Crib Bedding Shopping Guide

You’ve probably read up at least little (if not a ton) regarding your pregnancy and developing baby, but what about all the stuff you need? We know you want the best for your baby and don’t have the time for an overwhelming amount of information, so here are the basics you need to know about crib bedding and how to go about shopping for it online or in-store. It should answer many of the questions you may have, but if you still have questions let us know. We're always here to help!




Crib Sheets

A crib sheet is an essential piece of crib bedding. It is the fitted sheet that covers the crib mattress, typically on top of a waterproof mattress pad cover.  Flat or top sheets aren’t made for the crib, and do not come in crib sets, although they may be available from some retailers for once the crib is turned into a toddler bed. Generally a crib sheet will fit rather snug to prevent any excess fabric being pulled up or a corner from coming off the edge of the mattress, which would pose a safety hazard.  There should be elastic either in the corners or all the way around the edge of the crib sheet to help prevent the above issues, along with the snug fit. All Caden Lane crib sheets fit standard size crib mattresses which are approximately 28” x 52” and up to 6” deep, but crib sheets come in various sizes for different types of cribs such as mini cribs, round cribs, and more. 

So how many will you need? We recommend having at least two crib sheets on hand for when one needs to be washed, but think three is ideal. You never know when the next diaper leak, spit up or other incident will happen, and if your spare sheet hasn’t been washed yet when another accident happens you don’t want to find yourself in a bind without another one.

Once you decide on the crib sheet(s) you want and get them home, you’ll want to be sure to wash them before putting baby in the crib.

Crib Skirts

Crib skirts, or as some may call them, dust ruffles, are great pieces of crib bedding that can add a lot of character to your nursery, and not to mention, storage space (depending on your crib). They’re not all that complicated. There’s typically just a top panel that is hidden by the mattress and side panels that hang down to hide the space beneath the mattress with openings at the corners (to accommodate crib hardware). It’s essentially the same thing as a bed skirt that goes on top of a box spring on a regular bed just baby-sized to fit a crib. And while it’s not all that complicated, there’s still a few things you should consider when shopping for one:

What kind of crib do you have or want to purchase?

Many newer model cribs are either bulky and boxed in at the bottom or provide their own storage beneath the mattress, which will probably hide a decent portion of the crib skirt. More traditional cribs will be open at the floor with only the bottom of the railing covering the crib skirt. So what does this mean? When thinking about your crib bedding remember to picture it on your crib.  Crib bedding product images are just that – images that show off the crib bedding, so they’ll typically be shown on more traditional cribs where they are most visible, or at times with the side railing taken off completely. If your crib isn’t a traditional type of crib or has a thick bottom to the railing you’ll want take that into consideration when shopping and know that details may get covered up. If your crib is more traditional-like and open at the bottom, you’ll probably get to see and show off more of the details of the skirt, such as ruffles, patterns, or designs.

Where will you be placing the crib in the nursery?

This is important to think about since some crib skirts will only be 3-sided. Crib skirts that come with 3 sides will typically only have one long panel and the 2 shorter ones. If you plan on placing the crib in the middle of the room or with one of the short sides against the wall you will need to make sure you choose a crib skirt with 4 sides. [The majority of Caden Lane crib skirts are 4-sided, and if they aren’t it is noted in the product description.]

What length crib skirt will work best for your crib?

Cribs will typically have a mattress support that can be raised or lowered to 3 or 4 different positions as your baby grows. This means that your crib skirt may be too short to reach the ground at its highest level or puddle at its lowest level.  While there’s not a standard height for the different positions (other than the lowest level must be at least 26” from the mattress support to the top of the railing), we’ve found that a length of 17” tends to fit most cribs well at higher levels and then can be tucked under the mattress to “shorten” it at lower levels. If you’d like to get an idea of the length crib skirt you’d like, you can measure from the mattress support to the floor at each mattress level on your particular crib. All Caden Lane crib skirts have a 17” drop.


