26 answers

Baby Rolling and Bumping Head on Crib

My son has just learned how to roll from back to tummy and is a wild man in his crib. We're trying to let him soothe himself to sleep more and more, but he now rolls over and hits his head on the crib and cries. My husband and I take turns going in and helping him, but soon enough he rolls again, hits his head and is really upset. I know everyone says to leave bumpers out of cribs because of the risks associated with SIDS, but what should I do to protect his little head? I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this. Thank you!

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Featured Answers

Put the bumpers back in. If you tuck the bottom edge down between the railing and mattress there's effectively no gap to get stuck in.

SAHM of seven

Hi T.,
I understand what you are going through. my twins girls are quite the rollers these days as well. I spoke to my pediatrician and she said now that they can roll it is ok to have bumper pads in the crib. So I have the bumerppad on their crib and they actually snuggle up to it. Hope this helps. Good luck!
Jen B

I seriously would revisit the idea of a bumper. I am assuiming that the reason they say bumpers are bad is because one person might have not strapped it in correcctly and the child suffocated. The way I see it is if you keep a monitor in his room you will definitely hear him scream if something is happening to them. They are not quiet when something is wrong. I have just had my daughter may 3rd and she is attemtping the idea of rolling over. I was overly paranoid and she sleeps in her cradle next to my bed. Now that I know I can relax knowing she makes a noise when something is wrong...makes sleep so much more enjoyable. Even the baby monitors pick up funny breathing so you should be okay.

More Answers

Hi T.,
I understand what you are going through. my twins girls are quite the rollers these days as well. I spoke to my pediatrician and she said now that they can roll it is ok to have bumper pads in the crib. So I have the bumerppad on their crib and they actually snuggle up to it. Hope this helps. Good luck!
Jen B

Hi T.,
As long as he is able to move himself out of a position of discomfort he should be ok with bumper pads as long as they are put on snug. I have 3 children who at one point have slept with me and my husband they have all woken up kicking or crying when they are in a compromising position. As long as those bumper pads are not going to intangle him. I have never heard of any child dieing from having bumper pads in there crib this is just a percautionary thing they do. I have taken a class on sids for my CEH's. We never talked about this...... Remember know one yet knows what SIDS is caused from.:) Good luck to you and your son.

I was curious to see the responses on this. My daughter was born in Dec 2007 as well and she gets her little legs caught between the bars. I never even purchased a bumper out of fear of SIDS but now that she is older, I am looking at the Breathable bumpers and wondering if that may help. I just saw one in a catalog I got from One Step Ahead. Good luck!

When my daughter began rolling over from her back to her tummy, she'd start crying several times during the night because she couldn't roll back over to her back. So, I bought two of those wedges (available at Target), which were made to put under the crib sheets to raise her head, and placed them in the crib the long way (under the sheet). The higher edges were touched the sides of the crib, and the lower edges met in the middle perfectly. We laid her down to sleep in the "valley" and because the edges sloped upward, she couldn't roll up the slope. So, she wasn't able to roll over to her tummy. We all had great nights of sleep after this! This might help your "wild man" from being able to roll all over the crib! Hope this helps!

My daughter did the same exact thing, and we ended up putting the bumpers back in, even though we debated for a bit because I'd heard the same thing about SIDS. (as other posts mentioned, the risk of SIDS goes down once they have better control of their head and can roll back and forth). She was SO much happier and slept much better with the bumpers in place. But, she did tend to crawl over and snuggle up to the bumper, so my husband or I did go in and check her on occasion to make sure her little nose wasn't squished up against the bumper :-) I think we were more paranoid than we needed to be. If you do decide to put the bumpers in, make sure they're tied down tight. Good luck!!

Both of my kids had bumper guards once they were able to roll around in their crib, and that was one of the reasons why. The other was that since alot of body heat escapes from the top of the head they would put the top of their head against the bumper guard to help keep warm. Since he's a mover and shaker now =) he'd probably do ok with bumper guards, but I understand your hesitation.

Hi T.

By the time they can rollover the risk of sids decreases drastically. We have the same problem, except she gets her arms or legs stuck in between the slats. We decided to shove a blanket on the side to protect her from hitting the bars with her head or legs/arms - temporarily and so far it seems to be working. I don't think anything is wrong with putting something in there to protect his head just make sure it's secure.

I'd have to agree with Patty K... my thoughts exactly. We did use the breathable bumper for a number of months... which still allows them to breathe, but keeps arms and legs from getting caught. I'd also thought that it was ok to use a bumper once they're able to roll around. I would suggest running it by your pediatrician... Good luck!

I used the bumpers anyway until my boys could stand and it became a fall hazard. The bumpers kept their arms and legs from getting caught and we had less screaming with bumping the head.

I disregarded the no bumper pads in the crib thing and just made sure there were on there tight so it wouldn't be squishy soft like a pillow. My daughter did the same thing.

Well, in my opinion, I'd get those breathable bumpers and even though they are much thinner, they might offer some cushion over the hard crib rails.

From what I know about the danger is suffocation, and not SIDS. The danger is for a baby rolling over unintentionally and suffocating. However, I've also got the understanding that once a baby has control over the rolling over and head-up aspect of development, it is OK again to use bumpers because if the baby gets into a suffocating situation unintentionally, their natural instinct is to move themselves out of harms way which will be intentional. When they are too little, they can't move themselves out of harms way and could suffocate.

I installed them again when my daughter was crawling and then...all too soon, she was using them as a foot rail to climbing out of the crib.

