Reader Carolyn, rookie mom to Clara, sent us an email to share her enthusiasm for a crib protector. It protects baby from crib (and crib from baby!)
What Carolyn said:
I was always confident leaving our 4 Â½ month old daughter, Clara, in her crib to snooze, until one day she bumped her teeth on the side of her crib railing and began to scream. Even though she didn’t bang her mouth hard enough to cause an injury (unlike the time I fell and bumped my own teeth on a table””thank goodness for the saints at our cosmetic dentist office) and there was no damage done to her teeth or mouth, my husband and I vowed to find a solution, and we began our search for a product that my sister told me about using with for my 8-month old nephew called a crib rail cover.
This product is really ingenious. The crib rail cover that we bought was from Trend-Lab and it was just under $20, but I noticed after that I could have purchased another brand of crib rail cover on Amazon.com for about $15).
The crib rail cover we purchased wraps tightly around the rail of most standard baby cribs. With crib rail cover’s thick batting pads (the one we bought measured in at a quarter inches), the crib teething rail acts as a protector for baby and crib, safely covering the wood on the crib rail from Clara’s toothy damage; as well as protecting our precious daughter from doing any damage to her mouth or ingesting any wood stain, varnish or paint chips from her crib. Plus, the crib rail cover that we purchased is covered in super plush Sherpa fleece (this was the selling point for me), which, I imagine, feels much softer on our daughter’s sensitive teeth and gums compared to a hard crib rail.
Why do we love our crib rail cover?
It’s soft, safe and easy-to-use””I can feel confident putting our daughter to bed with it on her crib
The crib rail cover protects our Clara from ingesting any dangerous crib parts””like wood chips, stain or varnish
The crib rail cover protects our crib purchase from unsightly baby teeth gnaw marks, and we might actually be able to use the crib for our next baby
We can attach Clara’s teething toys right to the crib rail cover with the handy Velcro tabs, so if she gets sick of it, she can suck on another choice toy
The crib rail cover wraps easily over the crib rail and ties in place
It’s soft Sherpa fleece on one side with a waterproof backing on the opposite side””protecting our wooden crib from dreaded drool damage
To wash it, I just throw in the washer and dryer
What we don’t like about our crib rail cover?
The crib rail cover that we ordered was only available in white, so while it matches pretty much any nursery dÃ©cor, it gets stained easily and it’s hard to wash the stains out
The crib rail cover is designed to fit most convertible cribs, however, I purchased one, the ties were a little too short to fit her crib rail even when she pulled really hard. Just be sure to measure before purchasing
Some babies, like my godson, Leo , was able to figure out how to untie and remove the cover on his own. I guess he preferred to gnaw on a harder surface””the product could be better baby-proofed.
At what age will my baby need a crib rail cover?
Babies generally start teething between four and seven months old, but they aren’t likely to gnaw on their crib until later in that window. Most babies can’t reach their crib rail until they start pulling up to stand, which most first attempt between eight and 10 months old. So even if your baby has cut his first tooth, you may have some time before a rail cover becomes a necessity
What’s the difference between a crib bumper and a crib rail cover?
Many people confuse the two, but they serve totally different purposes. While both technically could be affixed all the way around the crib, they attach at different heights and serve different functions. A crib bumper attaches to the crib walls at the bottom, near the mattress. They help prevent your baby from getting a hand or foot stuck between the posts. The crib rail cover, on the other hand, prevents your baby from chewing on the rails, which keeps paint and wood chips out of his mouth.
How often should I wash the rail cover?
If your rail cover discourages your baby from chewing on the rail, you can probably get away with changing it out at the same time as your crib sheets, about once a week. If your baby continues to chew despite the cover, wash it whenever the cover is soaked. A little bit of drool won’t hurt, but large amounts of saliva may stay wet long enough to breed bacteria, compromise the wood rail finish, or promote mold or mildew.