“To bumper or not to bumper?”…

.. That is the question one of my mama friends asked on Facebook today.

Traditionally, or at least when I was a kid most of the babies had crib bumpers to protect their heads when they rolled around in the crib. The bumpers also prevented little limbs from getting stuck in the middle of the night. In the 21st century, crib bumpers are discouraged due to suffocation hazard and research has shown a higher chance of the very scary Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But are crib bumpers as dangerous as they suggest?

This is a highly controversial topic and the number of comments on my friend's Facebook page is proof: people have their opinions and their anecdotes and their reasonings for everything.

One person commented that breast fed babies in non-smoking homes are at the lowest risk for SIDS, so if your baby meets these qualifications and if you think you need the bumpers to prevent a concussion then by all means, go ahead! (Summary from the discussion)

Someone else referenced that if the baby is rolling then he should be able to roll away if he is having trouble breathing. So again, another yes for the bumpers.

In the middle camp, a couple of people suggested using the mesh bumpers if you were going to use any. This would solve both the suffocation hazard as well as the head bump hazard.

Others were firmly against the idea no matter what, citing nightmare stories from parenting magazines. SIDS did show significant decrease when the AAP started recommending no bumpers on cribs.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Did you use bumpers for your kids? Why or why not? I'd love to hear some stories!

Please note that any comments are moms and dads sharing notes with other parents and should not be the sole basis for any decision made. Consult your pediatrician if you are truly concerned on this issue.

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7 thoughts on ““To bumper or not to bumper?”…

  1. We never used bumpers. I didn’t know they weren’t recommended until I got some (for free), and then someone said they weren’t recommended. So I looked and read the articles. We ended up returning the bed set. Just didn’t seem to have a need so why risk it. Abel was swaddled for quite a while and he’s not much of a mover while sleeping. There are so many things that are and aren’t recommended that it hard. An example is you shouldn’t let babies sleep on their stomach… Some one told me that I should continue to change them to their back. Seems ridiculous to keep rolling them back. I guess if your baby rolls a lot, is the risk of suffocation outweighing the risk of getting hurt from rolling?

    • Yeah, I wasn’t planning on buying bumpers but when someone gave us a set for free we just put them on the crib because it looks nice haha. But in the beginning before Sky could roll he slept in the pack n play and was swaddled. So I wasn’t too worried when we moved him to the crib because he could already roll at that point. And I could not get Sky to sleep on his back for more than 5 minutes!

      • I didn’t get to finish my comment because my phone is being dumb… haha. We started putting him on his stomach after we stopped swaddling him and it helped him sleep so much better! Just seemed like the right thing to do. But I was worried about it the first few nights…

  2. I didn’t use a bumper. Basically I was too cheap to go buy another expensive non-necessary baby accessory. Sure our baby would get her foot “stuck” a few times, but she didn’t put up too much of a fuss. Half the time she would get her leg out by herself and the other half I was always close by so I removed her legs from the slats and back to sleep she went; it was never a big deal. I was never against the idea of having something cushiony for my kid, I was just too lazy to go out an spend the extra money on it.

  3. We Use A Mesh Bumper Because Abram Rolls All Over, All Night Long & I’m Always Worried About His Legs Or Arms Getting Stuck.

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