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How to Prevent Baby From Hitting Head on Crib While Sleeping

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It seems like we’re stuck in a constant battle with little ones and sleep. When they’re little, they learn to scoot upwards before anything else, which results in them hitting their head on the bars.

As they get older, we think this will stop. Then, they become older and toss and turn so much in their sleep that we go through the same thing all over again.

Thankfully, there are quite a few solutions you can use for babies to prevent them from hitting their heads. 

Consider A Portable Co-Sleeper Or Bassinet

Personally, I love these things for newborn babies. The grandbaby slept in one until he was too big for it and hated it.

There is a mesh side so that it can fold down if you need to take it somewhere. This soft side also means that it won’t hurt your little one if they scoot up in their sleep. 

These are great for smaller babies but are not ideal for children that are too big for a bassinet. If your little one is already too big for a bassinet, consider other methods to help them get a restful night’s sleep. 

Mesh Bumper Pads

Mesh bumper pads can provide a tiny bit of protection so that when your little one is rolling around, they won’t smack their head quite as hard on the wooden bars.

This isn’t full proof, but it can help. Some people have sewn pillows into the mesh bumper pads for additional protection, and then sewn extra ties to make sure that the pillow doesn’t come loose and present a suffocation hazard.

If you choose to use mesh bumper pads, make sure to weave them in and out of bars, alternating bars. This helps them stay put so they don’t become a hazard to your baby. 

Start Them Off At The Bottom Of The Bed

Some babies scoot up a little bit and then stop. If your baby is in the middle of the bed, they simply don’t have as much room to scoot up without hitting their head.

Try starting them off at the bottom of the bed so they have more room to scoot. This alone might be enough to prevent them from hitting their head on their crib. 

Consider A Toddler Bed

If your little one is almost two, and constantly rolling around, it might be time to consider a toddler bed.

These provide a little bit more space for them to toss and turn. They also usually have plastic headboards that aren’t as uncomfortable as the wood bars on a crib. 

Upgrade To A Twin Sized Bed With A Rail

If you already have a crib that is the same size as a toddler bed, your little one might have the same problem. In this situation, consider getting them a full bed of their own. Then, put a rail on each side for safety reasons.

You don’t want them to fall off the bed! This will give them plenty of room to move around without hitting their head and waking up. 

Give Older Children A Pillow

If your baby is closer to two, a pillow is no longer considered a suffocation hazard. It’s considered safe to give a child a pillow once they hit the eighteen-month mark.

If your little one has a pillow and scoots up, the pillow will scoot with them. Then, it will provide some cushion against the bars of the crib. 

Make Use Of Your Old Pool Noodles

If you’ve got some old pool noodles, you can get crafty with them. Cut a line down the back. Then, cut them to the same size as your crib rails in length.

Next, wrap them around every other bar. If you do this with every bar it can be a suffocation hazard for younger babies.

However, every other bar usually doesn’t leave enough room for their head to hit the bar that doesn’t have a pool noodle on it. Moms that hate the look can sew fabric around them so that they will match the nursery!

Buy Rail Guards

There are Pinterest moms that will love the crafty idea mentioned above. Then, there are Amazon Prime moms that simply are not going to do that.

If you fall in the latter category, here’s an awesome link to some rail guards that will do the exact same things as the pool noodles mentioned above. 

These are specifically designed for the top rails on a crib, but you can use them for the rails along the side too. You might have to cut them to size and order more than one set, though. 

Get A Guard Rail

There are rails that have legs that slide right under the mattress. The mesh part ensures that your little one won’t suffocate if they wind up against it. However, it also provides a little bit of protection from those hard wooden bars. 

Floor Beds Are Another Option

We usually associate a mattress on the floor with people that can’t afford a bed frame, but these are actually a thing. It’s called a floor bed.

Some parents opt to use a floor bed with little ones that fall out of the bed or are having problems sleeping in their bed. Parents that opt for Montessori styled parenting methods typically start babies off in floor beds.

A thin mattress on the floor in a childproof room is completely safe for your baby, and they won’t hit their head or hurt themselves if they fall off the bed. Keep in mind there will be an adjustment period to getting them to stay in the bed. 

In Conclusion

When your little one consistently hits their head on the crib, it’s time to consider that the current sleeping situation is not working for your little one.

You’ll need to either cushion the bars in a safe way or consider another bed for them to sleep in that will work for them. Remember, don’t use soft cushions with babies as they can be a suffocation hazard. 

My name is Amber Dixon. I am a mother to three wonderful children, and recently welcomed a beautiful grandson into the world as well as into my home. I've learned a great deal about raising children through my own experiences as a mother, but also from several other places. While working at a daycare full time, I learned about childhood development, teaching children, and more. Through earning degrees in Social Work, I was educated about human development, including a great deal about children and childhood development. My education and experience combined have taught me a lot about children of every stage and age, and I hope that I can help you on your journey to becoming the best parent that you can be!