Soften up the nursery with a crib skirt

What are crib skirts?

Crib skirts perform the same function as bed skirts, otherwise known as dust ruffles. Take off the crib mattress, push the drop sides of the crib skirt between the edges of the mattress support and the sides of the crib frame and arrange the sides so they hang down evenly. Then, place the mattress back on top along with a tightly fitted sheet. The crib skirt will hang over the sides of the crib to provide a nice, decorative look.

Crib skirts come in different colours and patterns, with images of airplanes, animals, a garden, and more and in patterns like polka dots, checkers, or florals to match different nursery designs. They can be flat panel, metallic, lace, or ruffles style, and are most commonly made of cotton.

They also come in various sizes, with either three or four sides to fit a standard crib. There's no reason you'd need more than one crib skirt. While you probably won't have to wash it every time you wash the rest of the bedding, you should wash the crib skirt every so often.

Why would you use a crib skirt?

Crib skirts aren't necessary for a crib but they don't pose any hazard either. They are purely for decorative purposes, so if you're a stickler for details, a crib skirt can add style to the nursery and make the crib look nicer.

That said, they can, however, also serve a clever functional purpose. If you want to store items under the crib, like extra diapers, toys, or a floor mat for tummy time to pull out when needed, a crib skirt will hide this secret storage area from view.

What should you look for in a crib skirt?

Make sure that the length matches the distance between the mattress and the floor and that you can adjust the crib skirt so it doesn't hang too much over the edge, presenting a tripping hazard (plus, it won't look nice) or conversely, that it doesn't hang down long enough.

Depending on where the crib is placed in the nursery, you might need a crib skirt set with three or four sides. Typically, sets with three sides include one long for the front of the crib and two short the sides. If the crib is against the wall, this will be perfect. But if there's space on all four sides of the crib, you'll want crib skirts with four sides to ensure the skirt is around the entire perimeter. (Four-sided crib skirts are still fine for cribs that are against the wall, too!)

If you are buying the crib skirt separate from the rest of the bedding, match with the overall décor, or contrast in a way that's cool and fashionable. It shouldn't stick out like a sore thumb. Note that some modern cribs aren't designed to be used with crib skirts, most notably those with drawers at the bottom.