Worried about Crib Bumper Pads
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Worried about Crib Bumper Pads
I recently read in a Kaiser childproofing handout that one should
remove crib bumpers on cribs of children over 5 months old, so I took the
bumpers off my 6-month old's crib. He promptly got stuck in the crib with
his legs hanging out of the slats. I'd like to put the bumpers back on to
avoid this, but assume that the recommendation on taking them off is
I'd be interested in hearing what other folks have done about crib
bumpers, if others have had similar problems, & any other suggestions
for avoid the leg-thru-the-slats problems.
It is my understanding that one is advised to remove crib bumpers
after 5-6 months because some kids will use them as a "step" on their
way over the crib rail and out of the crib, not because they present a SIDS
hazard. My son is 20 months and I have never taken the bumpers out of
his crib because he has always slept with his head jammed in the
corner of the crib, against the bumper and because our bumpers squash
down pretty flat and would not help any young escape artist much.
I kept the bumpers on my crib until my daughter was well over a year
old. The reason? She still liked to sleep pushed up against the corners
(she also liked to sleep with a pillow, go figure). I had knotted the
bumper ties, so there wasn't any chance of her untying them and getting
into trouble. I think keeping the bumper in just made the crib a more
cozy place for her. A lot of the advice you get from the baby books
are more general guidelines and less hard and fast rules. Just take
into account what kind of baby you have (mellow/active/determined to
escape the crib, etc.) and go from there.
Actually, my understanding is that the reason they tell you to take
out the crib bumpers is to lessen the chances of the child standing on
them and crawling out of the crib--not too likely at 5 months. There's
also some risk that they could undo the ties, yank them off, stuff them
in their mouths and choke on them. I ended up leaving the bumper in place
till well after she was a year old, and obviously she lived to tell about it!
I had always heard to leave bumpers on until
the kid is old enough to use them as footholds to climb out of the crib.
We left our bumpers on until about 16 months of age. DIdn't seem to be a
problem with my son, for whatever that's worth. He does now sleep with his
feet sticking out through the slats (he's 21 months) We keep moving him,
and he puts them back that way, so I figure he's fine.
To the parent concerned about removing the crib bumpers for their 6
month old -- Having not read the Kaiser handout to which you referred, I
cannot comment on their reasoning. HOWEVER, I did not remove the bumpers
from our child's crib until she was almost 2 years old. She is quite active
while she sleeps, and was forever bumping her head/arms/legs on the sides
of the crib -- fortunately she didn't get 'stuck', but on occasion she would
hit the side hard enough to wake her up (and bruise!). The biggest reason
I removed the bumpers was because she was using them to assist in
climbing out of the crib (she's small for her age, so with the mattress on
the lowest level, she had to really hoist herself to get up and out... the
bumpers gave her a BIG assist!).
My child uses them to try to climb out of the crib in the mornings,
especially (he's 14 mos), but they squash down when he does that. He,
too, sleeps with his head wedged into a corner sometimes, so it's
better to have the padding. He is walking and climbing very well, so
if he _could_ get out of the crib, he would. He manages to turn on the
room lights in the morning as the switch is near the crib -- we pull
him away from the wall to prevent it, but he will use any firm object
to extend his reach if he happens to have one in the crib. Something
odd and amusing is that he likes to play quietly in the crib and
explore (like turning on the lights) for 30 - 40 minutes before he
makes any noise at all to awaken us (we have the monitor on).
To the crib/bumper inquiry: I had the same dilemma and opted for keeping
the bumper. It seemed cozier and safer and actually my pediatrician told
me it was related to them being able to hoist up and out as well as get
their heads stuck under there. I took it off briefly and she bumped her head
and got her foot stuck (her whole leg actually). My child was not super
active or agile, and after thinking long and hard and observing her, I put
the bumper back in.
I too had read that the bumper pads should be removed at 6 mos. It
didn't make sense to have bumper pads when your child doesn't move at
all and could not possibly sustain injury. Why remove them when they are
rolling around and start bumping their heads on the sides of the crib. My
daughter is 9 mos old and very active, and would have numerous bruises
if not for the pads. I just made the conscious decision to keep them.
this page was last updated: Apr 8, 2009
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