Safety Check: Infant Inclined Sleepers

Safety Check: Infant Inclined Sleepers

As our name implies, your child’s safety is our utmost concern to us at Child Safety Store. That’s why this blog provides you with as much information as possible about popular products, proper safety measures, recalls and more.  We do the research necessary to keep you informed and up-to-date on child safety standards. On today’s agenda: the inclined infant sleeper. 

Inclined sleepers are cradle-like products that sit at an incline to elevate your baby’s torso and head. Most of these items boast the ability to help soothe your child to sleep with gentle rocking. Many even include bells and whistles like relaxing music or toy attachments to keep your baby occupied and entertained as they spend time in the sleeper. This sounds great, but more and more pediatricians and parents have one big important question:

Question: Are Inclined Infant Sleepers Safe?

Most of us assume that items sold in a store, especially items for babies and children, are trusted, reliable and safe. However, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there have been more than 30 deaths and 700 injuries due to inclined infant sleepers since 2005. Rather than improving over time, statistics show that 16 of these fatalities have occurred since 2016.

Answer: Inclined Infant Sleepers Can Be Safe, If Used as Directed

Why are these sleepers still on the market? Are they all dangerous? Let’s take a closer look. 

The truth is that these sleepers can be a risk, but if they are used properly, they can be perfectly safe.  Parents just need to use the proper precautions. 

The main safety concern with these items is that once a baby learns to roll over, they can roll into a position that is unsafe.  For instance, if they turn to their side and end up against the cushioning material, they often cannot correct their position. This ultimately means that the baby can suffocate.  Babies are also more likely to slide down into unsafe positions when not strapped into the sleeper, which can cause a similar danger.

All reputable inclined infant sleepers are made with a built-in restraint system. If these restraints are used each and every time you place your baby in their sleeper, it greatly minimizes the suffocation risk.  Regardless of the restraints, you should stop using this product as soon as the baby can roll over, or when it appears that the baby is getting close to rolling. 

What Can You Do to Create a Safe Sleep Environment?  

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development certainly agree on the ABCs of child sleep safety.  These ABCs include three simple rules that every parent should follow in order to create a safe sleep environment for their child. Children should always sleep: A) alone, B) on their backs and C) in a crib.

In addition to these safety practices, some other procedures that parents should always keep in mind include: 

  • Always follow the manufacturer instructions on any baby products you purchase. As mentioned above, if instructions advise that you use built-in buckles or restraints, those buckles or restraints should be used every time your child is in that product.
  • Be sure to keep a close eye on any child using an inclined sleeper. 
  • Do not place additional materials in the sleeper. While blankets, toys, pillows or bumpers may seem more comfortable for the baby, these items cause additional suffocation dangers.
  • Research whether your sleeping product is still safe: cpsc.gov lists cribs, bassinets, play yards or inclined sleepers that have been recalled.
  • Follow this Child Safety Store blog for more insight on child and baby safety products to learn more about keeping your kids happy and safe!
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