T.,
If you want to use a bumperpad they have breathable ones through the company One Step Ahead, they have a website so check it out. Whatever you do please do not use the soft bumper pads, your baby could suffocate. I know first hand about SIDS, my son died last March. I don't want you to have to go through the same thing.

Jenn

My daughter did the same thing. I found that if I put her to bed in a sleep sack it seemed to limit her mobility enough that she would stay laying on her back. Now that its warmer, I use the sleeveless style and just have her wear a onesie underneath. Good luck!

About 3 months ago, I wrote in asking for help with the same problem. My husband and I did the same - taking turns moving him to the center of the crib. We looked into the mesh rail covers so his arms and legs would stop getting stuck too. We didn't get it and we were NOT comfortable putting the bumpers back in because that is exactly where his face was going. Too risky - too dangerous. But, what ends up happening, is they figure it out on their own. It takes some time, and I hated to see his neck all bent up in the corner - but they do figure it out. And my little man has had no bumps or bruises because of it. My advice would be to be patient - they will figure it out (even though it is hard for mommies) Good luck.

They have "breathable" bumpers that would work perfect for you. They aren't as thick as the regular ones, but should be enough to protect his little head. You can get them at Babies R Us and OneStepAhead.com.

I to do not use bumpers and my son is a mover also. He is now 10 months old but he would roll and hit his head at first to. He would cry for a bit and then stop and he eventually learned how to move to not hit his head. now he likes to cuddle up by the rails and occasionally we have to get his leg out because it got stuck but its not very often. Im sure he will just learn how to move and grow out of hitting his head once he gets used to it. We also used a sleep positioner until he could roll both ways because he moves so much and that really helped. I know they say its ok to use bumbers once the baby can roll both ways, but i have heard stories of kids falling out of the crib when the start pulling themselves up. They try to stand on the bumbers and then fall out. My son is very active so i choose not to take the risk. Good luck and mabye try a sleep positioner and see if that would help at all.

I seriously would revisit the idea of a bumper. I am assuiming that the reason they say bumpers are bad is because one person might have not strapped it in correcctly and the child suffocated. The way I see it is if you keep a monitor in his room you will definitely hear him scream if something is happening to them. They are not quiet when something is wrong. I have just had my daughter may 3rd and she is attemtping the idea of rolling over. I was overly paranoid and she sleeps in her cradle next to my bed. Now that I know I can relax knowing she makes a noise when something is wrong...makes sleep so much more enjoyable. Even the baby monitors pick up funny breathing so you should be okay.

Hi, I have never heard anything about not having bumper pads because of SIDS. I don't know where you heard that but it's absurd. Both my kids had the cloth ones that came with the crib set. Put the bumpers on:-) Poor little boy, don't let him keep bumping his head. I hope this helps.

Hi T.,

I saw breathable bumpers here while back somewhere...you might check into those. I would still check their safety features and make sure their creditable.

Are you sure he is hurting himself bad enough to get upset every time, or do you think it has just become a habit for attention. Babies learn so quickly how to do that...they are very smart from day one.

Good Luck!

C.

PS

After responding I read several of your responses that said to just put the regular bumper pads in...I don't agree with this...SIDS is not caused by suffocation (as in covering their face with something), it is caused from rebreathing the same air over and over again because they are laying to close to an object. It is not worth the risk. Check out the breathable ones.

We put the bumpers in once our daughter started rolling around since she had the control to get her self out of a corner. She also was getting her arms and legs caught in the rails. We left it in until she started standing up in her crib (but she still gets her arms/legs stuck) so there are drawbacks whatever way you choose!

T., i kept the bumpers in, never had any problems, i also let the child sleep on whatever side he was most comfortable, one year they say dont let them sleep on their tummies the next its the back, well, one of my kids slept on tummy , and one on their back, if you slept in an uncomfortable position you would roll over too, if he is on his back and rolls to tummy , he might want to be on tummy , visa versa, i dont know what this years recommendations are , but it changes from time to time, depends on drs, and such, just do what is best for your child, i never had any issues, nor any problems with bumpers, all three of my boys had bumpers, D. s

You could sleep a lot easier and so could he if you switched to cosleeping. Babies learn a lot from sleeping with mommy, rather than having to flail about and figure it out on their own in a crib. I'm not saying the crib is bad for everybody, but it sounds like it's not working out. I think your little one is signaling that he needs some assistance and cosleeping--at least for a little while--could help. If you do ever cosleep, make sure you follow the cosleeping safety guidelines (google Dr. Sears_cosleeping for more info).

Another suggestion is to have him sleep on a futon mattress on the floor in his room. Make sure the room is baby-proofed and safe for when he rolls off the mattress. He might just like having wide open spaces when he sleeps. This will also make the transition to a toddler bed far easier for your son in the future.

Good luck!

Put the bumpers back in. If you tuck the bottom edge down between the railing and mattress there's effectively no gap to get stuck in.

SAHM of seven

I don't understand what bumpers have to do with SIDS... It sounds like the best solution. I'd google on SIDS and get clear about the causes - bumpers are probably low on the list or non-existent there.

Also, please add the age of your son to your comments T. ~ it might help others to offer advice. Every month is different with a baby.

T.,
I am not 100% on this, but I think that the cases of SIDS decrease dramatically once babies are able to turn over. It has something to do with the heat that they produce, in turn releasing chemicals into the air from the mattress. Since they are unable to escape the concentrated-chemical-filled-air it causes problems. Once the baby is able to turn that may not be a problem any longer.
J

chances are if he can turn over, his risk of sids is already down. its up to you.

you could have him co-sleep if thats something that works for you.

do you nurse him?
put him in the bottom of the crib as far as you can.

this too will pass LOL

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