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More Infant Deaths Blamed on Crib Bumpers

Diane Luke
Senior Editor, TipsHire

Baby’s crib is one of the most important purchases that parents do for their baby. And this is not necessarily because of the price quite high compared to other children’s products, which varies significantly depending on the type of brand or quality but because the baby will spend a lot of time in bed, especially in the first months of life.

Baby sleep is extremely important, so you need to pay attention to how to choose the best crib for your baby. Safe should be the most important criteria from which to choose the baby’s crib but recent studies have shown that too much safeness can be life-threatening since more infant deaths blamed on crib bumper.

What kind of baby’s crib to choose?

Before you start searching for the ideal crib for your baby, decide what kind of bed you want to buy. There are a lot of models on the market, but it’s good to know from the beginning what you want. Here are the types of cribs you can choose from, as well as our recommendations for some of them.

The classic wooden cribs.

Is the type of crib that everyone knows, with detachable side walls, or not, made of wooden bows. Some cribs are fixed, others are designed as a swing. Likewise, the mattress level may or may not be adjustable.

The folding cribs.

Usually, the folding cribs are made of a metallic structure with a textile cover. They have different options depending on the chosen model and are ideal for travelers, as they can be stored easily.

In addition, most can be turned into a playground by removing the sleeping basket. Most of them also have a table to wrap, but an important detail to consider when buying a folding crib is to have a zipper to remove at least one of the sides.

The convertible cribs.

Usually, these cribs are recommended until the age of 3 years but there are also some convertible cribs that can be transformed, so that the baby can sleep in them after this age, sometimes until adolescence.

They are more expensive, but if you make an estimate, you may find that it is more convenient to buy such a crib, especially if it is a solid one.

Psychologists do not recommend this kind of furniture, arguing that at some point the child needs to make the transition to another stage, including moving from the crib to a larger bed. Therefore, simply changing the crib by removing the side walls would slow the maturation process.

What should we keep in mind when choosing a crib?

When choosing a crib, you should first remove from your head the idea that the price should be the main selection criterion. The child must be safe! No one says you have to spend a fortune but try to give a reasonable budget to this important purchase for your child.

Once you have set a maximum budget, start looking for the right crib, taking into account some practical and important suggestions for your child’s health:

  • Think about where you are going to place the crib and take measurements to know exactly the size that the crib should be
  • Whichever type you choose, be careful that the side walls allow good air circulation.
  • Carefully look at the edges and choose the crib which has a soft protection for them, as the babies tend to bite the cribs when they can reach them
  • It is preferable for the crib to have wheels because over time you might want to move it to another room. In addition, if it has wheels, you will move it more easily to clear the dust beneath it
  • If you choose a wooden bed, choose one that has at least a detachable wall with an easy to use detachment system. If you’ve decided to buy a fold-away bed with the walls made of fabric, then it’s important to choose one with a side zipper. It will be much easier to put in and take out your child.

Accessories for cribs

Some cribs are equipped with more or less useful accessories. You do not necessarily need to consider them in your choice, as most accessories can be purchased later, separately.

Here are some tips on how to choose the proper accessories:

  • Mattress – the most of the cribs have the mattresses included in the package. If the mattress is not included, then choose it carefully. Be careful not to be smaller or larger than the size of the crib, as both may cause accidents. Also, if after a while you notice that the mattress has been deformed, then it is good to change it.
  • The table for changing the baby’s diapers – is usually detachable and can be useful, especially during the first months, when you’re after pregnancy back pain is intense. However, some mothers prefer to change their baby in bed because of the larger handling space.
  • The side suits – those cribs made of textile usually have such pockets, useful for storing diapers and other objects. There are also wooden cribs provided with side drawers or shelves for storage.
  • Linen for bed – although you might like the crib to look impeccably, to be adorned with complete lingerie, you should know that instead of that, it is more practical to use a baby sleeping bag. By the way, until the age of one, the pillows are not recommended. If you do not want to use a sleeping bag, then use a soft cotton linen. Under the baby’s head, place a soft, woven blanket instead of the pillow.
  • The toys – some cribs have attached all kinds of toys meant to entertain the baby. Others do not have such accessories. If you intend to attach a carousel or a toy carousel to the crib, then be careful to mount them correctly so that there is no risk of falling over the baby.
  • The mosquito net – it is an extremely useful accessory, especially if you know you have mosquito problems. If the crib is not equipped with this, you can separately buy a mosquito net to attach to its edges.

More Infant Deaths Blamed on Crib Bumpers

In the baby’s crib accessories list, there is also the so-called crib bumper which is designed to protect the baby from hitting the crib’s sides with his head or to avoid the situation in which your baby get his head stuck between the crib’s bars.

These kinds of protection accessories are mainly attached on wooden cribs.

Researchers have found it, at first, a very useful way to protect babies while sleeping but some recent tragic events forced the experts to reconsider the usefulness of crib bumpers.

In a new study, published in 2015 in the Journal of Pediatrics, the US experts have proven the fact that crib bumpers represent a potential risk for suffocation. More than that, only in the US, in a period of more than 20 years prior to the study, almost 300 babies were involved in incidents caused by these crib bumpers. Unfortunately, in 80 cases out of those 300 cases, the babies died suffocated or strangled by the crib bumpers. In the remaining cases, the babies were saved at the last moment by their parents.

Experts retested the baby crib bumpers and concluded that all the incidents could have been avoided by simply not using the crib bumpers.

Upon these recent studies, the states of Maryland and Chicago have banned the commercialization of crib bumpers, and soon more states in the US are close to taking the same measures.

More infant deaths blamed on crib bumpers should give you some thoughts on how a product designed for babies’ safe is, in fact, a life-threatening risk, so be careful what to buy for your newborn and take into consideration all the possibilities involved.

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