5 Best Crib Bumpers For Your Kid and 7 Alternatives

Excited parents, your baby is on the way! One of the best crib bumpers is high up on that long list of what you need to buy before baby's arrival. You're on the hunt for the best crib bumpers, after deciding to go with a classic crib. You begin searching for the best crib bumpers for your baby only to discover that they are no longer considered safe.

What are you supposed to do now? Bumpers have been used for ages, your parents used them, and you want to use them too. Not to worry, it isn't the end for bumpers.

Don',t worry there are other options for where to lay your baby down to sleep, which doesn't require a bumper.

But don't give up on bumpers just yet.

Why are Baby Bumpers Dangerous?

Firstly, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American SIDS Institute are calling for parents to stop using crib bumpers. Due to the increase of directly related infant deaths with crib bumpers, it would seem that they are dangerous. Babies have died from rebreathing their CO2, suffocating on the sides of bumpers, strangulation on bumper ties, and from falling out of the crib by using bumpers as a step.

It's Not the End of Crib Bumpers

Secondly, it seems it would be the end of baby bumpers, but it isn't. Many of the safety issues can be solved without the complete elimination of crib bumpers.

To keep your baby from suffocating avoid thick crib bumpers, which are akin to pillows. To prevent strangulation or even choking on bumper ties, be sure to tie tightly, double tie, triple tie all the strings, or go with a crib bumper that has no strings, like Wonder Bumpers. The best way to prevent baby from using the bumper as a step is by looking for a bumper that will collapse under baby’s weight such as Breathable Crib Mesh Liners.

How to Choose the Best Crib Bumper

Lastly, as we continue the crib bumper hunt keep the above dangers in mind. By combining the above knowledge with the three points below, you will be able to solve the two problems of how to prevent baby from banging their head against the side of the crib and keep their limbs from getting tangled up around the slats.

These problems result in both you and baby losing precious sleep, which nobody wants. You and baby can achieve a good nights rest by using the right crib bumper in your baby’s crib and not have to fear for your baby’s life. 

Rotate the use of your crib bumper

Newborns rarely move, especially if they are swaddled, so you don’t need one right away. Which is perfect, because it gives you time to get to know your baby first. Also, as they grow and begin to roll, pull up, and gain movement, you will want to consider if the bumper you are using is still necessary or the right one.

Buy the Best Bumper Based on How Your Baby Sleeps

You’ve heard it before, and you will hear it again, “it depends on the individual baby.” Each baby will sleep differently.

The infant that wakes up in the same place and position they were placed in at the beginning of their sleep. Parents of The Perfect can buy any bumper they want.

The Acrobat

The wee one that somehow manages to cover every inch of the crib in one way or another with arms and legs all akimbo. Parents of this sleeper need a full coverage bumper that keeps baby's legs from getting in between the crib slats.

The Rocker

The baby that dreams of being in a rock band and head bangs the whole sleep long. Parents of this babe need a bumper with more padding.

https://sids.org/what-is-sidssuid/reduce-the-risk/​​​The Best Crib Bumper Candidates:

Breathable Crib Mesh Liner


The Breathable Baby Mesh Crib liner is for The Acrobat. It is made from 100% polyester mesh making it lightweight and breathable. It promotes excellent airflow with its trademarked air channel technology. The lightweight mesh is fantastic at keeping limbs from getting caught, without airflow constricting, dense padding. The Breathable Baby liner is the Original and is very popular with over a million sold.

Also, it fits most traditional cribs and comes in two panels and is easy to install with hook and loop fasteners. No strings for baby to choke. This crib bumper is hypoallergenic, machine washable, fast drying and collapses with ease to keep baby from falling out of the crib. 

Furthermore, not only is this an excellent crib bumper for the ever-moving baby, but it also comes in many different colors and styles to perfectly tie in your nursery theme. However, though the Breathable Baby is great for the acrobat, it is no way suitable for The Rocker. This liner is thin, providing no padding to protect baby's head from bumping against the crib. 

Lastly, this is not recommended for babies who can sit or stand, despite that it will collapse under a standing baby's weight and that the manufacturer says it can be used up to three years of age. Many reviewers love this liner, never the less they do say that the directions are difficult to understand.

Pros

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    Great for The Wee Acrobat
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    Keeps arms and legs from getting tangled
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    No Strings! No Strangulation!
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    Zero chance of entrapment
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    Reduced risk of SIDS with great airflow
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    Lots of colors and patterns

Cons

  • Only suitable for babies who cannot sit up or stand on their own.
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    Not suitable for The Wee Rocker
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    Difficult installation due to poor instructions

Go Mama Go Designs Wonder Bumper



The Go Moms Go version of the crib bumper are individual fuzzy little slat covers called Wonder Bumpers. Wonder Bumpers are perfect for The Rocker. They are nicely padded to protect baby's head from bumping on the sides while allowing excellent airflow between the slats to reduce the risk of suffocation. Each cover is made with a zipper, thus avoiding the choking hazard of strings. 

