17 answers

Bumpers or No Bumpers

Hell all,

My 3 month old daughter has been sleeping in her bouncy seat in the crib up until now. I think she is ready to finally give it up and go straight into the crib. The other night, I tried and twice she woke up screaming because she had rotated herself about 90 degrees and was at the foot of the crib with her head hitting the slats. I am torn whether to put the bumpers on the crib. All of the SIDS research strongly advises against it which is why I never had them on but I am nervous about her hitting her head. I also feel like those mesh bumpers would not offer much help against her head either. If anyone has run into this, any thoughts would be appreciated!

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Featured Answers

Hi K.--
My son did the same thing, when we moved him to a crib at 3 months he would always end up in the corner with his little head smushed up against the wooden slats, it drove me nuts, I was worried he'd damage his brain through his soft spot or something! My doctor said it was fine and not to worry abou tit, and told me not to use bumpers. The risk for SIDS is up to one year (not 3 months, as someone else posted, though I think the risk decreases as time goes on, and as someone else says, the research seems to be suggesting now that SIDS deaths might be due to a glitch in the brains of those babies that doesn;t startle them when they aren't getting enough oxygen, so they don;t adjust like most babies do). My son in ten months old now and still smushes his head up in the corner half the time, it's never been a problem. good luck!

K.,

What fun age when they hit 3 months. From what I understood, at three months they are past the sids caution window. I still have my bumpers in and my daughter is now 18 months.

Reasons are 1. I like the protection and I can sneak a peak on her while she is napping or sleeping. 2. She has never tried to climb up on them, when they do try, you are to drop mattress to lower position or if in lowest, remove them.

So I say, try them out. It might make her feel like she is more wrapped up in a coocoon, etc. I think my daughter likes that 'space' to herself. Good Luck!

More Answers

I never used bumpers with our son, but just wanted to add that the most recent research indicates that most babies who die of SIDS actually have damage to the part of their brain that regulates breathing etc. Also, most are boys I think. I agree with the other posters - you do what is reasonable to minimize the risks (light blanket, and thin or breathable bumpers if you decide to use them), but ultimately you have to trust that your baby is healthy and will remain that way when you put her to bed.

I HIGHLY recommend Breathable Bumpers. I got them from One Step Ahead. My daughter has had them for 18 months and besides not being scared that she would curl up and have breathing problems, they still work and she can't climb on them.

Good luck.

When we moved my daughter to her crib at three months, she immediately stuck every limb she could through the slats. We went out and bought a traditional bumper, but almost right away she decided to give us a heart attack by pushing her face up against the bumper to sleep. After two sleepness nights, we went out and bought the breathable bumper -- we got ours at Babies R Us. It's great b/c it keeps her in but allows her to smush her face against the sides. She's 9 months now and we've had no problems at all.

Hi K..
As a nurse & mom of 2 young daughters (my oldest 2 & my baby is 5 months), I did a lot of research for SAFE bumpers and found BREATHABLE BUMPERS. They are awesome! I got mine at Target (online ONLY). They are made out of breathable mesh material & trimmed in a thin piece of gingham trim (they have pink, blue, sage, yellow, & all white). The trim gives it the perfect touch to not "take away" from the nicely decorated nursery. I "think" BabiesRUs carries them now too, but I'm not for sure. I think it's a great alternative to the traditional thick padded bumpers that many of us moms fear. As we all know, SIDS is to this day a "mystery" and can happen for unknown reasons. However, with breathable bumpers it can help give moms the peace of mind knowing they are taking one step further to possibly reduce the risk of SIDS. Go to www.target.com and look under Baby (then the left hand column you will see Breathable Bumpers). Good Luck on your decision making.
~V.

K.,

What fun age when they hit 3 months. From what I understood, at three months they are past the sids caution window. I still have my bumpers in and my daughter is now 18 months.

Reasons are 1. I like the protection and I can sneak a peak on her while she is napping or sleeping. 2. She has never tried to climb up on them, when they do try, you are to drop mattress to lower position or if in lowest, remove them.

So I say, try them out. It might make her feel like she is more wrapped up in a coocoon, etc. I think my daughter likes that 'space' to herself. Good Luck!

Hi K.,

I've heard the controversies over the bumper, but I still used it because of similar reasons. Also, my son's foot would get caught inbetween the bars. He's 14 months and I still have the bumper in there. I have the regular one, but I've seen ones that are thinner with some breathing room. Maybe you could consider that style.

Also if you do decide against it, just realize it won't be long before she'll be able to adjust herself in the crib so she's not in uncomfortable positions.

I have my son in the Halo Sleep Sak too, which also prevented his feet from getting caught in the bars.

K.,
I went through the same issues a few months ago. I didn't use the bumbers at all and then when she hit about 6 months she started hitting her head. She's almost a year now and doesn't do it anymore. I haven't tried the breathable bumbers but a friend has and loves them and they are only about $25 I think. My feeling was that a potential bumb on her head was alot better than suffocation. Do what you feel is best for your daughter. It's alot easier to change the crib sheet too without a bumper on....Have fun with your daughter!
M.

Use the bumpers! My friends and I debate about this lots. I'm no expert on this topic, but it seems that a lot of reseach on SIDS is pretty wishy-washy. Other than "back to sleep", I did not really feel that the reseach was well documented enough to stop using the crib bumpers. My daughter loved the bumper in her crib. I would find her rubbing her hand against it and the sensation lulled her to sleep! Though, we had a very small and thin bumper, not one of those super plush ones. I didn't feel that it was a hazard at all.

Good luck in whatever you decide...it's so hard to navigate through all the different theories and research.

