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To Crib Bumper or Not to Crib Bumper

Crib bumpers

How can something so wrong look so cozy?

While I was away with my daughters last week, my husband assembled the baby‘s crib. She’d been sleeping in the bassinet up until then, but she’s just getting too big for it.

When I arrived home I saw that he had put the bumper in the crib. I don’t blame him for not being up-to-speed on the fact that bumpers are now up there with stomach-sleeping and front-facing car seats for 1-year-olds: a big no-no.

But then again, I’ve been home for two days now and the bumper is still in the crib — and I’m fully up-to-speed. And I’m kind of inclined to keep it there.

If I’m going to start getting all fussy about what is and isn’t OK for a baby, then she wouldn’t be sleeping in this particular crib to begin with. It’s celebrated its 12th birthday last month (my parent’s bought it for their house when my nephew was born in 2000). It has a drop side. The mattress is probably illegal, too, because I think I remember taking the tag off of it. Take me away, CPS.

My older daughter was a baby at a time when bumpers were just fine. And she survived her crib (that is, if you don’t count the time she jumped out of it when she was 20-months-old, at which time we promptly moved her to a bed).

Of course we all survived no helmets, no seat belts, no car seats, BPA-filled bottles, lead paint and non-organic fruits and vegetables as a kid. But when you know better, you do better (at least Oprah says so). So it’s probably pretty wrong to keep using a crib bumper, right?

The American Academy of Pediatrics says there’s no evidence that crib bumpers prevent injuries, and that they can actually contribute to suffocation, strangulation or entrapment. Those words make me shudder. But then again, everything poses a risk in some way, doesn’t it? And a crib without a bumper just seems so cold and big.

The jury is still out. While Peony napped in the crib (pictured above) for about 12 minutes the other day, she’s actually sleeping in her car seat until her ear infection clears up, so I have a few more days to decide if the crib bumper stays or goes. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I think it’ll probably stay.

Will you admit to doing or using things for your baby that are less than recommended for their own safety?

Image: Meredith Carroll

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