Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Requests From Our Readers: Week 6

WHEW! Sorry we have been MIA with reader requests. We weren't getting many requests in and now suddenly we have a HUGE influx (which is AWESOME - thank you so much for giving us ideas). Just know that if you've sent a request in the last two weeks we WILL get to it - it might just take a few days or a week or so. Thanks again and keep those ideas coming.

This week we are talking about bumper pads!!! And oh boy, I for one am quite excited that this topic came up. Check out what our reader said:

"Recently my husband went to check on our 7 month old son before we went to bed. He notice that our son and rolled onto his side and was VERY close to the crib bumpers. When he came and told me about it I jumped out of bed right then and we went in to take the crib bumpers out. It made me really nervous that if we had not checked on him that he possibly could have suffocated. I had never even thought of that being a possibility before.

So I was wondering, what are your thoughts on crib bumpers?
Do you use them? And if so, how do you try to make sure your child doesn't roll into them?
And, what types of things do you have in the crib?
Do you just wrap up your baby and put him/her in there?
Or do you use a blanket to just lay on top of him/her?"

So help her out!! Give us your thoughts and stories, and keep it all coming! Thanks for reading and making this blog great.


Tannie Datwyler said...

Oh Kym, I am SOOO glad you brought this up.

Here is my understanding on the topic. Bumper pads are a suffocation hazard and are more dangerous than they are useful. Most websites/books/doctors will recommend not using them. Or if you do use them to take them out of the crib when your child can roll (which is usually around 3 or 4 months).

With that being said I have to wonder why you would even use pads if you are just going to take them out after 3 months. That kind of defeats the purpose..... I thought they were for stopping kids from bonking their heads? :) In reality, these days they are just CUTE and something to make the room look sweet.

Why do I like them? Less bonking of head and also binkies stay in cribs better. But, I have to ask myself is that worth the risk? Probably not....

I have used bumper pads on both my kids, but took them out when the kids started to roll and be REALLY active (around 6-7 months for both of them). I had a very similar incident with Linus a few nights ago. I went in and he was under his pads. Pretty scary..... I took the pads out and now I put three binkies in his crib and nearby so that if needs one we don't have to look on the ground.

As for putting stuff in the crib.... I don't put much in. I think with Claire she didn't get a pillow until she transitioned to a bed (and she was fine with that). I think when she was around a year we started putting a stuffed animal in with her. Before that it was only a blanket.

I swaddle my kids for about 6 months and then when they are unswaddled I do put a blanket on top. My kids like to eat blankets and it is a comfort thing that I am not too worried about. Linus sometimes pulls the blanket over his face, but I know he can still breathe through it (it is pretty porous). I think I should probably be more worried about this, but I'm not.

I hope that helps. What a wonderful question!!

Jared and Delia said...

Good question. This topic hits closer to home since I just had a distant relative die of SIDS a few days ago.

I have some friends that refuse to put bumper pads in cribs. I have used them, but I too, like Tannie, take them out when my babies get more active...which for both of my kids have been at different ages. My first was rolling at 3 months and crawling by 6 so I nixed them sometime in between then...I think four months. My second was swaddled for the first five months and was not as mobile as early so I have only recently taken them out (he was 7 months).

Do what you think is best of course. I have had other friends that keep them as long as they have them in the crib and they haven't had suffocation worries. They have on the other hand had problems with older babies using them as step "stools" to get out of the crib which is another danger to consider.

If you want your crib to stay cute, invest in crib skirt. They are great for hiding under crib storage too.

As for what goes in the crib. I only use a small, light crocheted blanket with large holes in it that I just lay on the lower half of him. Before that I used a light cotton blanket to swaddle him. I have recently put a firm stuffed giraffe in his crib at naps and he is 8 months. I keep toys to a minimum when they get older (around a year and older) and I didn't put in a firm pillow and softer blanket until my son transitioned to a toddler bed.

Hope that helps.

Megan said...

I have used bumpers pads the entire time my son has been in his crib which is 14 months. I haven't been worried about suffocation or anything like that. My sister and SIL also have had bumper pads in the crib and haven't had any worries.

As for what I put in the crib, there is only a blanket. The only time I have put anything else, such as a toy, in the crib has been when he was over a year and he woke up very early and wouldn't go back to sleep. I generally will go in and put a couple of bigger toys in to keep him occupied and they always seem to get thrown out of the crib onto the floor anyway.

I know if you do want bumper pads but are worried about suffocation, you can buy mesh bumper pads, but I don't know how well they work.

