Pediatricians and Parents Alike Warn of the Dangers of Inclined Infant Sleepers

*Here’s the updated warning as of April 5, 2019.*

There’s nothing new parents want more than for their baby to be happy, healthy and safe. With the risk of SIDS, parents need to be especially knowledgeable about prevention.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s safest for a baby to sleep “on his or her back on a firm sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet with a tight-fitting sheet.”

While that’s all well and good, if you talk to enough parents you’re bound to hear story after nightmare story about babies who just would not go to sleep or stay asleep in a crib or bassinet. The sleep-deprived parents become desperate for solutions, and one that many turn to is a sleeper that’s slightly inclined like the Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play.

Have you ever owned a Rock ‘n Play? The shape of it perfectly cradles the baby. You can even rock it gently to soothe baby to sleep. There are even electronic models that rock all by themselves with the push of a button and play soothing melodies. It’s hard for a baby to resist falling asleep in such a magical device.

But, the Rock ‘n Play may not be as magical as parents would like to believe.

The Wall-Street Journal reported that “a parent in New York filed a complaint with the government’s consumer-product watchdog about a controversial type of baby bed. A napping six-month-old sleeping in it had rolled over, stopped breathing and died.”

What type of bed was used? A Rock ‘n Play.

This isn’t the first time an infant has died after sleeping in an inclined infant sleeper. There have been 30+ fatalities and 700+ injuries since 2005. Sixteen of the fatalities have happened since 2016.

The real question here is whether this type of product is unsafe and should be recalled or if parents are using the product incorrectly.

Watch the video below to see one professor’s approach to educating parents about SIDS and baby sleep safety.

Mattel urges parents to “read the instructions prior to use of their sleeper and follow those instructions to ensure a safe sleep environment for babies.” These instructions include doing things like strapping the baby into the sleeper and no longer using the sleeper once the baby learns to roll over.

The Rock ‘n Play is not sold as a “sleeper” in Canada because it doesn’t meet Canadian guidelines to be called a “sleeper.” Instead, there’s a similar product that is sold as a “soothing seat.” That’s what Pediatrician Natasha Burgert would like to have happen in the U.S. In her blog she recommended that Fisher-Price “  

Dr. Ben Hoffman, chairman of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention, states his concern that, “Because they’re sold, people assume that they’re safe and the fact is they’re not.”

Has your baby ever slept in an inclined infant sleeper? Did you read the instructions first?