At one point, infant sleep positioners (sometimes called “nests” or “anti-roll” products) used to be something you’d find on every baby registry list.
We all know that babies should sleep on their backs, and what better way to make sure they do than by using something that will keep them in this position?
However, in 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning to all parents to stop using these positioners as they post a safety risk. 13 babies died as a result of using these positioners; the either rolled over and had their faces pressed against the positioner, or got trapped between it and the side of the crib.
“The deaths and dangerous situations resulting from the use of infant sleep positioners are a serious concern to CPSC,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “We urge parents and caregivers to take our warning seriously and stop using these sleep positioners, so that children can have a safer sleep.”
These sleep positioners were an awful idea, and if you have one, you should not use it. Please get rid of it!
Sleep positioners were meant to reduce the risk of SIDS, but the fact is that they never really did this, and only increased the risk of things going wrong while your baby sleeps.
Not available in stores, but can still be found online.
After these warnings were issued, most manufacturers ceased production of these items. You probably won’t find them in stores, but you should be warned that some can still be found for purchase online, or at second-hand stores.
You might look them up online and find that there were no recalls for it, but that doesn’t make it safe. Please don’t use it!
Don’t believe false claims.
Some manufacturers claim that their products prevent SIDS, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), an illness where stomach acids come back up the esophagus, or flat head syndrome.
The fact is that the FDA has never approved sleep positioners as a product that helps reduce or eliminate SIDS. They did, at one point, endorse them as a solution to GERD and flat head syndrome, but at this point the FDA does not condone the use of these products at all.
Don’t make a DIY positioner.
Some parents try to create their own positioners with pillows or rolled up blankets, but this is simply not safe at all. Anything extra in the bed, even blankets, can be a suffocation hazard.
Crib wedges: A different story.
A completely different type of positioner not included in the CPSC warnings, crib wedges are perfectly safe to use.
The reason is that these are placed underneath the mattress to elevate it slightly. The main reason for these are to reduce reflux or certain breathing issues. Please talk to your pediatrician before using these wedges!
The must-know rules for safe sleep.
Keeping your little one sleeping safely is simple. Just follow these simple rules:
- Baby should always sleep on their back.
- Never put any loose blankets, pillows or sheets in the crib with baby. These can become a strangulation hazard. Babies don’t need a pillow, and they will be warm enough with adequate clothing.
- Never put soft toys or any other objects in the crib with baby.
- Never use infant sleep positioners.
- Don’t let baby sleep in the same bed as you.
- Avoid falling asleep with baby on the sofa or an armchair.
Summing it up.
A flat, firm surface and adequate clothing are all baby needs for a safe, comfy sleep. Baby sleep positioners are nothing but a hazard, and should be avoided. Please don’t use them!