Jay and Michelle Teerlink said...

I never used bumperpads with either of my kids. For us it was a cost issue. I never had any worries as what would happen without them in. My son would bang his head on the bars and not even notice, though it was 3 years later that we discovered the reason behind this was because he has autisim and his pain tolerence is very high. My daughter was a different matter. She would bump her head and cry so I placed some simple blankets on the sides to just add some cushon.
Both of my kids had a few stuffies in their cribs, though until they were about 6 months old they were at the bottom of the crib. With my daughter we ended up having to place a pillow in her crib when she was about 5 months old after she got a nasty cold to help her breathe. She never had a problem with having it in there.
I would lay my kids down and then tuck them into at least 2 blankets when they were in the crib. I stopped bundling them around 4 months old.

Anonymous said...

I had bumper pads with my first child. I put them in there because I was concerned about the head bonking.

We lived in a 2 bedroom appt. when our second was born & he went from bassinet to playpen (no room for a crib & toddler bed).

This time, my crib set didn't match the paint on the walls so, I didn't use them because of that (stupid I know).

My kids are born big (8 lbs 1 oz up to 9 lbs 4 oz) and get mobile early. All 3 of my kids move around a TON during their sleep so I worry more about them getting tangled in blankets and such.

Both of my sons like having their blanket over their faces. I just put light weight baby quilts & blankets in their crib. My baby is 10 mos old & I have several small stuffed animals at the end of his crib. By putting the toys in the crib then when my 10 mos old wakes up in the middle of the night he can find a stuffed animal and go back to sleep.

I agree with Tannie that the pads help keep binkis in the crib better (I have to move the crib a lot these days!).

Sorry, this is kind of rambling. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it totally depends on the kid and the current situations. I guess you should worry about suffocation, but there are other factors to consider as well (like getting tangled in blankets).

Roeckers said...

I love bumpers! I had a child wake up with her head plastered right up on the bars and had the biggest bruise, try explaining that to people as you take your child around with a nice straight line bruise across her face!

My youngest had acid reflex and had to lay on an inclined mattress and on his stomach for the first six months of his life. He Dr laughed when my friend asked about him suffocating. He said as soon as the child has the ability to lift his head he most likely will not suffocate like us if we can't breath he will struggle until he can (turn his head the other direction). He explained that there is little info on what causes SIDS. You can follow all the rules and still lose a child to SIDS!

I hate to be the antagonist on this one but I just think this is something to scare mothers. I don't put a lot into my child's crib, but I will stick to my bumper pads and not think twice about it.

Shantel said...

I also use bumper pads and haven't thought much about it. The bumpers we have are pretty thin however which makes me worry less about it. I have also been told the same thing about suffocation, which is that once a child is moving enough to move closer to the bumper pads that they are also strong enough to move away if their breathing was affected.
As for things in the crib, I have a little pillow and stuffed animal that the end of the crib for decoration, but Ryan has never even touched them. He moves around in his crib, but stays at the top, so once again I haven't worried much about it.
I think this all really depends on your kid, Ryan doesn't really snuggle into blankets or bumpers so I don't worry, but if your baby loves to snuggle into things, maybe you should be cautious about bumpers, blankets etc.

Kym, Shaun and Riley said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! to all who have given me some advice and thoughts on crib bumpers and things that go in the crib!!!!! I'm always up for suggestions. It's always nice to see what other moms think.

Liz, Karl and Madison said...

I just wanted to say I agree with Shantel and Roekers about the kids being able to turn away from a bumper to avoid suffacation- I think part of it is that if you get tangled in a blanket it is a lot harder to get out of it then if you have just turned your head towards a bumper pad. Just another idea, I never did this but I had a cousin who did and said it worked really well- she wanted to put a flat pillow in her daughters crib to help elevate her so she put the pillow under the sheet which made it so it wouldn't suffacate the child to use a pillow.

Kaylyn said...

I loved our bumper pads that I made and I would have used them longer but they didn't stay in place. So as soon as I put her from the bassinet to the crib I took them out. More for the strangulation factor than the suffocation.
I also swaddled her for at least 4 months. She then would get out of it and kick off any blankets. We always try to put a blanket on her but it never stays on. We dress her warm for nights and then we don't worry about blankets in there.

Courtney said...

