Parenting

After Massive Product Recall, Experts Discuss Tips for Safe Infant Sleep

Unless your baby is sleeping on a firm mattress in an empty crib, they’re not safe, experts say

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It's no easy task to ensure a good night's sleep for babies and their parents.

Last week we told you about a massive recall of three million Boppy loungers, after the product was linked to a number of infant deaths. But there have been dozens more deaths linked to other products used for infant sleep.

The CDC, pediatricians, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the FDA all warn that unless your baby is sleeping on a firm mattress in an empty crib, they’re not safe.

“Babies should sleep alone in their own space, on a firm flat surface that is free of soft bedding or restraints," said Oriene Shin, a consumer safety specialist at Consumer Reports.

That's a good reminder after the CPSC urged parents to immediately stop using three loungers made by Boppy: the Boppy Original Newborn Lounger, the Boppy Preferred Newborn Lounger, and the Pottery Barn Kids Newborn Boppy Lounger. They’re being recalled almost a year after the commission issued a warning to not let infants sleep on products like these.

More than 3 million Boppy loungers for newborns were recalled on Thursday after eight infants suffocated in them in recent years. Consumer Reporter Susan Hogan has the story.

"When babies are left unattended or sleeping on these products, they may roll over or their heads may fall in such a way that blocks their airway and can lead to suffocation," said Rachel Rabkin Peachman with Consumer Reports.

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In the recall announcement, Boppy said it was "committed to doing everything possible to safeguard babies…" and also said that "the lounger was not marketed as an infant sleep product and includes warnings against unsupervised use."

Consumer Reports has been reporting on safety concerns around infant products for years. Last October, it revealed at least 28 infant deaths from 2012 to 2018 tied to nursing pillows and baby loungers, yet the loungers were still being sold.

"Parents deserve to know immediately if their baby might be at risk. Boppy should have acted faster and the CPSC should hold them accountable," Shin said.

"To keep something like this from happening in the future, parents need Congress to strengthen the CPSC's ability to warn the public about hazardous products and take quick, forceful action when people are at risk," Shin said.

Tips for Safe Infant Sleep

So how can you keep your baby safe?

Never use infant sleep positioners. Using this type of product to hold an infant on his or her side or back is dangerous.

Never put pillows, blankets, loose sheets, comforters, or quilts under a baby or in a crib. These products also can be dangerous.

Always keep cribs and sleeping areas bare. Avoid placing cute stuffed animals or toys in the crib

Always place a baby on his or her back at night and during nap time.

And if you’re having a hard time getting your infant to sleep, ask your pediatrician for tips, rather than using any positioning product.

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