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To bumper or not to bumper

Written by: Suzanna March 05 2012 When you have a baby, there are lots of major decisions that you make about the long-term well-being of your child—to immunize or not, to breastfeed or not, to put that picture showing your baby’s bare butt on Facebook or not. (Hint: Always go with the “or not” on...

Written by: Suzanna

When you have a baby, there are lots of major decisions that you make about the long-term well-being of your child—to immunize or not, to breastfeed or not, to put that picture showing your baby’s bare butt on Facebook or not. (Hint: Always go with the “or not” on that last one, unless he has an actual bear butt, in which case, by all means post away. And tag me so I don’t miss it.) The list is interminably long.

This week, the decision that has me stumped is whether to bumper or not to bumper. When I put it like that, it sounds a lot like the decision I had to make at amusement parks as a kid. (In other words, not important at all.) But, unlike the decision about whether to practice being a bad driver at seven-years-old, this one matters. The choice has nothing to do with whether or not to ram my car into someone else’s car for fun, but whether or not I’m okay with allowing my baby to ram his head into a hard object not for fun.

For the last few months, Jacob has been sleeping peacefully every night in his “Endless Summer” co-sleeper in his crib. Unfortunately, the kid is growing like a weed (one of the pretty ones that look like flowers), and, of late, has been spending much of his in-bed time throwing his appendages over the edge of the sleeper. (An attempt to escape?)
So, knowing that the time is coming when I’ll have to place him directly into his crib, I’ve had to face the controversial issue of crib bumpering. On the one hand, the idea that he could roll over and smother in the sides of his crib freaks me out to no end. But, the more-likely possibility that his little arms and legs could get stuck in the slats or, as I mentioned earlier, he could bump his face against the wood isn’t exactly ideal either.

So, what’s a mother to do?

If there’s anything I’ve discovered about life, it’s that there’s nothing you can’t discover about life from Google. So, in a quest to unearth the answer to this week’s great life dilemma—to bumper or not to bumper—I set my fingers a-typing.

(By the way, to the non-parent, this entire quandary probably doesn’t seem at all important, but when you’re a mama, even the most mundane subjects have the ability to consume your thought processes if they involve your child. Think: baby clothes, baby poop, baby slobber, baby toys, you get the idea. A subject has to only be prefaced by the word “baby” or any other baby-related word, such as “crib,” to interest a mother.)

Anyway, what I found from my Google search was a breathable crib bumper—and an inner-sense of remorse that I hadn’t thought of it first. The liners keep your little one’s arms and legs safe without the SIDS risk of re-breathing air, which, in turn, reduces your motherly compulsion to worry. (Notice, I didn’t say “removes.”)

It’s a win-win.

Of course, being fairly cheap, er, thrifty, I’m not particularly thrilled about spending the money on it. (Yes, I know. They’re only $20, but see above sentence.) And, being fairly persnickety about the looks of things, I’m not crazy about it not matching Jacob’s bedding. But, in the scheme of motherhood, anything that sets your mind at ease is worth a sacrifice of time and aesthetics. So, on to breathable bumper-ing we go!

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