Safety warning: Baby Sleepnest and Sleep pods
Understanding the safety warnings about
In March 2018, The Lullaby Trust warned that some popular sleeping products for babies do not conform to safer sleep guidelines.
According to the charity popular items such as cushioned sleeping pods, baby nests, baby hammocks, cot bumpers, pillows, duvets and anything that wedges or straps a baby in place can pose a risk to babies under 12 months.
This is because evidence shows that sleeping a baby on anything but a firm, flat surface, or using soft, heavy bedding, can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It can lead to overheating or potentially obstruct a baby’s airway if they roll or their face becomes covered by loose bedding.
Many of the products that the Lullaby Trust are concerned about are made by well-known brands and are sold by high street retailers.
Confusion around product safety was highlighted in a survey of new and expectant parents commissioned by The Lullaby Trust.
91% of respondents stated compliance with safer sleep advice as a very important consideration when buying a product.
However, the same survey also showed 41% of parents have bought or are planning to buy a baby sleep nest or pod.
These items go against the advice that babies should sleep on a firm, entirely flat waterproof surface. Sleeping a baby on a soft surface can increase the risk of SIDS as they make it harder for babies to lose body heat and maintain a safe temperature.
Francine Bates, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust says:
“As a SIDS charity, we have watched with concern as products that go against safer sleep advice gain popularity. It is hard for parents when they are trying to choose from the overwhelming number of baby products on offer and many people make the reasonable assumption that if an item is sold on the high street or made by a recognised brand it is safe for their baby”.
The Lullaby Trust gives parents some key pieces of advice when choosing sleeping products:
Check whether items comply with British Standards and follow safer sleep guidelines
Check that anything you buy for your baby to sleep on is firm, waterproof and entirely flat with no raised or cushioned areas.
Avoid soft heavy bedding such as pillows and duvets