Bumper Pads: A risk I’m not willing to take

Today’s blog includes thoughts from a mama-to-be:

The countdown is on, and the anticipation of welcoming my new little bundle occupies my every thought. The newborn sleepers are folded (so cute), diapers ready to go and my beautiful rocking chair is begging to be used. The doorbell rings and I feel giddy with excitement as I spot a large parcel gracing our doorstep.  When I tear through the packaging I discover a gorgeous blanket and bumper pad set.

A few minutes pass before my excitement turns to disappointment after I remember a discussion from prenatal class – something about the increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) when placing soft items in the crib.  Our class was surprised to learn that just because stores sell baby items (like these), doesn’t always mean they are safe to use!

Frustrated and needing more answers, I decided to call 311 to speak with a local public health nurse at HaltonParents.  After a helpful chat with the nurse, she suggested I do some homework by checking out a few of the following credible websites for more information:

Close-up of a baby boy sleepingI am starting to learn that parenting decisions aren’t always straightforward! But after chatting with the nurse and doing my own research, I now feel like I have made an informed decision.

Keeping the bumper pads out of the crib makes a lot of sense. Young babies have weak neck muscles and developing brains, so moving around is work for them, especially if they are sleepy. The risk of serious injuries from suffocation or from getting their head trapped, is not a chance I am willing to take.

Here’s what I learned:

The Public Health Agency of Canada states, “Other than a firm mattress and a fitted sheet, there is no need for any extra items in the crib, cradle or bassinet. Soft bedding, such as pillows, comforters, quilts and bumper pads, can increase the risk of suffocation.”

5 more tips for creating a safe sleep environment and reducing the risk of SIDS (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2014)

  1. Provide a smoke-free environment before and after your baby is born.
  2. Breastfeeding can protect your baby.
  3. Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, at naptime and night time.
  4. Provide your baby with a safe sleep environment that has a firm surface and no pillows, comforters, quilts or bumper pads.
  5. Place your baby to sleep in a crib, cradle or bassinet next to your bed.

It was interesting to read that bumper pads were originally created years ago to prevent an infant’s head from becoming stuck between the crib slats (bars).  Since 1986, new crib regulations ensure the slats are much closer together so this can no longer happen – phew!

As for my beautiful gift, I decided to keep it and re-purpose it. Thanks to Pinterest, I have created new throw cushions for my rocking chair and will use the adorable blanket for some baby tummy time.

P.S.- Good Luck, and I wish you the best on your parenting journey…



Being a new parent can challenge the way we think, share your thoughts with us:

For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.


About Carolyn Wilkie, RN

For most of my nursing years I have been out in the community supporting new parents on their fabulous journey into parenthood! I love working as part of the HaltonParents team. I have 2 awesome boys, who make me smile daily! So glad we could connect.
This entry was posted in Babies, Keeping Your Baby Safe, Parenting, Parenting Your Baby, Play, Growth & Development for Babies, Pregnancy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Bumper Pads: A risk I’m not willing to take

  1. Pingback: Five easy ways to help keep your baby safe when they sleep | HaltonParents

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