When it comes to bedding for your au pair’s room, there are three criteria that must be met:
The bedding must look clean.
The bedding must smell clean.
There must be enough bedding.
It’s a bonus if the mattress is new, if the bigger bed fits the room, or if the sheets are her or his favorite color. But if the bedding you offer meets these criteria, you’re good.
Still, you might want to do a little bit “more” for your au pair. After all, you want her to sleep well. You want him to feel at home and comfortable. And, within limits, you want to make sure s/he has what s/he likes as well as what s/he needs.
One area where I’d go a bit crazy is with bed pillows
Turns out that, even if your kids are willing to keep using the only extra pillows you had laying around when you switched them to a ‘big kid bed’, adults actually have preferences. Some adults like one kind of pillow over another, and some like to have more then one pillow. Who’d a thunk it?
A few years ago we had a whole bunch of people staying at our house for Christmas, so I went out and bought around eight new bed pillows of different firmness and types. (I had to get a non-feather one for the nephew with allergies.)
After everyone left, I had all these nice pillows, and a new great idea: I would let our new au pair pick from among the pillows the one(s) she liked best.
Much to my surprise, she picked the two oldest, schlumpiest feather pillows. I’d have never chosen those for her– I’d have given her the Martha Stewart ones for side sleepers, because they have a pretty blue border, and I would have given her something she didn’t like quite as well as what she chose for herself.
I have to say, I think she liked choosing her own pillows. In a weird and small way, it was a chance for her to actively make herself at home, and feel comfortable.