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Are Crib Bumpers Safe for Your Baby?

  • 4 min read

Crib bumpers add cuteness to your baby’s nursery but are there any safe crib bumpers? When we first discover that baby is on the way we go into overdrive with preparing the babies room and getting the home ready for the little one and sometimes don’t consider things like safety until baby arrives. When baby is born, our momma bear senses go on high alert, and we see all the dangers that could possible harm our child. One of these dangers include bumpers for cribs. The hard wood slats of the crib look dangerous, and the temptation is strong to protect your precious bundle of joy from them, but padded crib bumpers are not the answer.

Below, you will find how to create a safe environment for your baby. You might have to sacrifice on cuteness but at least it will be reassuring to know all will be ok. You will also find information on crib bumpers and what to use instead and safe sleep recommendations from experts. 

How to Keep Your Baby Safe in Their Crib:

Experts recommend the following to prevent sleep related injuries, deaths, and to help lower the risk of SIDS, also known as cot death.

  1. When buying a crib, or getting one second hand, always start by checking to see if the slats are safe, when to change the bed, and if there have been no recalls for this model. You can visit these sites to learn more about second hand and buying safety for cribs, cradles and bassinets.

United States: https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls

Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/safe-sleep/cribs-cradles-bassinets.html

  1. It’s important to keep the crib bare without any plushies, pillows or blankets. A firm mattress with a fitted sheet is all you need. If you are concerned about your child being cold you can use a baby monitor to track the temperature in the room and use a tight fitting wearable blanket or sleep sack.
  1. Not all mattresses for babies are the same size. Be sure the one in your crib is made for it without any extra room for legs or fingers to get stuck on the sides. Another thing to see is the position of the mattress in the crib. Start with it higher up but when your baby can sit up on its own you will need to lower it to be sure your baby cannot topple over the sides.
  1. Always lay your baby on its back to sleep. This is the recommended position from sleep experts.
  1. Research has shown that sucking on a pacifier during sleep helps keep the airways open and can help calm fussy and anxious babies to help them sleep better.
  1. Inclined sleepers and crib wedges should be avoided for long naps. These have been associated with more SIDS cases. Use these for playtime or for short rests.

Why Are Crib Bumpers Still Sold?

Sadly, baby crib bumpers are still sold because they make a nursery pretty. Despite being unsafe parents still purchase them. However, as of May 18th, 2022, President Biden has outlawed the manufacturing of crib bumpers in the United States and hopefully they will be banned in Canada in the future.

alternatives to padded crib bumpers safe crib

What Can You Put in a Crib Instead of a Padded Crib Bumper?

1 – Mesh Crib Liners:

Mesh crib liners are not as pretty as traditional baby crib bumpers, but they are a great way to keep little legs and arms away from the crib slats and down the sides of the mattress. A mesh crib liner envelops the entire crib from the inside with an opaque layer of protection.

Pros: A mesh liner can be adjusted to fit any crib without any loose parts and its made of a simple material which means they are usually available for under $25. This kind of alternative to crib bumpers will let the light and create a calming atmosphere. They are also available in different colors.

Cons: No padded protection meaning it won’t soften the blow if your child bumps its head.

2 – Vertical Crib Bumpers:

Vertical crib liners are a bit different than traditional padded crib bumpers but offer the same functionality. This kind of bumper for cribs attach to the rails only, vertically. Vertical crib liners are doctor approved and are safe to use in any kind of baby crib.

Pros: Very easy to install on each rail of the crib. Vertical crib bumpers come in a variety of colors and materials and the prices can vary. This is a great way to beautify your nursery and keep everything safe. This kind of crib protection will keep your baby safe from bumping and reduce the risk of suffocation. Just be sure to check occasionally, that none have come undone.

Cons: The only downside to this alternative to padded crib bumpers is the space between the slats. A little arm or leg could get stuck, but the extra space is necessary to prevent suffocation. A camera to keep an eye on your baby in the nursery can help be sure everything is ok.

3 – Other Alternatives:

There are other kinds of crib bumper alternatives like braided crib bumpers and crib rail covers but they are not recommended by doctors and sleep experts. If you are still unsure what you should use in your nursery, we recommend visiting this website https://www.aap.org/en/patient-care/safe-sleep/ and talking to your paediatrician for advice.

If there is currently a crib bumper in your babies bed you should take it off right away. Your baby doesn’t need anything extra in its crib to sleep and there are many ways to spruce up the nursery to make it look better. Bare is best for baby. You will now be able to sleep better and stress less knowing that your little one is in a danger free zone while in its crib.

bare crib and baby sleep on its back

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