When I was pregnant with my first baby, my favorite thing about decorating her nursery was finding the perfect crib set. I mean, the overpriced, matching bedding is what the nursery is all about, right? Your tiny person has to come home to a cushy, finished room worthy of your expectant friends pinning to their “Future Nursery” boards on Pinterest.
I followed the guidelines about no “pillowlike” bumpers to avoid suffocation. Her bumpers were more “quilt-like” and tied tight to the sides. They were on her crib for most of her first year.
Then the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with new guidelines saying, and I’m paraphrasing here, “No bumpers!!! Your infant will die!!!!” I promptly untied those baby killers and stashed them in the closet. She was an older infant at that point. We had already dropped her crib down. What happened next, I didn’t expect.
The thrashing! My God the thrashing! She was a mobile, rolling, crawling baby, even in her sleep. We would hear bangs and bumps, then the occasional cry over the monitor in the middle of the night. We would go get her in the morning and her feet would be wedged between the bars of the crib. I suddenly understood the need for bumpers, even though her crib met the safety guidelines for proper for crib bar spacing. How foolish of me to believe bumpers were just aesthetic.
Okay, so crib bumpers are a suffocation danger and the ties pose a strangulation threat, but if you don’t have bumpers your kid will bang into the side of the crib at night?
So, when I had my second baby I weighed the pros and cons and went ahead and got my son a full crib set with bumpers. Again, they were quilt-like and tied tight to the crib. The ties are not long enough to go around a throat, just a crib bar. The bumpers looked adorable and posed no hazard that I could see. No hazard until the night his face got close to the bumper and I freaked. He was too little to roll over at that point and I didn’t want his face so close to the bumper. SIDS! Ah! I couldn’t sleep. I tiptoed around his crib and took them off that night. I put them back on in the morning. I did the same the next day. Hey, I paid for the second baby’s bumpers. I didn’t get them at a baby shower, so I was going to use them! The on and off got old real fast.
By the time he was rolling over and crawling, I figured he was big enough to move his face away from a thin bumper and I left them on all the time. I watched him. He was fine. It wasn’t a problem. Then he started pulling up and we lowered the mattress. Pulling up means he pulled the bumpers down or off or used them as a pillow. I also heard of babies using them to step up on and subsequently flip out of the crib. I took them out. He’s 10-months-old now.
I kid you not, the day I am writing this he starts screaming when I put him down for his nap. I go up there to check it out and his leg is wedged through the bars, up to his thigh. He couldn’t pull his knee through. Poor little guy. He was all traumatized and weepy when I rescued him.
So, that leaves me to wonder if I should put the bumpers back on. Do I need to buy the mesh bumpers? (Please say “no.” I’m not a fan.) What’s your take on this?
- Did you use crib bumpers at all? What type?
- How long did you leave them on?
- Did your child ever get hurt from having bumpers on his/her crib? Did they get hurt NOT having bumpers on their crib?