Recommendations about baby safety are always changing.
My mother tells plenty of stories about my childhood that make me cringe. For instance, I didn’t sit in a car seat—my parents had a car bed when I was a newborn, and as a toddler, I was in a jump seat over the passenger-side head rest.
My mom said I was a climber, so she would constantly be pulling me down while she was driving. It wasn’t until the mid 1980s that child restraint laws were in place in all 50 states. I guess we should be glad cell phones weren't around back then!
She also told me that my crib—with slats far wider than current regulations—was adorned with rubber bumpers. I would lay up against the bumpers when I slept and constantly suffered horrible heat rash. Lucky for me, I managed to not suffocate myself.
Sometimes, when she recounts these stories, I’m just glad I survived. And I’m happy my kids are growing up in a safer environment.
Although I’m sure there will be things that my kids will wince at when I tell them stories 30-plus years from now. There already are things that have changed in the short five and a half years that I’ve been parenting.
You already know my favorite crib tent was recalled recently. And when my kids were infants, their beautifully decorated drop-side crib was complete with a mobile and designer, soft puffy bumpers—all now thought to be a risk for baby.
Many drop-side cribs have been recalled because of the possibility of entrapment. And searching Baby’s R Us recently, it’s hard to find a mobile, because some argue they pose a threat to the baby if it falls in the crib or is pulled down.
And now crib bumpers are an issue, as well. Parents think they provide a protective barrier so the baby doesn’t bang her head against the hard wood of the crib, when actually they could suffocate or strangle your precious baby.
The threat is small—only a fraction of parents using bumpers have reported incidents—but if you’re one of those parents, the threat is real.
And next year, Maryland could be the first state to implement a ban on crib bumpers all together. If implemented, retailers will have nine months to comply with the ban, and would be required to redesign packages to remove the dangerous bumpers from their product offerings.
Experts stand behind the ABCs of sleep for babies. They should be ALONE, on their BACKs, and in a CRIB.
What do you think? Has the recent media about crib bumper safety changed how you would decorate your own newborn baby’s crib? Are you presently using a crib bumper? Tell us in the comments.