5 Alternatives to Crib Bumpers for Safe & Sound Sleeping
Author: Anne Cowart | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
You're here so you're likely aware that the yearly rate of injury related to crib bumpers has almost increased 3 times in the last 3 decades. This is why alternatives to crib bumpers are on the rise.
If you have a baby around the house, you must know how scary it can be to even think of their well-being being put at risk.
Although crib bumpers are supposed to protect your baby from falling, they are proving to be a problem. Hence, we are here today to discuss crib bumper alternatives so that your baby can stay safe and you can have a good night of sleep.
5 Alternatives to Crib Bumpers
These are the safe crib bumper alternatives that you can choose to protect your baby.
Vertical Crib Liners
At first glance, you might think that these vertical crib liners are the same as your regular crib bumpers, but that isn't the case.
This alternative to crib bumpers has a different design from its traditional counterpart. Vertical crib liners do not go all around the crib; instead, they are attached to individual rails.
The material used to make these vertical crib liners are soft, which means when they are put over the individual rails of your baby's crib, it will ensure that your baby doesn't get hurt by bumping their head with the rails any more than they would with any types of pillows.
Moreover, these crib liners are made of breathable material so that your baby does not suffocate, unlike the hard un-breathable pads of crib bumpers.
Your baby will have no problem breathing due to the crib liners, as the breathable material allows for decent airflow.
However, the downside of the vertical crib liners is that they still leave gaps in between which your baby's arms or legs may get stuck. But this is very unlikely because the gap left is not enough to fit most baby legs or even arms.
Having a beautiful nursery is a goal for many, so if you fall in this bunch, then you might love the vertical crib liners because they come in a wide variety of colors.
These liners made from 100% cotton can also be found in furry materials to make for an even cuter look.
Covers for Crib Rails
Amongst all the options in this list, crib rail covers are also excellent alternatives to crib bumpers to ensure your baby's safety. The installation of this item is surprisingly simple.
All you have to do is attach it to the top of the crib rails and open them so they hang down. When you are not using the crib rail covers, you have to roll them up and keep them tied up at the top.
This simple alternative will protect your infant's legs from getting stuck in between the rail spaces.
Since babies may move a lot in their sleep depending on their age, you will be glad to hear that these crib rail covers are made of very soft material, which means they also protect your baby from bumps or even bruises.
An interesting fact about babies that you might not have known is that they often chew on their crib's wooden or plastic rails, which is undoubtedly unsafe and can severely harm their teeth. Luckily, the crib rail covers shield the rails so your baby can't get their little teeth on them.
You can get crib rail covers in an extensive range of colors and even patterns to match the theme of your nursery. The great thing is that you can easily find these different colored or patterned crib rail covers very easily.
Like we must inform you about the good things, we must also notify you about the concerns with each product like we did with our changing table alternatives.
The only con with crib rail covers is that the crib rails are still slightly exposed, which means there remains a tiny chance that your infant could be trapped by getting their arms or legs stuck in between the rails.
Mesh Crib Liners
If once before you have considered any alternatives to crib bumpers, you might have thought of mesh crib liners. Mesh crib liners are very popular amongst parents of babies, and that is for a good reason.
While they protect your child from dangling from the crib, they are also valuable for shielding your baby's legs or arms from getting trapped between the crib slats.
Mesh crib liners are even suggested to parents by CPSC and AAP, which means they are genuinely exceptional at shielding your baby from getting stuck.
You must also know that the mesh used for these liners is entirely breathable, which means that the risk of your child being suffocated by the crib rails is very close to zero.
It allows plenty of airflow in and out of the crib to ensure a night of comfortable sleep for your baby. "Do I need a crib bumper?" With these, not really.
Almost anyone will be able to afford mesh crib liners, unlike many products listed here. You must know how expensive taking care of babies can get, so good value for money always helps a lot.
Additionally, they can also be easily fitted with almost any cribs without any issues, so it is a very convenient choice. The same concept is used in the high chair alternatives to create cushioned surfaces over any plastic or wood that may be present.
Since the mesh is a very light material, you don't have to worry about it blocking light from entering the crib. Your child will get plenty of light even with the mesh liners on the crib.
One risk you will still have with mesh crib liners is that they will not cushion your baby if they bump their head against the railing. Due to mesh being a very thin and light material, it can't protect your baby from getting hurt by bumps.
The primary function of the mesh liners is to ensure your baby doesn't get stuck between the rails, so you will have to take one risk if you decide to buy mesh crib liners.
Braided Crib Bumpers
Amongst all the alternatives to crib bumpers, the braided crib bumpers have a unique appearance with their braided look.
They are very eye-catching in a good way and look simply adorable, so using them will add an interesting little touch to your child's nursery.
In terms of functionality, the braided crib bumpers are excellent in ensuring your baby doesn't get stuck between the crib slats and gets injured. They go all the way around the crib and make sure all the gaps are closed to prevent your child from entrapment.
Since the braided crib bumpers are very thick and soft, they effectively cushion your baby from bumps and bruises.
The soft material works great for making your baby more comfortable. In fact, since the braided crib bumper is very soft, babies sometimes use it as a pillow and lean against it. Although they are soft, these braided crib bumpers are not entirely breathable.
Therefore, if your baby is 3 months or younger, you shouldn't use braided crib bumpers as the risk of suffocation will be present. However, this is not a concern if your child can stand, sit up on their own, or even roll over.
Baby Sleeping Bags
Baby sleeping bags have recently become more popular as an alternative to traditional crib bumpers, and they genuinely are better than what you might think. While all the other products in this list shield the rails from the baby, you are doing quite the opposite with baby sleeping bags.
Although it might seem uncomfortable to you, babies like to sleep in these sleeping bags. The design of these baby sleeping bags has the concept of swaddling integrated with them, which gives children longer hours of sleep and an even better quality of sleep.
Additionally, the sleeping bag will give more warmth to the baby, which will add to their comfort while sleeping, more so than when the types of blankets you swaddle them in come unraveled.
Sleeping in a baby sleeping bag means that your infant will not be able to move around as much, and their arms and legs will be secured in place. Therefore, this also means that there is no risk of your child getting trapped between the crib railings.
However, the head of your baby will still be exposed. That's the one downside of a sleep sack as a crib bumper alternative. So, upon a lot of movement, babies can potentially bump their heads against the crib rails and get hurt.
With that being said, we must mention that this is very unlikely because the sleeping bag does an excellent job of limiting your baby's movements.
Alternatives to Crib Bumpers for Your Unique Baby
Traditional bumpers are just not the way to go anymore, so if you get anything from a baby sleeping bag to mesh crib liners, we can ensure you that they will do a much better job at keeping your child safe.
You know better than anyone that your baby's safety is one of the most important things in the world for you, so when you are purchasing one of these alternatives to crib bumpers from this list, keep all the criteria in your mind.