Are you considering purchasing a crib bumper for a baby on the way? Fluffy, patterned, and soft to the touch, crib bumpers have been sitting on the shelves of mainstream retailers for decades.
Though seemingly harmless, crib bumpers can actually increase the risk of SIDS. (Yikes!) From 1985 to 2012, 48 infant deaths and 146 injuries (related to suffocation, strangulation, and entrapment) were directly connected to crib bumpers. Even scarier? In the more recent years of the study (2008 to 2012), the annual rate of crib bumper-related deaths nearly tripled.
Dr. Edward Kulich, The Baby Sleep Doctor, says crib bumpers should “absolutely not” be available to consumers, and he gave us three reasons why he recommends parents keep crib bumpers far away from, well, the crib:
1. Until about 3 to 4 months old, babies don’t roll, and it’s unlikely an infant would generate enough force to be injured.
2. Before 4 to 9 months old, babies can roll face-first into a crib bumper — the equivalent of using a pillow. There’s certainly a theoretical risk of suffocation.
3. After 9 to 10 months old, most infants can pull themselves to a standing position and use the crib bumper as a step to fall out of the crib.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also states crib bumpers should never be used — and the warnings don’t stop there.
Alison Jacobson, aka “The Safety Mom,” lost her son, Connor, to SIDS, and now she’s the CEO of CJ First Candle, an organization that works to prevent and eliminate SIDS.
“There’s just no need for crib bumpers,” she urges. “Parents worry about their child getting an arm or leg caught in the rails, but crib bumpers can lead to major issues.
The potential danger related to traditional crib bumpers is clear. For many parents, however, bumpers are still an essential part of outfitting their little one’s crib. Jacobsen, who works with families that have trouble parting with the idea of crib bumpers, recommends going the mesh route. “In that case, go with mesh,” she says. “Some parents will be purists and choose nothing at all, but for parents who want to use a crib bumper, mesh is the only way to go.”
Yes, most experts do agree that crib bumpers should be left in the ‘80s, but if parents insist on staying connected to baby-bedding nostalgia, then mesh is the way to go. But mesh crib bumpers are not the only alternative options on the market. Vertical crib bumpers and crib rail covers offer parents the same peace of mind knowing that their little one is safe without worrying about the looming fear of SIDS.
If you’re still considering adorning your baby’s sleeping space with a traditional bumper, it’s time to reconsider and ask why the bumpers are even still being sold on the market. Ditch the idea of bringing home a crib bumper all together, and opt for a safer alternative.
Here are some of our favorite options for the parents who won’t go completely bare.
BreathableBaby White Mesh Crib Liner
Keep it clean, simple, and fresh with a subtle white liner. Made of breathable mesh, the A.C.T. (Air Channel Technology) will help Mom and Dad rest easier when the lights go out. It doesn’t hurt to buy two, so you have a backup when the other is being cleaned.
TILLYOU Personalized Padded Baby Crib Rail Cover
Maybe you’re halfway ready to part with the idea of a crib bumper but still need an added layer of protection. A padded railing cover protects your little one from banging their head accidentally without restricting air flow. This TILLYOU rail bumper is in a neutral, minimalistic color and design and features the sweetest saying perfect for any nursery.
BreathableBaby Lion Mesh Crib Liner
This breathable mesh liner is so cute! Featuring lions, monkeys, elephants, and other jungle characters, it will blend right into a safari nursery.
BreathableBaby Starlight Mesh Crib Liner
Your baby will have the sweetest dreams with this starry mesh crib liner. It’s perfect for the nursery with a moon-and-stars nighttime theme.
PURE SAFETY Vertical Crib Liners in Chocolate Minky
Some parents are attached to traditional, padded crib liners because they protect against sudden head bangs and dangling limbs. However, the padding is a part of the problem. Individual rail covers offer breathability by not blocking the rail gaps, while also providing a soft landing for your little one’s noggin.