Crib bumper pads are used to supposedly protect newborns from hitting their head on the crib’s slats and from preventing their arms and legs from getting caught between rails. However, may health organizations advise against using the bumper pads as a measure to protect your baby, because they are dangerous.
Crib Bumper Pads Benefits…
Moreover, the same health agencies claim there is no evidence crib bumper pads can actually prevent injuries. I take this statement with a grain of salt, since I am yet to find a study that compares the number of injuries in babies that sleep in a crib with bumper pads vs a crib with no bumper pads.
If the baby gets stuck in the crib’s slats, he will either try to remove his arm or leg, or make enough noise to get his parent’s attention. Theoretically, there’s no need for bumper pads.
These are all valid concerns, and there are pros and cons for using bumper pads. And only you, as a parent, can decide whether or not the risk outweighs the benefits.
Why Crib Bumper Pads Are Not Safe
- There have been 27 deaths related to bumper pads between 1985 and 2005, due to suffocation, strangulation or entrapment. Newborns can suffocate if their face is too close to the non-breathable material of the pad. Also, their head can get stuck between the pad and the mattress. The strings used to secure the pad can untie and cause strangulation. This is enough evidence to deter most parents from using bumper pads.
- Babies can also use the bumper pads as a means to climb out of the bed, which can cause serious injuries.
Why Some Parents Still Use Crib Pads?
At What Age Are Crib Bumper Pads Safe To Use?
Most health officials and parents consider the pads to be unsafe, regardless of age. If your baby is a couple of months old, he can suffocate or strangulate. If he’s bigger, he can use the pads to climb out of bed.
4 Baby Crib Bumper Pads Alternatives
Even though some parents still decide to use the regular crib pads, I believe there are other much safer options that will protect your baby from getting hurt.
1). Vertical Crib Bumper Pads
These Go Mama Go Designs Vertical Crib Bumper Pads are as the name suggests. These are vertical bumper pads that attach to each crib slat, individually. This increases the air flow and drastically reduces (if not completely eliminates) the risk of suffocation.
2). Breathable AirFlow Mesh Bumper Pads
These Breathable AirFlowBaby Mesh Crib Liner Bumper Pads are those pads made with a thin fine fabric that promotes air flow and reduces the risk of suffocation.
They are generally made a single layer of fabric which offers a free flow of air, greatly reducing any chance of suffocation if your baby gets her head stuck in a corner of the crib by chance.
They are completely adjustable with ties to fit most standard cribs and are deemed safer than traditional bumpers
However, because of the thin material they are made from, breathable bumper pads do not really protect your baby from bumping their head against the rails of the crib. You can read my review on mesh bumper pads here…
3). Baby Sleeping Bags
Baby Sleeping Bags are mostly used to keep a baby warm and comfortable, but they are also a viable option in terms of preventing your little one from getting his limbs stuck in the crib’s slats.
The bags are designed to leave plenty of kick room for their feet. They are designed to be worn with their regular pajamas underneath and some designs also include swaddling.
You can read my reviews on Baby DeeDee sleeping bags here
4). Trend Lab Crib Rail Covers
Trend Lab Crib Rail Covers are a safer alternative if you are concerned about how attractive and cozy your baby crib’s looks like. Sure, regular crib pads may improve the aesthetics, but consider rail covers for your peace of mind.
We will never really know the reason why they may do this, however to protect their gums and baby teeth, its better to have a covered crib rail…
Crib Bumper Pads Conclusion
Crib bumper pads are considered by many parents and health professionals to be unsafe. If your baby does not regularly bump his head against the rails or his limbs don’t get stuck between the crib’s slats, there is no need for any type of pads. However, if your child is very active in his crib, consider using other safer alternatives.