New parents often experience sleep deprivation more than everybody else, especially in the initial growing years of their little ones.
So when products like in-bed sleepers – which offers to be a safer alternative to bed-sharing – are introduced, most parents gladly purchase them hoping to finally get a good night’s rest while staying close to their baby.
In-bed sleepers seemed like a good idea at the time because many experts did not recommend co-sleeping as it heightened the risk of sudden infant death syndrome and suffocation (SIDS) as well as accidents like parents rolling over their baby while asleep.
However, earlier this month American non-profit organisation Consumer Reports released a shocking investigative report which found that infant sleep products were linked to at least 12 infant deaths between 2012 and 2018.
⚠️ CR urges parents to stop using inclined sleepers or any sleep products—including in-bed sleepers—that do not meet federal safety requirements related to infant sleep. Learn more about #SafeSleep guidelines: https://t.co/ZUHplKQN0I
— Consumer Reports Advocacy (@CRAdvocacy) October 22, 2019
The report also called out three main in-sleeper brands – Snuggle Nest, DockATot, and SwaddleMe.
While both Snuggle Nest and SwaddleMe contain a flat mattress with low, mesh walls, the DockATot in-bed sleeper has a softer bed with soft side bumpers.
Following the release of the report, the manufacturers of Swaddle Me and Snuggle Nest said they were not responsible for any infant deaths and reinforced safety as their number 1 priority.
DockATot creators, on the other hand, declined to comment. But on their website, the company urges parents to follow the safety precautions carefully and to consult a pediatrician before purchasing their product.
Unlike other mainstream baby products, in-bed sleepers currently do not have their own federal safety standards, increasing the risk for faulty and unregulated products.
Other agencies worldwide like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health Canada and Lullaby Trust in the UK have also urged parents to discontinue the use of bolster-like pillows, padding and soft surfaces in their baby’s beds.
Apart from Consumer Reports, another study related to sleep guidelines published by the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that most parents do not follow safe sleep guidelines set by AAP.
For instance, only 32% of new parents use a firm and flat surface to put their child to sleep while less than one-third of parents use cribs and bassinets that meet the safety standard of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The AAP recommended four sleep guidelines to keep their babies sleep, they are as follows:
- Put infants younger than 6 months old to asleep alone and on their back.
- Place baby’s crib in your bedroom, but avoid letting her sleep on your bed until they reach age 1. If co-sleeping is unavoidable, have your baby sleep in your room — not on your bed, but in his own crib — for at least 6 months.
- Your baby’s safe sleep should be a safety-approved crib with a firm mattress and tight-fitting sheet.
- Your baby’s sleeping space should be clear of pillows, blankets, crib bumpers, stuffed toys, and other soft items. Your child may start using a pillow when he’s age 2 or 3
Parents, follow these guidelines and ensure there are no in-bed sleepers in your baby’s crib.