It is great to hear both sides. I have sat on the fence with this one for some time debating back and forth. I would think that early on in life they would be more of a hazard because they can't "lift their head or turn it" as was said. I love using them when my kids get active so they are not sticking their feet and hands through the bars and getting contorted and stuck. Man, I feel really guilty and agree withe most about it "not being worth the risk." But I am still sitting on the fence and using them. I have also heard the pediatritians etc tell you not to use them...sigh....great topic and one that I needed to hear about! =0) THANKS

Kelly A. said...

I used them until my daughter was about three months old. I swaddled her until about 4 months old and then she decide she didn't like it, so since then she goes to bed with a light blanket and that's all that is in the crib with her.

Jes said...

I used them while my daughter was new and couldnt roll yet... we about lso used the 'swaddling' and the 'baby position-er-things" (know what I mean?)... but I had heard stories and so was really paranoid about bumpers and took them out the moment she was showing signs of rolling or be able to move despite the 'position-ers'.

Ive heard lots of horror stories about the SUFFOCATING as the babies using them to STAND ON THEM AND?OR USE THEM TO CLIMB?FALL OUT. My baby still just goes to sleep with a light blanket, and now that she can move things and etc she has a couple of toys with her too.

Diane said...

I swaddled my baby until he wouldn't stay in the blanket anymore. Now I just put a blanket on him, and he's always done really well with it, so I don't worry.

Our dr. said not to use the bumper pads, and so I didn't until the last couple of months (he's a year now). As soon as he gained a lot of control of his movements I put the bumper pad in, but I tuck it way down around the mattress so only about an inch or two sticks up around the sides. I do this just to keep the binkies in the crib! It got to be a real hassle trying to climb under it/around it to find all of his binkies. lol. Also where it doesn't stick up so much/isn't so tall, I don't think he'll ever be able to climb on it, he can't get caught under it because it's tucked in so tight, and I figure it's enough that if he rams his head into the rails it will provide some cushion, but isn't high enough that he can really suffocate in it, especially since I agree that he would be able to just turn his head if he needed to. So using the bumper this way I really like it and am glad I have it. I think with the next one I might just use it the whole time, but have it stick up even I don't have to search for binkies. ;)

I also have like two toys in his crib. For a long time I only had a pull giraffe that played music, that was tied to the top rail, so it wasn't even down in the crib. A few months ago I started putting a toy or two in with him, also partially to give him something to play with in the morning so I don't have to get out of bed so early. (is that bad?! ;) ) Anyway, he is such a mover and a light sleeper, that I've never felt worried. I think it probably really depends on your baby and what kind of a sleeper they are.

One thing that my doctor told me that helps prevent SIDS is to have a fan in the room. The circulating air is supposed to help a lot. Just thought I'd share. :)

Chris and Laura said...

We had bumper pads in the crib for the first few months that Jane was alive mostly because they came with the bedding set, but during that time, she only took naps in the crib and slept in our bed at night. It never once crossed my mind that she might be suffocated/strangled by them because there was no way for her to even get close.

Once she switched to sleeping in her own room, I took the pads out because she managed to wiggle past them. I'd go to get her up in the morning and find her between the pads and the bars. She was never hurt or in any danger at all, I think she just liked the adventure. :) But it was annoying to have to fix them every day, so I just took them out.

Now, Jane is 17 months old. She has a flat pillow, a quilt, and two stuffed animals in her bed. I lay her down and she will immediately pull her own blanket up under her chin. At least point, I know that she's in enough control of the blanket (which is rather thick so it can't get really bunched up anyway) that if it was a problem, she would be able to get it off. She always falls asleep with one arm around an animal and the other holding her own hair (she's done that since she was born...). The animals so have short "fur" so that she can't pull off handfuls, try to eat it and get it stuck in her throat or anything like that.

I don't worry so much about her while she's in her crib now that she's big enough to move very independently.

Kym, Shaun and Riley said...

I really liked the way that Diane said that she uses the bumpers...she tucks them down around mattress so they only stick up about 1-2 inches to help keep the binkys in. BRILLIANT!!!! That is one of the reasons why I really like the bumpers. I think I might try this and see how it goes. Thanks!!

Erin said...

I thought that bumpers were bad even before they could roll, not because they would suffocate, but because it didn't allow for very much ventilation, and the air wasn't moving so it was a bigger risk for sids. I really like Diane's idea, and I think i will use it.

With Hayden i did use it until he could stand up on it. It always just squished down, so it's not like it was a step or anything, but i took it down just in case. I tried not to use it once because i heard that they were bad, but he poked his arms and legs through when he would wiggle, and that did hurt him and woke him up.