Cribs are one of the most important items you need to have for your baby until they become a toddler. All parents get them when their baby is on the way to ensure a comfortable and safe space for their little one. Additionally, parents like to add some extra items to the crib such as a baby bed bumper.
Since cribs usually have a strong material as a guard around the bed such as wood, a baby bed bumper prevents babies from hitting their heads on these guards. However, this only becomes a concern for parents after the baby has grown up and started moving and rolling around on their own in the crib. They can usually do this when they are around six to seven months old, though some babies may start doing it as early as three to four months of age.
There have been so many cases of babies hitting their heads when their parents are not around that it has become an absolute nightmare. This is why parents invest in padded baby bed bumpers. The bumpers themselves are soft, cushiony pillows piled together to provide a wall on the inside of the crib against the hard material on the sides of the crib.
However, if you have a baby and are thinking of getting such a bumper for their crib, you should also know about the risks with having them around.
There have been cases of babies finding it difficult to breathe and suffocating because of baby bed bumpers. Pediatricians have suggested not using them as a result of infant deaths because they roll over to the side of the crib and suffocate themselves.
On top of that, they reduce the space available in the crib, which makes it difficult for babies to roll around. Even if you think you have enough space, parents report that they find it helpful to remove the bumpers when the baby is around seven to eight months of age. Many parents have found that babies do not want to be in cribs as much and want to be out of it, figuring things out and playing.
When babies are around nine or ten months of age, they can sometimes stand up by using the guards and then use the padded crib bumpers as a step to get out of the crib. Thus, using bumpers at this stage can increase the risk of your baby getting injured by falling.
In addition to getting crib bumpers, parents get safety pillows. However, pediatricians recommend not using any kind of pillows for babies under one year of age. While babies at this age are capable of rolling, they cannot always manage to do so. Hence, they might roll over onto a pillow face-first and then find it difficult to roll back. This is not a rare case, and babies then need physical help from a parent to be placed in the right position again.
Moreover, there have been many reported cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which results from babies suffocating, strangulating or getting trapped because of beautiful, fancy pillows which are supposed to be for their safety.
The safest way to keep a baby in a crib is not to use any pillows and bumpers. You can try your best to get a baby crib that is rated high on safety standards. Also, make sure the crib you get is certified by JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association), which is an organization with the sole purpose of checking baby products for safety. Its website also contains useful tips to improve your baby’s safety. Ultimately, If the crib you get is safe enough, there is no reason to add anything to it.
There is an exception, though, for babies with GERD, who find it difficult to rest and fall asleep on a straight mattress like that of a baby crib. In these cases, it is best to get a baby wedge pillow, which has an incline. It will help keep the baby upright to prevent reflux.
It is vital to make sure that the material of the wedge is breathable, contain no harmful components such as arsenic or antimony, and is made up of material that is press-resistant and retains the original shape. Lastly, make sure it corresponds to the safety standards set by the JPMA.
It is best to have a naked crib. Some parents worry that their child will get their limb stuck between the railings, but it is much less of a risk than having your baby become a victim of something as serious as SIDS.
If you must have something like a bumper, you can go for a mesh because it is considerably safer and prevents the baby from getting their arms and legs stuck between the railings. Make sure to get a mesh that is not sturdy and caves in as soon as your child steps on it so that they cannot climb out of the crib. Another thing to keep in mind is to have the mesh breathable enough to avoid suffocation.
Your crib will not look as beautiful with mesh as with padded bumpers, but you can rest assured that your baby is safe.
If you have an infant under one year of age, it is best not to use any regular or baby pillows. You can, however, use safety pillows specially designed for babies that prevent them from turning over. For your crib, you should replace the bumper with a mesh liner and make sure you get a crib with the highest possible safety standard. Taking these few steps can mean preventing massive danger to not only your current children but the ones to come in the future as well.
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