Glossary of Baby Bedding and Nursery Decor Terms
I recently noticed some new parents on a message board discussing their lack of knowledge about the terminology surrounding baby bedding and nursery decorations. I felt their pain. It wasn’t long ago that I didn’t know the difference between a crib and a cradle and I certainly didn’t know what a dust ruffle was. So I put together this short list – let me know if I missed anything!
Appliqué - A pattern or design that has been cut out of one fabric, and sewn on another fabric with a “satin stitch” (a very tight and smooth zig zag stitch). Appliquéd items give a wonderful dimensional and custom look, especially when compared to bedding designs with screen printed or stamped themes.
Cradle Bedding - Cradles are typically used for a baby’s first six months before they transition to their own crib in their own nursery. Standard-size cradle mattresses measure approximately 18″ x 36″. Cradle bedding typically comes with a sheet, bumper and blanket.
Cradle Blanket / Stroller Blanket – A cradle blanket / stroller blanket typically measures 29″ x 39″; a perfect size to carry or swaddle a newborn. They are also a nice size for covering a baby when taking walks in the stroller on chilly mornings.
Crib Bumper – A crib bumper is a protective pad that lines the inside of a crib and is the same height all the way around. Crib Bumpers should have both top and bottom ties for added safety.
Crib Blanket / Baby Blanket – A crib blanket measures approximately 35″ x 45″. These blankets are typically made with two different fabric types on the front and back. They have a variety of uses including swaddling or carrying infants, tummy time or as an emergency changing area (yes, I have done this more than once!).
Crib Comforter – A box-quilted comforter with non-allergenic resin-free poly-fill that coordinates or complements a crib bedding set. Dimensions of crib comforters are approximately 38″ x 48″, depending on the edging. For the early months of infancy, a comforter should not be used directly on or under the baby. However, later on in the toddler stage, a quilt can be a very comforting item for the child. They identify with the theme or colors and it gives them a feeling of security which they have become accustomed to with their nursery décor.
Crib Bedding Set – A bedding ensemble that will fit a standard crib with the approximate dimensions of 28″ X 52″. Four-piece crib bedding sets include a bumper, comforter or blanket, sheet and dust ruffle.
Dust Ruffle / Crib Skirt – Crib skirts are decorative in nature and hang below the crib mattress area and hide unsightly crib hardware and storage areas under some cribs.
Diaper Stacker - A decorative item used to store diapers – either cloth or disposable. Diaper stackers usually hang near or on the changing or dressing table for convenience and will make diaper changing easier. Diaper stackers should not hang on the crib.
Musical Mobile / Crib Mobile – Mobiles attach to the sides of cribs and hang over the crib area so that babies can look up and be entertained by the patterns, movement and music of the mobile. Crib mobiles should be removed from the crib area once the child can sit up or move to their hands and knees.
Portable/Mini Crib/ Portacrib Set – A bedding set that will fit a travel or mini crib with the dimensions of approximately 24″ x 38″. A 3-piece portable crib bedding set includes the bumper, sheet and blanket.
Valance – Window valances fit at the top of your window for decoration. The balloon valances may be stuffed with tissue for a “balloon” look or may hang straight. Dimensions are 18″ x 84” and are designed to fit the large 2 1/2 inch curtain rod and can be stuffed or left to hang straight. Tab top valances measure approximately 64″ x 16″ and leave a generous 3” header.
I hope this helps some of the new parents (er, dads) out there. I know I was lost about 19 months ago!