My daughter is almost 4 months old and she is already rolling over from her back to stomach and same the other way. She is also starting to get her leg between the rails of her crib. When she gets her leg in the railing it usually at night when she is asleep. She gets her leg all the way up to her knee and hurts herself.

I was just curious if it would be too early to get a crib bumper (a breathable mesh covering of the railing) until sbe starts to pull up and then I could remove it.

  • I had the same problem with my son. I used a travel bed with a good matress for several month. Worked well. Example for the travel bed I used (am from Germany, they are very common here): amazon.com/Comfortable-Playard-Sturdy-Play-Mattress/dp/… Edit: found out it's called a play yard in USA. We use them as travel bed. Just replace the matress with a good one.
    – Korinna
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 6:46

3 Answers 3


The AAP says never use crib bumpers:

Crib bumpers (or bumper pads) may seem as though they can help protect babies from drafts and bumps, but they should not be used in cribs. There is no evidence that bumper pads can prevent serious injuries, and they pose a risk of suffocation, strangulation, or entrapment. In addition, older babies can use them for climbing out of the crib.

Source: Choosing a Crib

  • 15
    @MommaConley legs going through bars won't suffocate them, the worst you'll get is a scream when they get frustrated that they can't get them loose. But the chance of harm is almost nil, and they soon learn not to do that!
    – Jamiec
    Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 7:52
  • 2
    @MommaConley: That is important information, which should be added to your question (you can edit it anytime). I edited the question for you; please review and re-edit accordingly - thanks!
    – sleske
    Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 7:53
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    While this answer is on-point, link-only answers are discouraged, so I took the liberty of adding a quote. Feel free to re-edit :-).
    – sleske
    Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 7:56
  • 11
    Legs and arms going through the bars are a first step in exploring the world. I suggest every parent welcome it. Throughout their growth, there will be many such explorations: being left alone for a little while for the first time, going-out somewhere, picking a girlfriend/boyfriend, driving their own car. For me, convincing myself that "it's going to be fine" through each was the toughest. But it's going to be fine :-)
    – Jeffrey
    Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 14:47
  • 5
    The gaps in the bars are deliberately wide enough that severe pinching is unlikely, particularly given that once a limb is through the bars, the baby has nothing there to push on to move. Contrast that with how many actual deaths have been reported where the cause involved a baby getting a limb wedged through the gap between bumpers and mattress. The number of babies suffocated either by the bumper or because the bumper allowed them to get trapped with their face stuck in something is terrifying, and that's before they get old enough to use the bumper to climb on and fall out... Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 15:20

I originally didn't want to write this as a separate answer because swbarnes2's answer is perfect. However, I did want to add this extra info.

Without a crib bumper the worst-case nightmare scenario, that is almost impossible is a broken arm or leg without a crib bumper (and I have never heard of that happening, it would be a freak accident). With a crib bumber the worst case scenario is suffocation and I hear about that all the time.

The only time a crib bumper is appropriate is when the child's head can fit through the rails of the crib because of a deformity of the child. Even then, it's better to stick with other forms of sleep like maybe a flat crib matress on the floor instead of in a crib. This example child would be a very odd exception and not the rule. To be clear if there is no deformity, and the childs head fits through the slats then it's time to go get a new crib.

For most everyone the answer is no, crib bumpers are not safe, and should be avoided. There is a very small population of children that may need a crib bumper due to circumstances, but even then other sleeping setups should be attempted first.

  • Yes, this. If the child's head fits through the slats, the crib is garbage. Cribs' rails are deliberately designed such that the slat distance is safe. In the European Union, there is even a standard for that (EN 716-1:1995/2008 und EN 716-2:1995/2008), which requires a slat distance of 65mm (2.5") or less. I have yet to see a baby with a head diameter of less than 65 mm, and I believe such a small diameter would be considered as a condition requiring medical attention, so you'd surely know.
    – sleske
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 8:31

swbarnes2's answer is the "correct" one because the AAP has lots of data they are basing their advice on. Having said that, I used a breathable mesh bumper with most of my 5 kids because of their tendency to get an arm or leg stuck which at best woke us up at night because they were stuck and at worst led to minor bruising. When I installed my bumper, I wove it through the bars and pulled it very tight so that there was no way an infant would be able to get fingers or anything between it and the bars. The bottom was below the level of the mattress so that nothing could go under it, either. The closest we ever got to having any problem with it was that one of our kids had a tendency to sleep with her face smashed up against the side of the crib. We removed it for her as a preventative measure. Other than that, no issues at all. Perhaps we just got lucky and were being irresponsible/uninformed. I can't help but wonder if all these suffocation incidents were not the result of the bumper simply being installed incorrectly.

Either way, as for them jumping out... if you have a jumper, they are gonna jump whether you have the bumper there or not. The bumper might make it a little easier, but at that age, they progress so quickly that (at least based on my limited experience) there won't be much of a time difference between their first escape with vs without a bumper. ...AND if they are old enough that jumping is starting to become a concern, they don't really need the bumper, anyway.

Bottom line: If she really is hurting herself, as you say, you will have to decide as the parent whether the risk of suffocation is enough to prevent these injuries.

  • This is my third and last child and i remember my second child gavung Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 1:03
  • Having the mess bumper and never had a problem with it. We went ahead and got this one a mess bumper but i know thag Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 1:05
  • That once she starts pulling up then i will have to remove the bumper Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 1:05

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