Posted: Feb 03, 2013 5:00 PM
 
One state has already banned crib bumpers, claiming they provide no benefit to baby and actually pose a risk. Bumpers have always been a focal point of crib bedding, but we found some great options to carry your cute decor throughout the nursery without bumpers.

Think crib bedding and most people picture soft, squishy bumper pads lining the sides of the crib. Bumper pads have long been a staple in baby nurseries, and are featured in nearly every crib bedding set. They were originally intended to protect babies' heads from becoming trapped between rails. Newer crib standards require that slat spacing be smaller, and bumpers are no longer necessary. People are moving away from putting bumper pads in their babies' cribs — and some cities are even outlawing them.

What's the risk?

Because of the potential for suffocation, entrapment, and strangulation and lack of evidence to support that bumper pads or similar products that attach to crib slats or sides prevent injury in young infants, the AAP does not recommend their use.

The risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has been cited as a reason to remove bumper pads — and any soft, cushioning items in the crib, such as: pillows, blankets or large stuffed animals. Babies have become trapped underneath firm bumper pads, suffocated while sleeping up against soft bumpers or become strangled with ties on bumper pads. Older babies sometimes use bumper pads as a step stool to help them climb over the rail, putting them at risk for injury.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement in 2011 that bumper pads are not recommended. The policy declares, "Because of the potential for suffocation, entrapment, and strangulation and lack of evidence to support that bumper pads or similar products that attach to crib slats or sides prevent injury in young infants, the AAP does not recommend their use."

Bumper alternatives

Several companies have come up with bumper pad alternatives to coordinate your decor without increasing the danger of SIDS or other dangers. Oliver B offers slat bumpers (Oliver B, $85/20-piece set) that fit snugly around slats and are ventilated to create more open-air, breathable space in your child's crib. They are available in many color options to match any decor for boys or girls.

crib bumper alternatives collage

Wonder Bumpers (GoMamaGoDesigns.com, $149/38-piece set, plus sheet and swaddling blanket) are another non-traditional option for your baby's crib. Each slat is individually covered with a separate bumper that zips safely over the slat. They are available in a variety of styles for girls or boys, and gender neutral options too.

Other ideasbedtimes originals bumperless crib set

You can still use that adorable crib bedding and just remove the bumpers from the crib. A cute way to tie your theme throughout the whole nursery is to hang a matching quilt on the wall. This cute crib set (Amazon, $45/3-piece set) brings color and cuteness to your nursery without sacrificing baby's safety.

There are lots of other ways to use a cute pattern and your color scheme in the nursery. Use paint, artwork, wallpaper and other decor to really brighten baby's room — and you will never miss those bumper pads.

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