Breathable Crib Bumpers - Are They Safe?

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Alerts & Recalls

Suffocation while sleeping is a huge risk for infants, but choosing the correct baby bedding can help. Professional organizations, like the American Academy of Pediatrics, have set standards to help reduce the rate of infant deaths caused suffocation. Among their recommendations: Keep cribs free from baby bumpers because of their association with infant deaths.

Some parents ignore this advice, which has made breathable bumpers -- bumpers created with breathable mesh that increases airflow and can reduce the potential of accidental suffocation -- a popular choice. The breathable bumpers' mesh keeps arms and legs from getting caught in the crib. Unlike traditional bumpers, the unsupportive mesh keeps older children from climbing up the sides of the crib.

Still, there are breathable bumper critics.

Consumer Reports experts in February 2009 stated that "bare is best," meaning that netting, sleep positioners or bumpers should not be used in cribs. They recommended that blankets, pillows or any other loose, soft bedding -- which can become molded around an infant's face and cause suffocation -- should be kept out of cribs, too. Instead, a typical baby's bedding should consist of only a firm, flat mattress.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.