Traditional crib bedding sets often contain a full set of crib bumpers or bumper pads. Bumper pads have become an item of controversy with opposing health agencies vying for or against their use. Crib bumpers are thin, cotton batten pads covered in fabric. They are used to line the edges of your crib providing a protective buffer between your baby and the crib slats.
A newer alternative to the padded bumper pads are breathable mesh crib bumper pads, which improve airflow and promote fresh air circulation. The new mesh bumper pads are slightly padded or not padded at all, making an attempted climb out of the crib impossible.
Before manufacturing safety standards, parents used crib bumpers to offset crib slats that were too far apart and could trap a baby's head and body. Today, mandatory and voluntary crib safety standards ensure all cribs sold in North America are required to have slats that are no more than 2 3/8" apart, a space small enough to prevent harm.
Modern safety standards almost negate the need for bumper pads. Bumper pads are still a popular and well-used crib accessory. It may be your enduring attraction to the pretty crib accessories and the way they seem to complete the look of a comfortable crib. It may be the fact that they are included in just about every crib bedding set. It is easy to attach them to the crib along with the dust ruffle and matching window valance. Maybe you are just worried that your baby's arms and legs will get stuck between the crib slats or that the baby will hit its head on the crib. The peace of mind and the choice are yours alone.If you choose to use bumper pads, following these guidelines will help keep your crib and your baby safe:
- Bumper pads should be attached securely to all sides of the crib.
- Bumper pads should have at least 10 straps that tie or snap on the top and bottom edges, in each corner of the crib, and in the middle of each long side of the crib.
- Cut off any excessive length of straps to prevent your baby from choking on or becoming entangled in the straps.
- Bumper pads must fit snugly into all four corners of the crib.
- There should be no gaps between the bumper pads and the crib sides.
- Bumper pads must never be used to compensate for improper spacing between slats on second-hand cribs.
- Bumper pads should be removed when your baby begins to pull up on the top rail or stand up and move around the crib. You don't want your baby using the bumper pads as steps to help them climb out of the crib.
- If you decide to use crib bumpers, go for the Breathable Bumper. These bumpers are made of padded, breathable mesh – the best bumper for promoting constant air flow to your baby while keeping arms and legs safely inside the crib. They attach to the crib with Velcro, so there are no ties for your baby to chew on. Overall, the safest bumper pad you could use – if you want to use them.