Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Breathable Bumper Fiasco

Like any new mom out there, I try to follow the rules, and do a lot of things by the book. When I heard about the AAP recommendation to keep the crib empty and avoid using bumpers, loose blankets, pillows.. etc I was all for it! It made perfect sense how padded bumpers and blankets could pose a risk for suffocation or increase the chances of SIDS. 

Her crib looked so bare with just the fitted sheet and I would drool longingly at all the cute bedding sets I saw on pinterest and other baby blogs, but decided to stick to my guns and resist adding any unnecessary accessories to her crib. My resolve didnt last very long... because my darling baby was such an active little creeper! She would wiggle around and always end up at the very edge of the crib with her arm or leg stuck in between the slats. I was so worried she would break an arm or leg because once she got stuck she would struggle to get free. Deep down inside I knew that a broken limb was much better than being unable to breathe but as a mom its still frightening to look over at the crib and see your helpless little baby stuck in an awkward position. I decided to give the breathable bumper a chance. I had seen it many times in the store so I knew exactly which aisle to go to. We drove over to the nearest Target and picked up a packet, threw it in the laundry and then started to install it.  Everything went down hill from there

Firstly I must tell you, it looks much more breathable from the outside of the pack than it really is. See the bumper is supposed to be a thin layer of mesh fabric that allows air to flow unrestricted,. This is what it looks like while in the pack

So I foolishly assumed it really was just a mesh fabric, but no that would be way too simple, what you can't see from the outside is that the bumper is actually made of two layers of fabric, the nice mesh that you see from the outside and a foam like padding on the back so its not really as lightweight as you think. Bear in mind that this is 100% polyester, so how breathable can the foam really be?

Anyway that was just the first of many issues we ran in to that day. The back of the pack says the bumper fits all cribs, regardless of whether is has solid sides or not. I didnt really think much about it until after I had opened the pack and put it in the laundry. 

If I wasnt a gullible new mom, I would have asked myself, "Self, how on earth can this properly fit all cribs, is this a magic stretchy bumper?" No, not all. It is basically two long strips of  fabric. One is slightly longer than the other. And for our crib which has slats all around it, the correct installation should be like the picture above with no gaps at all. Think about it logically. The only way to install two pieces of fabric on a crib and have no gaps means the fabric has to overlap at two points. The ends of the fabric have a hook & loop (velcro) feature, which has been set up in such a way that to install each end of fabric, the bumper must overlap once like in the photo below. Except that in reality there is much longer over lap than that.

Now to make sure there aren't any gaps in the bumper you have to get two overlaps at the same spot, resulting in 4 layers of fabric. The video and screen shots below will help you understand exactly what I mean. If you pay attention to the red circled areas you can see where there are 4 layers of fabric overlapping each other. You can view the full video here

Basically at two opposite sides of the crib you will have 4 layers of this so called "breathable fabric" overlapping. FOUR LAYERS! So tell me is it still breathable through 4 layers??  The video makes it seem as though the overlaps are just short pieces of fabric but no they aren't. My crib is a full size crib that converts into a toddler bed and I still have over 2 feet of fabric left over that just overlaps and doubles the thickness of the bumper on both ends.  Frustrating to say the least.

We ended up only using one of the two strips of bumper fabric, so it covers the back and sides of the crib and we only get overlaps of two layers of fabric. We decided to leave the front of the crib open so we can see her and so we wouldnt have to deal with all the excess bumper fabric overlapping.

Would I recommend this to anyone? NO!  It is really not worth the hassle and the cost in my opinion.  I would have returned it asap if I hadnt thrown all the packaging away when I bought it.

1 comment:

  1. That does not look breathable to me at all!!!
    It is shame you could not return it due to throwing the packaging away.