Monday, February 1, 2010

Looking at crib guards – if I had a small animal that came and gnawed on my child’s crib at night, how would I protect it?

The other day I walked into my daughter’s room to get her in the morning and noticed all this white stuff on her face. I admit that I’d been a little slow coming to get her, as I was finishing getting dressed, so I wondered – was she so fussy because she spit up? As I got closer though, no… it wasn’t spit up. It was paint chips! While standing waiting for me, she’d started gnawing on her crib railing and had pulled the paint off!

I grabbed her out of the crib and started making phone calls to friends. The messages I left went something like this. “Hi. I need your advice. This is totally weird and I’ve never even heard of anything like it, so I doubt there’s much to do, but… She seems to be eating her crib! I’ve never heard of a child doing that! What do I do?” I finally got a couple of friends on the phone who said that they’d never heard of it either, but were “sure it was safe.” In the interim, I’d left a message at the manufacturers and when I didn’t get a response, my husband called too. They assured him that the paint was non-toxic (not lead based!), but that this wasn’t covered under warranty (unless it was peeling due to a defect. Nope – it’s peeling due to teeth.).

So we were left with trying to get her out the crib as soon as we could! No waiting lest she gnaw her way out! (OK, a little overzealous, but you see my point. I put her in the crib for 2 minutes so I could go to the bathroom and she’d gotten a new spot stripped – it took no time!) I had no idea how to make her stop! My only thought was, given her complete and total aversion to solid foods, I could cover the thing in cheerios – she won’t put those anywhere near her mouth! (It’s my proposed solution to anything I don’t want her to chew on. The thing is I’m pretty sure she’ll still decide to chew on those things – it’ll just be coupled with her gagging and throwing up a lot more.)

Finally another friend called back and said – oh, they sell crib guards, but I’m sure other people have already told you this. What? No! What are they? So off we went to babies r us to look for “crib guards.” We looked by cribs and bedding, but nothing. Hmm… OK, let’s ask. The first person I asked didn’t recognize the term and said – what? I started to explain that it prevented the baby from chewing on the crib while my husband said, you know, like if a small animal snuck into our house in the night and started gnawing at the wood of our crib – maybe a beaver? (Because OUR daughter would never do something so crazy…) She directed us to the safety section and we found our answer – essentially a blanket that velcro’s over the front part of the crib – like a saddle blanket (but don’t say that to her – then she’ll start trying to ride it…).

So does anyone else have a child who gnaws on his/her crib? (I’m still feeling like I’m the only one!) And, while we’re on the topic, does anyone else have a child who shows a real aversion to solid food? How did you help them over that hurdle?


  1. My year old son doesn't like most baby food. He will eat some of the fruits but that about it. We now give him bites of our food--soft enough for him to chew. Maybe you can try her on some of what you are eating. just make sure it is soft and small bites. Some baby food just tastes aweful. This works for us.

  2. Leah definitely gnaws on her crib rail. It's usually when she's sleepy but doesn't want to give up the fight. Our crib is a natural wood color, so there's no paint issue with us, but she's eating some kind of polish or glaze or something when she does it. Fantastic.

    I've been thinking of getting a crib guard. Does it work?

  3. I couldn't respond via email, so hopefully you'll see this comment. Yes! The crib guard does work! It wasn't too expensive and was easy to put on (we just washed it first since it was cloth). My friends have plastic ones that snap on, which they also really like. I wasn't sure those would work as well with the design of our crib rail and just liked htis better.


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