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Crib Bumper Safety: What Are Crib Bumpers and Are They Safe?

Crib Bumper Safety What Are Crib Bumpers and Are They Safe

Crib bumpers are not safe. They pose a safety hazard — increasing the risk of suffocation, strangulation, or entrapment for babies.

Among the many concerns during motherhood is how to keep the baby safe even while sleeping

However, crib bumpers are not the solution.  

Let’s know why you should not invest in crib bumpers for your baby’s safety. Let’s understand what crib bumpers are, their safety considerations, and the alternative options.

What are Crib Bumpers?

What are Crib Bumpers?

Crib bumpers are padded linings placed along a crib’s inside perimeter to create a cushioned barrier. 

They prevent a baby from hitting their head on the crib slats or getting their limbs stuck when you put them down inside the crib

However, they pose great risks for babies, so using them is hazardous and can lead to the ff: 

  • Suffocation – they can create a pocket of space between the bumper and the mattress, which can trap a baby’s head.
  • Strangulation – if a baby’s head or limbs get caught in a bumper, they could be strangled.
  • Entrapment – they can also cause entrapment. If a baby gets their head or limbs caught between the bumper and the crib’s slats, they could become trapped. 

Are Crib Bumpers Safe?

“Bumpers can lead to suffocation and entrapment, the very hazards they were intended to prevent,” says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The AAP is a renowned authority in pediatric healthcare. They offer recommendations based on research, expert consensus, and a commitment to infant safety. 

They recommend that you not use crib bumpers. Instead, listen well to your baby’s sleeping needs and keep a safe sleep environment. 

Crib bumpers are not required by law in the Philippines.

Unlike in the US, they have passed this law officially banning crib bumpers

Aligning with the AAP means you prioritize evidence-based research for the well-being of infants.

Are Mesh Crib Bumpers Safe?

No, mesh crib bumpers are also not safe. The AAP strongly advises against using any kind of crib bumpers for infants. 

Infants lack the motor skills to navigate around bumpers, and even “breathable mesh” bumpers pose risks.

Mesh crib bumpers are often perceived as safer than traditional padded ones due to their breathable mesh fabric. 

BUT they can still pose a suffocation hazard, even though they are made of more breathable material. 

Babies can become entangled in the mesh, especially when they roll over in the crib.

Are Crib Bumpers Okay for Older Babies?

Crib bumpers are not safe for babies of any age. 

As babies grow and become more mobile, there is also an increased risk of using crib bumpers. 

This is because baby bumpers can serve as a surface for climbing or can be used as a step to attempt to climb out of the crib. 

It is important to prioritize safety and create a hazard-free sleep environment for older babies or babies who start rolling on their stomachs

Avoiding crib bumpers on top of ensuring that the crib is free of dangerous objects is a must. 

Babies are safest sleeping in a crib with a firm mattress and a fitted sheet, without additional bedding or padding.

Are There Good Alternatives to Crib Bumpers?

Are There Good Alternatives to Crib Bumpers?

Supervising your baby closely in the crib is the best way to ensure their safety. This means being in the same room as the crib and always keeping an eye on your baby.

Nonetheless, here are what many parents use as an alternative to baby bumpers.

1. Mesh Crib Liners

These are made of a breathable mesh material that helps to keep babies safe without creating a suffocation hazard.

They also provide a soft barrier that can help to prevent your baby from bumping their head or limbs on the crib rails.

2. Baby Sleeping Bags or Wearable Blankets

Baby sleeping bags or wearable blankets are a safe alternative to loose blankets in the crib.

They provide warmth and comfort while eliminating the risk of suffocation or entanglement.

They help prevent babies from kicking off covers. This lowers the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

3. Covers for Crib Rails

These covers help prevent your baby from chewing on the crib rails or getting their fingers or toes caught. 

They can also help to add a touch of style or aesthetics to your baby’s nursery.

They are practical parents’ alternatives that ensure a newborn’s good sleep without the risk of injury.

4. Firm Mattress

A firm mattress is a good alternative to crib bumpers because it provides a safe and secure sleep environment. 

It helps reduce the risk of suffocation and provides proper support, even when babies roll onto their stomachs while sleeping.

When selecting a mattress for your baby, make sure it fits the crib correctly in terms of size.

The mattress should have an appropriate thickness and firmness, so it can firmly support your baby’s body weight without being uncomfortably rigid.

Frequently Asked Questions

It may seem over the top, but many expecting parents have also asked these questions in the parenting seminars I’ve been to. 

So I’ve noted them and have compiled answers to commonly asked questions about crib bumper safety.

How Do I Know If My Crib Is Safe?

Crib safety is essential for the health and well-being of your baby. 

When ensuring the safety of your baby’s crib, it is important to conduct thorough checks. 

  • Check the slats – the slats on a crib should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. 
  • Check the mattress – the mattress should be firm and fit snugly in the crib. There should be no gaps between the mattress and the crib’s sides.
  • Check for any loose or missing hardware – all hardware on the crib should be tight and secure. Do not use the crib if there is any loose or missing hardware.
  • Check for any sharp edges or points – the crib should be free of any sharp edges or points that could injure your baby.
  • Look for sturdy construction – ensure they follow the safety standards of organizations like DTI. Check for cautionary labels. 

If you want a used crib, check it with extra care and follow the Kids Health Organization’s guidelines.

How Can I Make My Baby’s Crib Safe?

Next to having picked a crib for your baby, parents must put in extra effort to make it a safe sleep space for babies. 

To further secure a safe crib for babies, remember these tips:

  • Choose a firm mattress – opt for a firm, snug-fitting mattress.
  • Keep bedding minimal – avoid loose blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals in the crib.
  • Position the crib away from hazards – windows, blinds, cords, and wall hangings. 
  • Secure cords and strings –  secure blinds or curtains that may cause strangulation.
  • Regularly inspect the crib – check for any broken parts and ensure the crib is sturdy.
  • Put your baby to sleep on their backsleeping on their back is safest for babies.

Conclusion

As parents, there’s no such thing as a compromise — especially with the sleepy baby’s safety

Prioritizing crib safety is a crucial aspect of responsible parenting. Therefore, taking the information I have shared will help provide the best care you want for your baby. 

Thankfully, there are safe alternatives to protect babies from harm.

By exploring these alternatives, you can find suitable options that assure safety and peace of mind.

Josie Mariano
Josie Mariano

Hello, my name is Josie Mariano, and I’m proud to say I’m a soon-to-be mom.
Although my partner and I are still waiting for our firstborn to arrive, we’re already doing whatever it takes to prepare for our baby’s needs.
I’ve been joining a lot of parenting forums and asking my doctors for advice on how to prepare for my baby. They’ve all been very informative and I was able to spot the areas I still need to work on.
At the same time, I also rely on my mom for tips on what to do during my pregnancy journey.
With everything that I’ve learned so far, I’d like to share these experiences to fellow parents and soon-to-be parents!