By: Dr. Kristen Wells
Should I Buy A Bumper for My Baby’s Crib? The American Academy of Pediatrics Says “No”!
Many parents get very excited about decorating their child’s nursery when they are expecting a baby. The process can be a lot of fun, especially for those who enjoy home decoration. If you are planning to go shopping to decorate your newborn’s nursery, be sure to review safety recommendations before you purchase anything. It can save you a lot of money, as well as your child’s life!
A recent policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the leading organization of pediatricians in the United States, provided several recommendations to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or sudden unexpected infant death (SUID). Sudden unexpected infant death is a term that refers to the death of a child in infancy when the child seems otherwise healthy. It can have many causes, but is often related to accidents where an infant sleeps.
We have all seen those cute crib linen sets that include matching crib sheets, quilts, and a cloth bumper that attaches to the crib. The purpose of the crib bumper is to shield a thrashing baby from hurting himself or herself while in the crib.
Many people also buy them to decorate a nursery. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics specifically recommends that parents skip buying the crib bumper for safety reasons. According to the policy statement, there is no evidence that bumpers reduce infant injuries, but there is evidence that bumpers can be dangerous to your infant because infants can become tangled in them and can stop breathing as a result.
become tangled in them and can stop breathing as a result.
The policy statement also outlines some other potential dangers related to the nursery decorations and accessories:
- Make sure that your crib, bassinet, or portable crib meets safety standards and has not been recalled. Check it for missing parts.
- Use a firm crib mattress that is designed for your specific crib. Cover it with a tightly fitting crib sheet. Make sure that there is no space where an infant can be trapped.
- Avoid soft objects (teddy bears, dolls, pillows) in a baby’s crib.
- Avoid loose sheets and blankets in a baby’s crib.
- Make sure that there are no hazards near your baby’s crib, like the cords to window coverings or electric cords. Babies can sometimes strangle themselves with these cords.
- Do not by products that claim to reduce sudden infant death, like sleep wedges or positioners. There is no evidence that they help.
Just think, you can save a lot of money by skipping accessories that you do not need! If you are interested in other things that you can do to reduce the risk of sudden infant death (like putting your infant on his or her back when sleeping), be sure to check out the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations:
If you have specific questions or concerns about whether a nursery accessory is safe and appropriate for your child, talk to a pediatrician.
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The information provided in this blog post is not designed to provide medical advice. If you have a medical or safety question, consult with your health care provider.
About Dr. Kristen Wells
Dr. Kristen Wells is the creator of and blogger for Stress and Health Online. She is a health psychologist who lives in Florida. She created Stress and Health Online to be informative and interactive. As a busy professional and mother, she hopes to share her experiences trying to manage stress in her own life……with humor.
When she is not blogging or spending time with her family, she works at a university as a health researcher. She has published research articles in medical and public health journals. More recently, she has written a number of articles about health, mental health, careers in psychology, and travel.