Crib bumpers are a common crib bedding accessory that can help keep your baby’s limbs from getting stuck between the crib slats and protect their little head from any bumps that can happen when you’re either placing them in the crib or taking them out, plus they just look adorable.  But, there are many mixed views on this particular piece of crib bedding.  Caden Lane crib bumpers meet all CPSC and JPMA requirements, and we ensure our bumpers are made with only the safest fabrics and sturdy foam inserts that are not pillow-like and won’t slouch, giving you the safest option if you choose to include bumpers in your crib bedding. Caden Lane’s crib bumpers are made up of fabric slipcovers that have a zipper closure at the bottom of each individual bumper (2 long and 2 short) with 2” sturdy foam inserts and 9” ties.

A few guidelines to abide by should you choose to purchase bumpers for your crib:

  • Ensure that the bumpers fit your crib securely.  Any crib ties should be secured in a way so that the bumper won’t move easily or have any slack between the bumper pad and the railing. If the bumpers are secured tightly then there also shouldn’t be any loose ties. Ties should always be tied on the outside of the crib.
  • There will be a slight gap in the corners between the individual slip-covered bumpers. Be aware that this is done on purpose to provide greater air circulation in the crib.
  • If a bumper starts to sag for any reason, remove it from the crib.
  • Be sure to remove the bumpers when your child can sit up on their own or pull into a standing position.

For further information regarding crib bumper safety, please visit our Product Safety page.

Crib Rail Covers

Crib Rail Covers can be found under a few different names, but are most commonly called crib rail covers or teething guards. The name gives you a pretty good idea of what these pieces of crib bedding are used for. A crib rail cover typically protects the crib from a teething baby who may try to gnaw on the top crib railing.  Having a cover over the railing will help protect not only the crib but the baby’s gums as well; splinters and chipping paint are never fun, especially if you want to re-use the crib for a future child. While they are functional, they can also be decorative accents that help bring in colors and patterns throughout the nursery in bumperless crib bedding before the baby reaches the teething stage, or they can replace crib bumpers after baby outgrows them to keep a similar look to the crib.  We love a brightly colored or patterned crib rail cover!

Beyond practicality and decoration, you’ll want to know a couple things about this piece of crib bedding. Cribs are typically rectangles and therefore have two long sides and two short, some cribs will have four railings that you may want to cover and others may have only three if the back of the crib has a decorative arch or similar feature. Still others may have decorative shorter ends to the crib; you’ll want to consider the crib you’ll use in your nursery before purchasing any crib rail covers so as to not purchase un-needed railing covers. Crib rail covers come in a variety of forms, from fabric to plastic and even rubber. Caden Lane only sells fabric crib rail covers for the long railing of the crib individually. If you have a crib that has two long railings that need to be covered, you’ll want to purchase two. These can easily be paired with clear plastic or rubber teething guards on the shorter sides to keep the look of the crib clean.

Accessories – Pillows, Blankets & Changing Pad Covers

Changing Pad Covers

Changing pad covers are just that, they cover your changing pad and make it super easy to throw in the wash when they get dirty from all those fun diaper changes.  Doesn’t your baby just love to start peeing when you take their diaper off? (Well, if you don’t know yet, they will!) This piece of baby gear is functional and can bring a bit of style to a different side of the nursery than the crib. These decorative covers can come in the same pattern as your crib bedding and help pull the room together in a style or design. 

Changing pad covers typically will be made to match a particular style of changing pad.  Yes, there are many styles of changing pads. Caden Lane’s changing pad covers fit typical contoured changing pads with two raised sides similar to this one.  The covers also should include two small holes on the sides to accommodate the safety strap. The placement of the holes can vary based on what kind of changing pad cover they were made for. Caden Lane changing pad covers have the holes at the bottom side seems where many safety straps are located.


Blankets are a baby gear must have. You can never have too many blankets for wrapping up and holding baby, which makes them popular gifts, but they should be kept out of the crib until baby is at least 12 months old according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).  


Pillows are really just an accent and decorative piece in a nursery. They’re perfect for tossing in the glider or rocking chair and pulling in a crib bedding print somewhere else in the room. They can also be a cute way to “make” the crib when baby isn’t using it. 

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