November 8, 2014

FIAO 9.4 - The Great Debate - Crib Bumpers!

We are stuck. We officially have moving babies and are now wrestling with the idea of crib bumpers. I swore them off years ago during a child care course when they talked about the dangers of suffocation caused by baby getting stuck next to the bumper. I didn't even consider using them for our girls at all until a few weeks ago. Then, our perfect little still babies started moving around in their sleep. I will never forget that first night when I woke up to a pained scream coming from the monitor. I rushed in to find Jules with her head butted up against the crib slats, neck twisted at an awkward angle and tears running down her cheeks. She was clearly in pain and it broke my heart. Viv started doing it a few days alter. We have tried positioning them in all different ways, wrapping their blanket higher and lower, using bumpers inside the blanket, etc. but nothing works. Now we're afraid to even use a blanket even though it's always "swaddled" around their waist. I've read about babies breaking their arms or legs after they get stuck in the slats and now my fear has doubled. I would love to keep them bumpered in but even with blankets under the sheet they just roll over them now. And so we are at a loss. Do we risk suffocation for sleep? Both ours and theirs?

The Mommy wars battle lines are heavily drawn on this topic, almost as much as car seat safety or breastfeeding. Some people think you're insane if you use them, due to the risk of suffocation, no matter what the situation. Other people, like us, understand the need for sleep and the idea that a child who would otherwise be sleeping through the night is being woken up by something that can be avoided is incredibly frustrating. They hate it, we hate it and they are some miserable nights when they're particularly restless and both seem to end up squished against the crib over and over. I know a lot of women would tell us to just get over it, that they will learn how to move themselves away from the crib in time and that it's not worth the risk. Some people would say that the risk of suffocation is less than the risk of a broken arm or leg or that it's the top of their heads getting caught so they wouldn't even suffocate anyways.

We really don't know what to do about this. I've looked into mesh bumpers but they don't really solve our problem, although they're a great choice for babies whose limbs get stuck. I'm going to talk to the pediatrician and some family and see what they think. I feel like if we can get an all around consensus either way we will feel better about it. What's funny is no baby I've ever known has had this head-banging problem. My sister says my niece never did it, my mom says we never did, etc. So now I feel like my kids are just weirdos and I don't know whether buying bumpers will protect them or harm them.


I just have to say.

Who would have ever thought that this would be what goes through my mind on a Saturday night at 11:30?

And with that, I sign off. To go to bed. Ugh. I'm old.


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