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Bumper Advice?

I could use some help from anyone who has gone bumper-free recently. My four-month-old has started rolling over onto his belly in his swaddle, which means the child care center can no longer allow him to sleep in a swaddle. We’ve been working to transition him to sleep swaddle-free, and it had been going well until I realized that in lieu of the comfort of his swaddle, my son has been sleeping on his side and mashing his face into the bumper on his crib. My own anxiety and pediatrician’s directives now mean we can no longer use the bumper in his crib.  But now my son is waking several times a night as his legs get caught in the crib rails when he tries to turn over.

I’ve heard that others have had this problem, but am wondering if anyone has heard of or tried one of these BreathableBaby Bumpers?  It’s a mesh bumper that should theoretically mitigate the risk of suffocation while still preventing his legs from getting stuck in the bars. They’re not endorsed by any SIDS organizations that I can discern, but they get good reviews from users. Thoughts?

7 comments

  1. SarahA June 6, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I was too nervous to ever have anything in my daughter’s crib so I went without anything. Eventually she stopped waking up to it and just slept with her legs outside. In fact, my husband kept wanting to wake her up to move her away from the edge.

    I would suggest putting him down with an eye to which way he is more likely to roll. Putting him down further from that side might stop him from hitting the rail at all. If he’s not to big and sleeps curled up a bit, you could put him perpendicular to the rail. My daughter now sleeps like that with her back to one end even though we put her in the middle. I think she likes the closeness (we swaddled her for a long time).

  2. Alan June 6, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    We didn’t do this with our first, but needed to with our second. We bought the mesh, and it’s worked out great. We wanted something that wasn’t like a blanket or bumper for all the reasons you state. But we needed something to prevent her hands/feet/arms/legs from getting trapped in between the slats and potentially causing a lot of pain. What happened to us was that eventually she stopped rolling as much, and we could probably even take off the mesh now. Good luck in whatever you choose.

  3. Carmen P June 6, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    We are using a breathable bumper for the same reasons you described. We were bumper free until our daughter began getting stuck in the slats, which I’m told isn’t safe either. We have been very happy with it.

  4. Kate June 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Have you tried a Sleep Sack? I know it is Summertime and may be hot – but if he was ok being swaddled in a blanket, a Sleep Sack is probably a similar weight.

  5. Melissa June 6, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    We also never used any kind of bumper with either of our kids. I guess I would suggest just taking it out.

  6. Commuter Mom June 7, 2011 at 9:41 am

    A sleep sack is a great idea. We used a cotton sleeveless sleep sack for a long time with our daughter.

  7. News Mom June 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    OK — I am feeling like an idiot because after four years of parenthood, I am just now understanding the point of the sleep sack, and that it would prevent the baby’s legs from getting stuck in the crib slats. Duh!
    Thanks to everyone for all your suggestions. We did try moving my son away from the edges of the crib and placing him in the crib perpendicular to the long side, but he always finds his way back to the edge and keeps getting stuck, so we have installed the mesh bumper. It seems to be working great so far.

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