I know, they’re adorable. Crib bumpers make the bedding set. They’re cute, pretty, decorative, fun, soft and comfy.… except that they’re not. They’re dangerous. Believe me, I know how much it sucks to admit that – you want to love them, you want to find the perfect set, you want your baby’s nursery to look perfect!
But at what cost?
There was an article on CNN (posted Oct 18 2011) about the new crib bumper guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics. And…
According to the AAP, there is no evidence that crib bumpers protect against injury, but they do carry a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation, or entrapment because infants lack the motor skills or strength to turn their heads should they roll into something that obstructs their breathing.
Okay, apart from being cute, parents like to use crib bumpers to protect their itty bitty baby from two things: hitting their head on the crib bars and keeping the baby’s arms and legs (or even head) from going through the bars and getting stuck or broken.
But that’s old school. That’s from back in the day when the distance between crib bars wasn’t regulated and a baby COULD actually fit body parts through them and get stuck and hurt. Now, crib bars have to be a certain distance apart for the purpose of preventing that problem. Which means, crib bumpers aren’t needed.
Not only are they not needed, they’re not safe. If a baby rolls or moves to the edge of the crib and they don’t yet have the muscle control to lift their heads or move out of the way, they can suffocate against the crib bumper.
In 2005, AAP’s last statement about crib bumpers was that they recommended using thin, firm bumpers instead of “pillowlike” ones. But since then, there have been published studies on crib bumpers, highlighting their risks and finding no benefits.
Since the AAP released its landmark guidelines in 1992 that all babies be placed on their backs to sleep, deaths from SIDS dramatically decreased initially, but have plateaued in recent years. At the same time, sleep-related deaths from other causes, including suffocation, entrapment and asphyxia, have increased.
It’s crazy to me that bedding sets are all sold with crib bumpers… you’re paying for something you can’t use AND it makes it more tempting to just use them, since you paid for it (and they’re cute). Ryan has a set with bumpers and so does this new baby girl. I have used them for decorative purposes or pictures, but not when the baby is actually sleeping in the crib. Ryan’s stayed on his crib a loooong time because we were co-sleeping and he never actually used his crib, haha.
I’m glad the AAP has now come out with this updated statement on crib bumpers because they may be a source more people pay attention to – and I don’t just mean parents, but companies and retailers.
JUST SAY NO!
Do you use bumpers? If you used to, but stopped, was it a tough decision? What’d you do with your old bumpers?