Why Crib Bumper Pads Are Not Safe And 4 Crib Bumper Alternatives

Crib bumper pads used to be a very popular product used by parents as a way to try and keep their babies safe whilst they were in the crib.

Why Crib Bumper Pads Are Not Safe And 4 Crib Bumper Alternatives

They were designed to stop the baby from hitting their head against the bars of the crib whilst they were sleeping, and to stop their arms or legs from getting trapped in between the bars. 

Over the years, opinions towards crib bumper pads have changed. There have been some very unfortunate accidents involving crib bumper pads which have led to serious injuries or even death of babies and toddlers.

Many health organizations are now advising parents not to use crib bumper pads. 

If you are not sure whether or not to use a crib bumper pad, or you want to learn more about them, then you are in the right place.

We have put together this useful guide to explain the risks associated with using crib bumper pads and provide suggestions for alternative products that you can use. Keep reading to find out more. 

The History Of Crib Bumper Pads

Crib bumper pads have been around since the early 1900s when they were first introduced. Child safety was not as carefully considered as it is in modern society, and parents would often leave their young children unattended in their rooms for long periods of time.

This is why it was so important for parents to create a safe environment for their children to try and protect them from harm. 

Crib bumper pads were usually made up of thick foam padding which was designed to prevent injuries whilst the baby was in the crib.

Unfortunately, over the years, many parents have found themselves in situations where their children have gotten injured because of the crib bumper pads. 

What Are The Benefits Of Using Crib Bumper Pads?

The main reason why so many parents choose to buy crib bumper pads is that they think it will help protect their child’s safety. There are a few benefits to using these products. For example:

  • It helps prevent your baby from hurting themselves when they hit their heads on the side of the crib. This could lead to them developing a nasty bump, bruise, or cut. 
  • If your baby has trouble falling asleep, then it may also help if you place the pillow under their head while they sleep. By doing this, you will ensure that they don’t get bumped into the sides of the crib.
  • It prevents your baby’s limbs from being caught between the bars of the crib. Although this doesn’t happen often, it can still cause injuries. 

Whilst crib bumper pads might sound like a good idea, they have the potential to be very dangerous. 

What Are The Risks Of Using Crib Bumper Pads?

Whilst crib bumper pads were designed to keep babies safe, they have caused injury and death to some children. These are the main risks:

Suffocation 

When a baby gets stuck between the bars of the bed, it can suffocate. This happens when the airway becomes blocked due to the pressure created by the bumper pad. 

Bruising 

A lot of parents believe that crib bumper pads will prevent bruising. However, this isn’t true. Babies can still hurt themselves when they hit the mattress or the sides of the crib, especially if they are sleeping on their stomachs. 

Some older babies have been able to use the crib bumper pad to help them climb out of the crib, putting them at greater risk of injury. 

Injury 

The biggest risk associated with crib bumper pads is that they can cause serious injuries to your child. They can become trapped underneath the bumper pad, causing them to bang their head against the metal or wooden frame of the crib.

This can result in cuts, bruises, and even broken bones. 

Death 

In rare cases, babies have died after becoming entangled in the bumper pads. This happened when the bumper pad became lodged beneath the mattress and prevented the baby from getting back into the crib.

This meant that the baby couldn’t breathe properly and eventually suffocated. 

The risks associated with crib bumper pads do not change based on the child’s age. If a child is the right age to be sleeping in a crib then they are at risk of injury or death involving a crib bumper pad. 

How Can I Prevent My Baby From Getting Hurt?

If you want to make sure that your baby stays safe, then there are a couple of things you need to do. Firstly, you should always put your baby in the safest position possible. Make sure that they are lying down flat on their backs. 

You should also try to avoid placing pillows under their head as this can increase the chances of them hitting their head on the sides of the crib and getting injured.

So, Should You Use Crib Bumper Pads?

A lot of parents still choose to use crib bumper pads despite the risks. This is because the actual number of children who have been hurt or killed as a direct result of crib bumper pads is quite low. Less than 2 babies per year have been killed in an accident involving a bumper pad.

This is much lower than the number of children who die from choking accidents, drowning accidents, or disease. 

For some parents, this risk is worth the benefit of preventing head injuries or fractures as a result of the baby banging their head or getting stuck between the bars.

For particularly active babies, the risk of them hurting themselves without a crib bumper pad is very high. 

Whilst many health organizations are advising parents not to use crib bumper pads, there are no studies undertaken to find the extent of the risk or how to mitigate it.

There are also a lot of other health organizations that still advocate the use of crib bumper pads. 

Whether you choose to use crib bumper pads is a very personal decision, and there is no right or wrong answer.

Crib bumper pads are not banned and there is no legislation to regulate their usage. However, if you want to avoid using crib bumper pads then we have put together some recommendations for alternative products that you can use. 

Alternative Products 

If you don’t want to use crib bumper pads then there are some alternative products that we would recommend you use- mesh bumper pads, baby sleeping bags, crib tents, and bassinets. Let’s take a look at these products in more detail. 

Mesh Bumper Pads

If you want to avoid the risk of suffocation or strangulation that is associated with traditional crib bumper pads then you could try using mesh bumper pads.

They act as a barrier between your baby and the rails, blocking the gaps so that they cannot get their legs or arms stuck in between them. 

They are made entirely out of breathable mesh material, so even if your baby ends up with their face pressed up against the pad they will still be able to breathe. 

Another great thing about mesh crib bumpers is that they allow air to flow around the crib, keeping your baby cool and comfortable even in warm weather. 

The downside to these mesh bumper pads is that they don’t offer much protection against head injury, as they are very thin.