My guess is that she's used to feeling more secure in the confined space. She sounds a lot like my second son. If I was betting, I would guess that swaddling will help more than bumpers. Or buy an ambi hammock. Some babies do that startle thing in their sleep, and they like to feel pressure against their bodies (or at least my second son, the one who liked swaddling, was like that.)

Also, if there's a time when you can keep an eye on her - during nap, for example - you could experiment with putting her belly-down (head to the side, of course.) If she sleeps better, it's probably because she feels more grounded/connected, which would confirm that what's waking her up isn't hitting the crib, but suddenly feeling adrift in space. Just something to think about before spending $100 on bumpers. (personally I wouldn't take the risk, but I guess every parent has to weigh their own comfort level with that sort of thing. SIDS may not be completely understood, but we do know that the Back to Sleep thing has dramatically dropped the death statistics, so it's not like it's imaginary.)

I used bumpers up until my son could pull on them. There are many factors that go into having a child who dies of SIDS including overheating, moms and dads who smoke, the type of bedding the child has in the crib and so forth. I feel as long as the bumpers can't come off and fall onto you babies face then you are okay. But go with how you feel. Are you more worried of bumpers causing SIDS or are you more worried about your baby hitting her head on the rails and being uncomfortable at night? This is what the SIDS network says about bedding:

Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the crib: Soft objects such as pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, stuffed toys, and other soft objects should be kept out of an infant’s sleeping environment. If bumper pads are used in cribs, they should be thin, firm, well secured, and not “pillow-like.” In addition, loose bedding such as blankets and sheets may be hazardous

K.-I am the happy mom of a beautiful baby girl named Ruby. She has always slept in her crib. The first day we brought her home from the hospital in 15 minutes she had wiggled her way to the bottom of the crib and her legs were hanging out the slats. I freaked. Then someone told me to get a sleep positioner and that did the trick. I got bumpers when she was about 3 months. It took me that long to find great looking ones that weren't a million dollars. Good luck and have so much fun. Ruby is almost 8 months and we made it and we are having a great time.
You can buy the sleep positioner at babies r us.
S. M

We never used bumpers in my daughter's crib. She is 11 months now and often likes to sleep with her head or body pressed right up against the slats. It doesn't seem to bother her one bit although it looks uncomfortable to me! She has only once woken up because she was 'trapped.' She had scooted all the way down to the end of the crib and her legs were hanging out and she could not roll over. Your daughter will get used to the new sleeping environment after a few weeks, so give it a little more time before you try adding the bumpers.

Hi K.! Have you tried a sleep positioner? My newborn was able to move out of most of them but I bought a new one at Babies R' Us that is filled with air. I can't remember what brand, but I think it was Safety first or the first years. It's harder to move because it's stiff, and she hasn't been able to move out of it yet. She also would move up in her cradle at only 1-2 wks old and I also contemplated taking my bumper pads off the cradle. I ended up keeping them because with my first daughter, I never had a problem. Plus, the bumpers I have are cushion like, but not too bulky. I honestly don't think a baby could get in a position to totally block her airway. Hope I've helped! Good Luck!

First of all, congratulations on your new little baby. Enjoy it - every second of it. This is the best time of our lives. I miss my baby being so little...First of all, I am a firm believer that if something G-d forbid happens it was going to happen whether the bumpers are there or not. Babies lives are threatened for many unknown reasons and often its because something was not right from the start. (I just miscarried two days ago) That being said, G-d willing your little one will be ok no matter whether you do the bumpers or not. The important thing is you. You need to feel safe for your baby in order to get rest, sanity, and peace of mind. So...If you are nervous, maybe use that monitor (I think its the Angel or something close to that name) that goes under the mattress to monitor movement of the baby. It beeps if there is no movement and then you know there's a problem. It'll all be ok though and SIDS is not as common as everyone makes it out to happen. Good luck with your decision and enjoy!!!

Hi K.--
My son did the same thing, when we moved him to a crib at 3 months he would always end up in the corner with his little head smushed up against the wooden slats, it drove me nuts, I was worried he'd damage his brain through his soft spot or something! My doctor said it was fine and not to worry abou tit, and told me not to use bumpers. The risk for SIDS is up to one year (not 3 months, as someone else posted, though I think the risk decreases as time goes on, and as someone else says, the research seems to be suggesting now that SIDS deaths might be due to a glitch in the brains of those babies that doesn;t startle them when they aren't getting enough oxygen, so they don;t adjust like most babies do). My son in ten months old now and still smushes his head up in the corner half the time, it's never been a problem. good luck!

I used bumpers with my two older kids, and plan on using them as soon as my 2 month old moves into the crib. As long as they aren't super thick, and won't fall on their face while they are sleeping, I think they are okay. My son loved them and would hug them while he slept.

Although it may seem like she's hitting her head, think of how slowly she scoots around and at that speed (or lack of speed), she's not going to hurt herself if her head touches the slats. She's going to have a lot more head banging issues when she starts crawling and walking than she'd ever have hitting her head on the slats.
I was worried about our little one too and then the nurse that taught our childbirth class brought up the speed issue and it really makes sense. She has a very good friend at the SIDS Alliance in Naperville, and also told us that infants can scoot down in sleep positioners until their face is between the wedges and suffocate.
I've also heard that you can only use bumpers for a very short time, because as soon as they are able, they start lifting them up or climbing on them and are in danger of propelling themselves out of the crib (depending on the mattress height).
Our daughter (now 11 months) slept in the crib with a sheet only (started with a blanket at 9 months) since the day we brought her home. I slept better at night too because I wasn't worrying about anything in her crib - new moms have enough to worry about during daylight hours!

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