to their big-boy or big-girl bed.

But if you choose to buy your baby crib set items separately, Newton Baby has everything you need to furnish your little one’s sleep area!

Keep It Simple And Safe

New mom with baby in nursery

A good rule of thumb when shopping for baby crib sets for your nursery is:

Keep it simple and safe.

The only things that should be in your little one’s crib are a firm and breathable mattress, a waterproof mattress pad if you prefer, and a fitted cotton sheet...oh, and your baby, of course!

Newton Baby takes the simple and safe principle to heart in everything we do because we want what’s best for you and your precious newborn.

We’ve designed our baby crib sets — including our mattresses, mattress pads, and crib sheets — to be 100 percent breathable and comfortable so your little one will have the safest, healthiest, and best sleep possible!

Browse all nurseries