Skip to main content

Are Crib Bumpers Hurting Babies?

What happens when something that's supposed to keep your baby safe turns out to be dangerous?
  • Author:
  • Updated:
green baby bumper

Eight years ago when I went baby crib set shopping for the first time I selected a beautiful Amy Coe set: the soft blues and greens in a vintage toile circus managed to be classic and modern at the same time. The skirt, the sheets, the blankets, the bumper, all matching and necessary, right?


At least that’s what the research is now suggesting. Those crib bumpers may be deadly. Laura Maxwell and her husband lost their seven week old baby, Kyle, in February of 2010 when he suffocated on his crib bumpers. Devastating.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission knows of 690 deaths between 1992 and 2010 linked to pillows and cushions in cribs, and bumpers are next on the list. I’m sorry, what? Almost 700 deaths over 18 years? Out of 52 deaths with possible links to bumpers, 27 were conclusively linked. How does that compare? Less than 10 babies are kidnapped from their mothers every year.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended for You

But what new mom hasn’t had the experience of walking into the nursery and seeing her baby with their arm or foot stuck in the slats of the crib, crying in pain? Or baby bumping their head on the slats while pushing themselves around and about? Bumpers seem like the intuitive way to solve the hard wood-soft head conundrum. I know at least one company is making mesh bumpers and more are making “breathable” bumpers, but are they still too scary to put in the crib?

I put the bumper away when my second was about 5 months old--the bedskirt, too. He spent half the time in my bed anyway.

amy coe cirque enfants blue green

My beautiful Amy Coe set sits at the back of my linen closet waiting for no baby.

I’ve been trying to find a new crib set for the impending arrival of my daughter. After reading the recommendations from child safety professionals, I think I’ll be going with the basics, not an actual set, and skipping the bumper.

Are you convinced to skip the bumper?


100% Authentic Under-eye Bags

Up All Night with Baby

What do you do when you're up all night with a baby?


Traveling with Baby

Are you an expert at traveling with babies and lap children? Share your ideas so we can save all the crying airplane babies!

cloth baby shoes

Cloth Baby Shoes

Sew Mama Sew featured these adorable orange cloth baby shoes from Jennifer Ladd, along with links to a bunch of DIY baby shoe tutorials. What a fantastic project to use those scraps up!

play at playground featured.jpg

Is Too Much Supervision Hurting Our Kids?

What happened to how we used to play? Kids aren't in more danger today, but we act like they are. Is supervision making kids that are unable to function?

chunky baby legs

8 Tips for Taking Better Pictures of Your Baby

Want to capture better pictures of your baby? Me Ra Koh shares her tips!

Sunni Clutching Baby Toy

My Top Baby Toys of All Time

Take it from experienced babies, these are the true toy classics that every baby loves.

Dance Moms by Scott Gries for Lifetime

Are Moms TV's Bad Guys?

Any time there’s another mother on TV we’re supposed to compare our mothering to their mothering. Is that fair? Is that right?

your baby can read shut down

Your Baby Can Read Shut Down

Turns out that sticking your baby in front of a TV doesn't teach them how to read. WEIRD.