American Academy of Pediatrics Says No Crib Bumpers

By Lauren Barth |

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated their recommendations for reducing SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Ayndrome) risk and increasing safe sleep. Did you know that is was as recent as 1992 that AAP recommended placing babies on their backs to sleep? Since that time, there has been a significant decrease in SIDS deaths. But there has been an increase in deaths due to suffocation, entrapment and asphyxia. The updated guidelines are designed to help you create a safe environment for your child to sleep.

Important Additions

AAP emphasized the three following updates as the most important additions in their press release issued October 18th.

  • Breastfeeding is recommended to reduce SIDS risk.
  • Infants should be immunized. Studies show a 50% reduction in SIDS in babies who are immunized.
  • Bumper pads should not be used in cribs. Bumper pads have not been shown to reduce injury and present a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment.

The Full Recommendations

Parent friendly information about all the recommendations can be found at HealthyChildren.org and the full AAP publication can be found in the November issue of Pediatrics (ask your doctor for a copy if you are interested). You are probably familiar with most of these recommendations already.

  • Always place your baby on his/her back to sleep.
  • Always use a firm sleep surface. Carseats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.
  • Baby should sleep in the same ROOM but not the same BED with parents.
  • Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of baby’s bed.
  • Avoid wedges or positioners.
  • Don’t smoke while pregnant or around baby and get regular pre-natal care.
  • Offer a pacifier at sleep times.
  • Avoid covering the infant’s head or overheating.
  • Practice supervised, awake tummy time.

Healthy Children also includes a reminder that these recommendations are for children under one year of age and that certain medical conditions may require a baby to be placed on his or her stomach to sleep and that your doctor will help you know what is best for your baby.

What Do You Think?

Will you stop using a crib bumper? I don’t know what to think. My little man loved his bumper and would snuggle up next to it. I don’t think he would have slept as well without it. I did always make sure it was tied insanely tight and up slightly from the mattress so that if he somehow rolled and wedged his face in a corner, there was a gap where he could breath. And we did a lot of tummy time so that by the time he could move enough to get his face in the bumper he could also move enough to get it out.

{Kate’s Note: One stylish option for the look of a bumper is the new Skip Hop Complete Sheet.}

Image: babyphotospictures.com
  1. 1.
    Lena K.

    I can’t imagine how many times my babies would have hit their heads on the wood, and dropped the pacifiers through the slats without bumpers.

  2. 2.

    What my grandfather did for my baby sister is he MADE her baby crib! And his version of a bumper was a firm solid piece of oak wood with no gaps in it you would typically see in a normal baby bumber. On the side that faces the baby, he glued on a velvet siding just so her fact wouldn’t stick to it if she were to roll over close to it and fall asleep there. I would recommend it!

  3. 3.

    I used to get so nervous when my baby girl would take a nap because she would have her little nose pressed up against the bumper, so we removed it. In my opinion, I think it’s a great idea to take them out of cribs.

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