Friday, January 27, 2012

The Great Bumper Debate

Most parents that I talk to have their own first-time-parent "if I only knew" laments when it comes to baby gear and accessories.  I can't count the number of times I've heard someone say, "Oh, I just HAD to have (insert currently trendy baby item), and I only ended up using it twice."  Therefore, I was in serious minimalist mode when I started the baby registry.  I wanted the best essentials, skip the cutesy nonsense (wipes warmer, really?), thank you very much.  If our friends and family were going to be generous enough to shower us with gifts, I wanted to be certain they would be put to use.

Between friends and family who helped determine what loosely classified as "essential," and my penchant for trolling forums and customer reviews, I felt that my final registry list was perfect.  The one place where I gave myself a break from "essential" was the nursery.  I just HAD to have the  theme with matching bedding  and window valences. Yeah, the bunny meadow lamp was $50, but look how cute it matches the bedding!  We'll momentarily ignore the fact that the $50 lamp barely puts off any light, thus necessitating a second lamp in the nursery.

Naturally, this is the exact area where I have run into my very own "if I only knew...." If I only knew that babies can't actually use crib bedding! A big ticket item on the registry!  I knew baby blankets/quilts are a no-no in the crib, but I use ours to warm my feet during nighttime feedings so it's not a total waste.  What I did not know was that crib bumpers have been categorized as a suffocating hazard.  So, there ya go, the meat and potatoes of the bedding are basically useless. 

Until recently, the bumpers were set up in the crib and the nursery looked as adorable as I had hoped.  But once we started the sleep transition from our room to the Grub's room, we dutifully removed them.  This is when the bumpers became a thorn in my side.  What the hell am I supposed to do with these things? I tried using them on the floor as a sort of throw pillow, but then I'm tripping all over them during night feedings.  I tried looking up DIY craft projects to turn them into something usable, but then I remembered that I'm no Martha Stewart.  And I certainly can't get rid of them because they match the damn theme.  So they are piled up behind the rocking chair, awaiting their fate..

But, in the back of my head, I keep thinking, really? If bumpers are so dangerous, why are they still sold with virtually every bedding set on the market?  Is this anti-bumper movement just the latest trend in radical over protective parenting?  Or am I just wanting to use them so badly because our parents spent all this money on this fancy bedding that I HAD to have?

On top of this, for the seventh time in as many days, I've had to rescue my screaming baby from her crib because one of her little limbs was stuck in the crib slats.  The lovely time lapse photography gif to the left confirms that the little wiggle worm moves around a lot in her sleep, just like her parents.  

I'm really on the fence about this one.  I certainly don't want to endanger my baby.  But now that she's finally getting comfortable with the crib, I don't need her making negative associations with being in it; besides that fact that her sleep is being disrupted. Going to have to give this one some thought and see how things go the next couple of days :(

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