Also, they Can be stretched or compressed to fit all size crib rails. They are reversible to mix and match the colors and made from 100% organic cotton. Go Moms Go also make teething covers for the top crib railing.

Lastly, the Wonder Bumpers are easy to throw in the washing machine, though some reviewers claim they lose their shape when washed. It is recommend to only wash ten at a time and air dry, which does make the washing less efficient and quick. These can be purchased individually or in a lot, thus making them pricey. Wonder bumpers only cover the individual crib slats rendering them unsuitable for The Acrobat.

Pros

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    Great for headbanging
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    Lots of colors
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    Allow air-flow to prevent SIDS
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    No strings! No strangulation!

Cons

  • Not for The Wee Acrobat
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    Not easy to machine wash
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    Pricy

Lifenest Breathable Padded Mesh Crib Bumper

Lifenest has tackled the goal of creating a safe, breathable crib bumper that is made with mesh and padding to work for both The Acrobat and The Rocker. The liner is made from Green Gold Certified 100% polyester, thus making it a safe material with great airflow while still remaining soft. The Lifenest bumper reduces the chance of suffocation or entanglement due to the liners breathability, which has been scientifically tested by Nelson Laboratories.

The Lifenest is hypoallergenic and comes in BPA, phthalate free packaging. It is collapsible to prevent climbing, fits most cribs and comes in a variety of colors to coordinate with your nursery. It is machine washable.

Furthermore, despite its other stellar safety qualities, it does have strings, thus increasing the risk of strangulation. The ties aren't necessarily a deterrent from buying this bumper; it just means you will have to be extra careful in installing it in your baby's crib. Remember to triple tie those strings.

Lastly, though many reviewers said this bumper worked great for them, there were a few who claimed that the Lifenest is hard to install due to being in one long, non-adjustable piece. 


Pros

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    Lightly padded
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    Breathable to help prevent SIDS
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    Collapses easily
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    Pretty Colors

Cons

  • Difficult to install due to being one long piece
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    Not adjustable
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    Ties! Need to make sure to tie securely
  • TILLYOU Tall and Thin Crib Bumper


    The TILLYOU has created a bumper that is padded for The Rocker and wraps entirely around the crib to keep The Acrobats' limbs safe inside. TILLYOU has made this bumper from 100% breathable microfiber polyester, thus making it safe from suffocation and entangle. This bumper is collapsible to keep baby from falling out of crib. 

    This bumper is affordable and comes in many beautiful colors. It is machine washable. The TILLYOU is very similar to the Lifenest. However, unlike the Lifenest, it comes in four different pieces for easier installation.

    Lastly, it does have strings, so be sure to triple tie to keep baby safe from strangulation. Also, though the TILLYOU four-piece design does make it easier for installing, some reviews claimed they still had difficulty making it fit in their crib.

    Pros

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      Easy Installation
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      Lots of colors and patterns
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      Allow air-flow to prevent SIDS
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      Collapses easily

    Cons

    • Has strings, so tie tight
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      Shrinks after wash
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      Doesn't fit standard crib

    Bitzy Baby 'Bitzy Bumper'

    Bitzy Baby has created their ‘Bitzy Bumper' as the answer to crib bumper safety. The 'Bitzy' consists of 3D mesh inserts, that cushion and protect The Rocker's head from banging against the crib. It has a 100% microfiber shell, which wraps around the crib to protect The Acrobat's limbs from getting entangled and collapses to keep baby from falling out.

    And, though the ‘bitzy' does have ties, they have been shortened to prevent strangulation. The ‘Bitzy' has been tested and claims to have thirty times less risk of suffocation and ten times less Co2 rebreathing risk.

    Finally, reviewers say it fits their cribs perfectly, is well constructed and comes in minimal packaging, thus creating less waste. Bitzy Baby says it fits any crib measuring 28" by 52", so that isn't every crib. Also, it doesn't come in many color choices and is pricey.

    Pros

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      Lightly padded
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      Breathable to help prevent SIDS
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      Collapses easily
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      Easy to Install and Great fit

    Cons

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      Not many colors
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      Ties! Need to make sure to tie securely



    7 Alternatives to Cribs and Crib Bumpers

    Furthermore, if you still feel uncomfortable with using crib bumpers, then don't. There are other places baby can sleep besides a crib, thus making crib bumpers unnecessary.