Your baby can still easily bump their head against the rails of the crib. Here is an example of a mesh crib bumper that we would recommend:

BreathableBaby Mesh Crib Liner 

BreathableBaby Breathable Mesh Crib Liner – Deluxe Embroidered Collection – Gray Links – Fits Full-Size Four-Sided Slatted and Solid Back Cribs – Anti-Bumper

This product is very highly rated with lots of positive customer reviews. It comes in a classic white color that would look great in any nursery.

However, this brand also offers mesh crib liners in alternative colors and designs if you prefer. It is made from 100% polyester mesh which blocks out more than 85% of the direct light through the crib, creating a cozy sleeping environment for your baby.  

Baby Sleeping Bags

Baby sleeping bags can help to mitigate some of the risks that come from not using a crib bumper pad. With a baby sleeping bag, the legs and sometimes the arms are secured inside the sleeping bag.

The baby can still move their limbs and kick around, but they won’t be able to get their limbs stuck between the rails of the crib. 

Using a baby sleeping bag won’t stop your baby from hitting their head on the rails of the crib, but it can stop them from fracturing their limbs. Here are some of the best baby sleeping bags for you to consider:

Merino Wool Baby Sleeping Bag 

Baby Sleeping Bag, 4 Season Basic Merino Wool Wearable Blanket, 0-6 Months, Earth

This baby sleeping bag is suitable for newborns up to 6-month-old babies, though there are larger sizes available up to 36 months old.

It can be worn in all seasons as Merino wool is a natural fiber that has thermoregulating properties as well as moisture-wicking properties. It is soft and breathable and comes in a range of colors and designs.  

Woolino Ultimate Baby Sleep Bag 

Woolino 4 Season Ultimate Baby Sleep Bag Sack - 2-24 Months Universal Size - Merino Wool - Birch Gray

This adorable sleeping bag is also made from Merino wool but comes in a wider range of color choices.

It has an organic cotton outer layer which is very soft and comfortable. It comes in one universal size that is suitable for newborns up to 2 years old. 

Hudon Long Sleeve Wearable Blanket 

Hudson Baby Unisex Baby Premium Quilted Long Sleeve Sleeping Bag and Wearable Blanket, Enchanted Forest, 12-18 Months

If you are looking for a long-sleeved sleeping bag rather than one that clips over the shoulders like a vest, then this product is ideal.

It comes in 38 different style options, with many of them featuring very charming woodland animals. It is made from cotton with a polyester filling which is durable and easy to wash. You can choose from various sizes from newborn up to 24 months.  

Crib Tents 

Crib tents offer a similar level of protection as mesh crib bumpers, but with a difference. They extend up the rails and form a dome over the crib, creating a mesh tent.

This stops your baby from being able to climb out of the crib, keeping them even safer. 

The crib tents are semi-transparent, so they block some of the light from the room but they also allow you to keep an eye on your baby. They let in plenty of air, so you still get a good circulation of cool air throughout the crib. 

Like mesh crib bumpers, these crib tents do not offer much protection from head injuries as your baby is still able to bang their head on the rails of the crib.

However, they could be a good option if you do not want to use traditional crib bumpers. Here are some of the best crib tents:

Pro Baby Safety Premium Pop Up Canopy Tent

Baby Crib tent By Pro Baby Safety - Premium Pop up Tent - Canopy Netting Cover -See Through Mesh, Nursery Mosquito Net - Stylish and Sturdy Infant Crib Topper -Protect Your Toddler from Falls or Bites

This pop-up canopy tent is easy to use and attaches to the corner posts of the crib. It is see-through so your baby can still see out and you can keep an eye on your baby.

It is breathable so that your baby can still feel cool and comfortable. It also doubles as a mosquito net which is useful if you live in a warm climate. 

KinderSense Baby Safety Crib Tent 

KinderSense® - Baby Safety Crib Tent - Premium Toddler Crib Topper to Keep Baby from Climbing Out - See Through Mesh Crib Net - Mosquito Net - Pop-Up Crib Tent Canopy to Keep Infant in (White Wave)

This premium crib tent offers safety and comfort for your baby or toddler. It comes in white so it will go with any kind of nursery decor.

It will not collapse and it is made from durable material. It is pop up which makes it easy to use and it attaches quickly to the crib. Like the other crib tent, it also doubles as a mosquito net. 

Runner Baby Crib Safety Canopy 

L RUNNZER Baby Crib Tent Crib Net to Keep Baby in, Pop Up Crib Tent Canopy Keep Baby from Climbing Out

This pop-up crib tent comes in multiple designs so you can be sure to find one that fits in with the theme of your nursery.

The see-through mesh provides visibility and breathability and the frame is nice and sturdy so you can feel confident that the tent won’t collapse. 

Bassinet 

If you want to avoid all of the dangers that come with cribs – with or without a crib bumper – then you should get a bassinet for your baby to sleep in instead.

They usually have a metal frame rather than a wooden frame, with breathable mesh material that attaches to the frame to create a secure sleeping area. There is a fitted mattress that sits inside the sleeping area. 

There is very little risk of injury or death if your baby sleeps in a bassinet. The only downside is that they are usually only suitable for babies up to 12 months old due to the weight restrictions. Here are some of our favorite bassinets:

Papalic Bassinet Bedside Sleeper 

Papablic 2-in-1 Bonni Baby Bassinet & Bedside Sleeper, Grey

This bassinet has a removable side so that you can sleep right next to your baby without having them in your bed, so there is no risk of you crushing them. 

Dream On Me Karley Bassinet 

Dream On Me Karley Bassinet in Cool Grey

This bassinet has a retractable mesh roof which creates a safe and enclosed environment for your baby to sleep in.   

Summary 

Crib bumper pads were originally designed to improve child safety, but they are considered a safety risk to babies and toddlers.

Luckily, there are plenty of alternative products you can use to keep your baby safe while they sleep.