Why not to use sleep positioners
To be honest I was a bit surprised when FDA and CPSC issued their warning for parents not to use baby
sleep positioners. I believed that baby sleep positioners made babies sleep more safely, that’s why I made my website in the first place.
Of course, there were always few negative comments about these products, but also a lot of parents were happy with using them.
So I was very interested to find out why they’ve banned them all of a sudden.
Well, as it seems, over the last 13 years CPSC and FDA got 12 reports of infants between 1-4 months old who have died when they suffocated in these positioners. Dozens of parents also reported how they have placed their infants on their backs or sides in sleep positioners, only to found them later in potentially dangerous positions inside or out the sleep positioners.
Companies who produced these products claimed that their products can reduce the risk of SIDS. However, currently there are no scientific evidence to back up these claims.
Additionaly, The American Academy of Pediatrics have been advising parents for some time to avoid any commercial
devices which are marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS
Therefore, there is no evidence that they can improve baby’s safety, and they can even be dangerous – as they have been known to suffocate babies when they are not able to move their face away from the bolsters.
So what can parents do to maximize their child’s safety?
Parents should rely on tested methods to reduce the risk of SIDS. Here are tips for SIDS prevention:
- Sleeping on the back (put your baby to sleep on his or her back)
- breastfeeding – recent study shows that breast feeding reduces the risk of SIDS by approximately 50% at all infant ages (Vennemann MM, Bajanowski T, Brinkmann B, et al. (March 2009). “Does breastfeeding reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome?”)
- Secondhand smoke reduction – Avoid exposing the infant to smoke
- use bare crib and a firm mattress – “Product safety experts advise against using pillows, sleep positioners, bumper pads, stuffed animals, or fluffy bedding in the crib and recommend instead dressing the child warmly and keeping the crib “naked.”*
- using baby sleep bags (for example Merino Baby Sleep Bag) –
“A study published in the European Journal of Pediatrics in August 1998 has shown the protective effects of a sleep sack as reducing the incidence of turning from back to front during sleep, reinforcing putting a baby to sleep on its back for placement into the sleep sack and preventing bedding from coming up over the face which leads to increased temperature and carbon dioxide re-breathing.”*
*For more details about SIDS and its prevention visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudden_infant_death_syndrome
Alternatives to sleep positioners
Ok, let’s see two alternatives to baby sleep positioners.
1. Baby sleep bags
I already mentioned above, how a study confirmed baby sleep bag can reduce the risk of SIDS.
One such baby sleep bag with great feedback is Merino Baby Sleep Bag
2. Tucker Sling matress
For babies who need to be elevated, Tucker Sling Matress is a FDA registered product (as stated on official
website), which may be used for babies with GER/acid reflux or respiratory problems