    DockaTot Deluxe

    The DockATot is "reinventing the womb" with their small mattress pad that mimics the coziness of the womb. This versatile little pad can be used as a co-sleeper in your bed or placed in a crib. It is lightweight making it great for traveling. It is the perfect little lounger, working as a safe place to lay baby down while making dinner or getting other household chores done.

    Furthermore, the DockaTot is hypoallergenic and phthalate free, made from 100% polyester. It comes with a washable 100% cotton cover, of which you can buy extras along with many other accessories. There are many stylish covers to choose from to match your aesthetic. Its rounded bumper is excellent for facilitating tummy time. The DockATot has been highly tested and certified for safety.

    Additionally, the DockATot comes in two sizes, Deluxe and Grand, which is necessary since the Deluxe only goes up to six months or twenty two pounds. Many reviews rave about the product saying it helps their babies have a peaceful night's rest, while others weren't so crazy about the price tag. Some complained that, despite DockaTot's claim of a comfortable microclimate, their babies got too hot and therefore uncomfortable.

    Lastly, this is an expensive product, but worth it if it works for your baby.

    Pros

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      Portable
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      Breathable and Hypoallergenic
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      Beautifully designed and well made
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      Great for tummy time

    Cons

    • Size 0-8 months before needing The Grand
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      Cover is difficult to remove and can't be dried
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      Pricy

    4Moms MamaRoo 4

    Yes, this is a baby swing, not a bed. However, if you have a colicky, doesn't want to be set down on a flat surface baby, a baby swing as a bed will save your life. This swing is the most high-tech on the market with five different movements that mimic the way you move. With motions named car ride, kangaroo, tree swing, rock-a-bye, and wave, there are plenty of different ways to soothe a crying baby. Also, it has adjustable seat recline, five different speeds, speakers, and an mp3 dock.

    Another great feature is the harness. If you have a baby who fishtails themselves awake in their swaddle, you can easily strap that tail down with the MamaRoo harness. It is small and movable so it can be a safe place to set baby while making a meal. The seat is removable and machine washable.

    The MamaRoo is highly rated and reviewed, and there isn't much to find wrong with it. This swing even has Bluetooth to control the movements, speed, volume and built-in sounds from your phone. However, you can't connect Bluetooth with any outside sounds, like Spotify or Pandora. It has a mobile with interactive, reversible balls, but it does not move or light up thus rendering it sad and almost useless. The speakers don't produce good quality sound.

    Lastly, the purchase of the infant insert is necessary to make the seat snugger for slumber. Once baby grows out of the infant insert or begins to roll over, you will want to find another place for baby to sleep. However, you can continue to use it as a swing up to 25 pounds.

    Pros

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      Machine Washable
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      Amazing and Unique movements
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      Compact Size
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      Mobile Control

    Cons

    • Boring mobile
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      Speakers are terrible
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      Big price tag

    My Green Mattress (or any mattress)

    Simply place a mattress on the floor. Easy and can be used throughout their childhood. The key to making this a safe mode of sleep is to completely childproof the room baby will be sleeping in. Lay baby on the mattress without blankets or pillows and you are good to go.

    My Green Mattress makes GREENGUARD gold certified mattresses made from GOTS organic cotton and All-Natural, Eco-Wool, that are comfy and soft for your baby. These mattresses are nontoxic and flame retardant free, so no chemicals leaching into your baby while they sleep. Best of all they are made in the USA.

    Furthermore, the mattress is delivered compressed and rolled for easy install. Just make sure to purchase a good while before baby arrives to give the mattress time to decompress and off-gas, though there isn't too much of a need for off-gassing due to the natural materials that make this bed. They also give you a hundred nights to try it out and a ten-year manufacturer warranty.

    Finally, this mattress is well-liked by reviewers. The most significant complaint about the bed is that it has an earthy smell from the Eco-Wool. The manufactures suggested the buyer let it air out in the sun, which seemed to remedy the problem. Other reviewers said they had no issues with smell. 

    My Green Mattress company quickly addressed or replaced any problematic mattresses, which shows they honor their warranty.

    Pros

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      Long lasting
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      Easy installation
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      Only need sheets

    Cons

    • Need a baby proof room

    Graco Pack N Play Travel Lite Playard 

    The Graco Pack N Play Travel Lite Playard is very similar to a crib. Unlike most cribs, this bed is small and portable. The Travel Lite is twenty times smaller than traditional playards, making it a great space saver and perfect for traveling. It has soft, breathable, airy mesh sides, so no bumper required. It is easy to assemble and has a push button fold and simple carry bag.

    This bed weighs less than twenty pounds making it easy to move from room to room. So, when not using it as a bed it can be used as a safe place to lay the baby, allowing you to get some work done. The Travel Lite comes with a built-in bassinet, perfect for a newborn up to eighteen pounds. It comes with a canopy with hanging plush toys, to shield baby from light and entertain baby.

