At a friend’s baby shower 3 years ago, I overheard another mom telling the mama-to-be about a Baby Crib Sheet Layering Trick where you put 2-3 sheets (and waterproof protectors) onto the baby’s crib mattress at the same time so if there is a vomit or pee incident, you simply peel off the top sheet and its waterproof layer and you’re ready to go with a fresh crib sheet. This saves you time any time of day, but it’s especially useful in the middle of the night when you’re half asleep.
So when I was planning and putting together the Twins’ Nursery, I somehow remembered this trick and made sure to add several crib sheets and waterproof protectors to my baby registry. But, because I have twins, I decided to go a little overboard and instead of simply double sheeting, I used three sheets (plus waterproof protectors)! Not envisioning how this works? Keep reading!
Baby Crib Sheet Layering Trick
First, I have a fully encased, zippered waterproof protector on each crib mattress as a base. If you want to go with extra protection, you can ignore this layer and add another waterproof sheet as the first layer, but I don’t have an unlimited budget, so I use the zippered enclosed waterproof protector as my first layer. And then I start building up from there.
Here’s my sheet stack for one crib:
Next, I add a fitted sheet.
Make sure you’re putting each sheet on as tightly as possible so you’re following crib safety tips:
- A firm, tight-fitting mattress so a baby cannot get trapped between the mattress and the crib. Make sure there are no gaps larger than two fingers between the sides of the crib and the mattress.
- Use only a fitted bottom sheet specifically made for crib use.
- Do not put pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, pillow-like bumper pads or pillow-like stuffed toys in the crib.
- Consider using a sleeper instead of a blanket.
Next, a waterproof protector sheet.
Then another fitted sheet.
I really like these cotton jersey sheets. I have them in multiple colors: turquoise, fuchsia, and orange. They’re super soft and have a lot of stretch so they work really well when implementing this baby crib layering sheet trick. Plus, they’re easy on the budget!
And then another fitted waterproof protective cover sheet.
I really like these fitted waterproof protective cover sheets. They have a deep pocket which works well for this layering trick. They’re super soft and they don’t have a crinkle noise when you move on top of them. Plus, they’re available in a 2-pack for a slight discount.
But I also really like this brand and own a few of these waterproof mattress protectors as well.
And then, finally, your top sheet.
I always put my favorite dotted sheets on top, but since they’re my only patterned sheets, I should probably put them on as the bottom sheet layer so I know when I get to them that it’s my last layer and, if there’s an accident, I will need to be ready with clean sheets.
Here’s what this looks like peeled back:
They’re all on there! I really like this method because when I change the twins’ crib sheets (without a vomit or pee incident), it’s a quick change two-thirds of the time. It’s only when I get down to the bottom layer that I have to then put 6 layers of sheets back onto each crib. But even then, it goes pretty quickly.
And this method works really well with my IKEA cribs and mattresses. If you use a different crib and mattress, I would start with 2 crib sheets (plus 2 waterproof protectors) and assess if it’s a tight fit or not. With Baby #3’s mini crib, I’ve used this same method with 3 sheets (and 3 waterproof protectors), but it’s a really tight fit and I should probably only be doing 2 sheets.
- Layer 1: fully encased, zippered waterproof protector
- Layer 2: cotton jersey sheet
- Layer 3: fitted waterproof protective cover sheet
- Layer 4: cotton jersey sheet
- Layer 5: fitted waterproof protective cover sheet
- Layer 6: cotton jersey sheet (or your favorite printed sheets!)
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