Mommy SOS | The Great Crib Bumper Debate


As of now, this is what Braylen’s crib looks like:

We have not used a bumper on his crib ever. I always was told that, sure they are cute, but your baby could suffocate in it. Easy enough to convince me to not get one! I also loved that we didn’t have one since it saved money. I’m sure I could figure out a way to DIY one, since I DIYed our crib skirt, but money saved is money saved.

Now that Bray is just over 4 months, he is a rolling machine. He sleeps on his tummy {whoops! I know thats a no-no as well, but he loves it and can totally lift his head up in any situation} and has loved discovering that he can easily roll from his tummy to his back. The bad part of this is when he does it while trying to fall asleep. He will not sleep on his back, so this leads to me having to go in there multiple times and flip him back over. I also go in there often and find him like this:

So here is my question: do I put a bumper on to protect him from hitting his head on the iron crib, and so his arms dont get stuck? Or is it still not worth the potential risk? I could always get a bumper like this one that is totally breathable. This one has great reviews as well and looks super comfy for him banging his head into .;) Help this mama make a decision and not freak out about it!


  1. I’ve used a bumper with all my kids for this exact reason – and actually Judah has low muscle control so even as a 14 month hold, he still falls over in his crib and will bang his head on the bars. I’m glad he has a bumper. Judah’s was made by a friend and it’s been wonderful. My rule has always been to make sure the bumper is thin enough to tuck down between the side of the crib and the mattress. That way they can’t go UNDER the bumper at any time.

  2. I’m glad you brought this up – it seems like there might be conflicting info out there. I was told it was okay when they were newborns because they weren’t rolling around (which means, yes, they were totally for decoration). Our pediatrician actually told me that 4 months was when we should remove the bumpers (since babies are rolling and SIDS is still a risk until 6mo or so) – so I guess we were kind of the opposite of you. I can see the problem with the iron crib, though. When we did use them I made my own for around $25 total – for the second kid I re-used the foam pads and covered them with different fabric so the cost was the fabric only.

    Interested to see what others say!

  3. So, I have nothing to offer this conversation other than one observation: people who say things like, “I made my own (ahem, all of you crafty DIY mamas)” it kind of makes me want to hit you. 😉

    That is all.

  4. I’ve used both versions of the bumper: the soft cushy kind and the breathable kind…and I like both equally really. The soft one kept my kids, who move like crazy in their sleep, from getting bumps and bruises on their body from hitting the crib; while the breathable one kept me more sane with not worrying about my child suffocating. And both, of course, kept them from getting their arms and legs stuck between the slats. The only thing about the breathable one, is that it is really stiff when installed and can be a catapult/step-ladder for your child when they get to the age to climb out of the crib. So it’s best to remove it when they get to that stage…or at least I did. That’s my two cents!

  5. I’m all for discussing it with your pediatrician. There are risk factors for SIDS, and your pediatrician can tell you if he’s at higher risk based on what she/he knows about your family and your child. Then he/she can weigh that against actual risk with injury in a crib such as his, and help you come to an informed decision. Remember, the pediatrician will be able to discuss scientific research and statistics that are more objective than when you hear either happy or horror stories from friends, etc. Hope that helps!

  6. I used a bumber…still on her toddler bed even. What I did use to help me in the whole SIDS scare, is the motion monitor that you put underneath the mattress and the alarm goes off if she stops breathing for more than 10 sec or something like that.

  7. Parker was a tummy sleeper, too. He just wouldn’t have it any other way once we moved him from an elevated side-sleeping position due to reflux. Both positions were approved by his pediatrician. By then, he was already lifting his head and rolling. I figured, if he can lift his head and roll INTO the bumper he can lift his head and roll AWAY from the bumper. Plus, if we didn’t have the bumper tucked between the mattress well enough he would find that one area and get his foot/arm wrapped up between the slots. OUCH! We ended up removing it once he started using it as a boost to climb out of his crib-(15 months, lucky me! 🙂 ) Anyways, at two years old, he is STILL a tummy sleeper! Good luck!

  8. We just ordered the exact one you linked to (the breathable one on amazon) b/c our 6 month old gets his arm or leg stuck. He also loses his paci through the bars. We used an actual padded bumper with our first–before the AAP changed their recommendation–and we never had any problems, but I do feel safer having a breathable one now with baby #2. Love your baby’s room BTW!

  9. The breathable bumper gave me peace from day 1! I was able to sleep knowing she was fine! I highly recommend it! My daughter is 17 months and I still have it on her crib so her little limbs don’t get caught! I will never waste money on bumpers again. I did find a sue for part of my bumper though! I used it as a bite guard, when she started chewing on her very expensive crib, and it looks ADORABLE! 🙂

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