    All in all, while it comes in three styles to choose from, it does not come with bedding. Reviewers biggest issue with this playard is that sheets are hard to find which fit. A few reviewers said they were able to find changing covers or pillowcases that worked well.

    Finally, the biggest issue with the Travel Lite is that the mattress is vinyl and fire retardant, not the safest materials for a baby. However, one reviewer felt comfortable using a pillowcase made from natural materials as a buffer.

    Pros

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      Small and Portable
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      Removable Bassinet to grow with baby
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      Afforadable

    Cons

    • Some assembly required
    • Sheets that fit are hard to find

    Happiest Baby SNOO Smart Sleeper

    The SNOO by Happiest Baby is the most high-tech bassinet on the market. Pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp designed the SNOO to boost sleep using soothing white noise and movements, which mimic the womb. Made with smart technology to detect when a baby cries the SNOO can react accordingly to save sleeping parents from having to get up to lull baby back to sleep.

    Furthermore, it has breathable, soft mesh sides to allow air flow and keep baby cool. Happiest Baby created a sleep sack that is designed to clip to the SNOO, thus tethering baby down to keep baby safe and snug and from rolling over. The SNOO comes with three patented sleep sacks. This 100% organic cotton bed comes with mobile control.

    All in all, the SNOO is one spectacular bed and is highly loved by reviewers. However, it does come with one very, very high price tag and it can only be used up to six months of age.

    Pros

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      Beautifully built and designed
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      Mobile control
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      100% organic cotton
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      Comes with 3 sleep sacks

    Cons

    • Only sleeps up to 6 months
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      Very, very expensive

    The First Years Close and Secure Sleeper

    The Close and Secure is for co-sleeping. Set this little bed in the middle of your bed with some pillows in between and lay down right next to your baby, where you can hear their gentle breathing. This small bed is made from cotton and polyester, with side barriers to minimize entrapment.

    Furthermore, this little bed folds nicely for travel and storage. It has mesh sides for air circulation. It comes equipped with a removable, battery operated light. This co-sleeper comes with machine washable sheet and cover.

    Lastly, the Close and Secure makes bed sharing safer and is highly reviewed with favor. A few reviewers said their baby was able to roll out of it, but by the time your baby is in motion you should already be thinking of another place for your baby to sleep, perhaps merely in the bed with you.

    Pros

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      Hard barriers to protect baby from rolling parents
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      Minimized rick of entrapement
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      Portable
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      Machine washable sheet and cover

    Cons

    • Baby will out grow quickly
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      Baby can roll out
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      Need at least a King size bed

    The BABYBJORN Cradle

    The BABYBJORN Cradle is another small, lightweight, movable alternative to the traditional crib. This cradle is plastic free, made of wood, steel and safe and tested materials. The body is JPMA certified, with breathable mesh for airflow and high transparency providing visible assurance that your baby is safe. Made from 100% polyester.

    Additionally, there are no bars or lose parts eliminating the risk of entanglement. The BABYBJORN is easy to move so that you can have the baby near you in any part of the house. You can manually rock baby gently to sleep. There are additional accessories you can buy, such as washable, organic cotton sheets and a light shielding canopy.

    Ultimately, the reviewers highly recommend this “lovely and functional” cradle. However, they weren’t too happy about the way it rocks or its high price tag. Though relatively cheap compared to a standard crib, it seams pricey considering you will have to find a different place for baby to sleep after the age of six months.

    Pros

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      Light weight, movable
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      No risk of entrapment
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      JPMA Certified
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      Plastic free
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      Fitted Organic Sheets

    Cons

    • Baby will out grow quickly
    • Pricey for length of use
    • Doesn't rock well

    In Conclusion

    Not by choice, my little guy ended up sleeping in a 4moms MamaRoo. Actually, by night three with little to no sleep, it saved our lives. The swing was the only place he would let us lay him down. Once he learned to roll over, he ended up in our bed in a co-sleeper much like The First Years Close and Secure. Now that he is too big for the co-sleeper he sleeps in the bed with us.

    But, if I had the money to spend I would have splurged on the SNOO. It simply sounds and looks fantastic. I would love to give it a try.

    Finally, as parents naturally, we worry. So no matter if you choose to go the crib and best crib bumper route or one of the alternatives you will still feel anxious about your baby's safety. One of the best ways to cut your anxiety in half and to reduce the chance of SIDS is cohabitation. The American Academy of Pediatrics is saying that sharing your room with your baby for at least one year drastically cuts down the risk of SIDS.

    Also, you can continue to check off your baby list by taking a look at out Best Jogging Stroller Reviews and Guide for 2018 and Best Electric Bottle Sterilizer to Keep Your Kid Safe.

    Happy Hunting!

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