Infant inclined sleepers are being recalled

When new and expecting parents are creating registries and buying baby items, they have a fair expectation that those products will be safe for their little one. Unfortunately, not all products are properly tested or used, and the results can be fatal.

Such is the case with two different brands of infant inclined sleepers, which are currently under recall. The Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, the Kids II Ingenuity Moonlight Rocking Sleeper and the Kids II Bright Starts Playtime to Bedtime Sleeper have been linked to at least 36 infant deaths.

A warning turned into a recall

The recall began after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Fisher-Price issued a warning about the Rock ‘n Play after four infants died. They reported the product was linked to “death when infants roll over in the product” and advised parents stop using the product once the baby turns three months old or “as soon as an infant exhibits rollover capabilities.”

However, days later, Consumer Reports (CR) released an investigation that showed the product was tied to at least 32 deaths, many of which were before the babies reached the maximum age for the sleeper or showed rollover capabilities. The Kids II products were linked to four more infant deaths.

How should parents sleep babies?

Many parents have used products that let babies nap or sleep at night at an incline for a variety of reasons. Sometimes hospitals recommend inclined sleep if the baby has certain medical issues such as acid reflux or sleep apnea, but a member of the AAP Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) explains it is only recommended in certain medical cases and often only in a hospital setting.

What can exhausted parents do in the meantime? Here are six tips CR offers to offer comfort or the baby in their sleep environment safely:

  • Room-share with the baby for the first six to 12 months, placing them in a freestanding bassinet or sidecar bassinet next to the bed
  • Swaddle the baby before placing them on a firm, flat surface for sleep. Swaddling, however, should stop at around two months old when babies get more wriggly
  • Use a white noise machine
  • Offer the baby a pacifier
  • To reduce nasal congestion, administer a few drops of nasal saline or use an aspirator to clear the mucus
  • Don’t force a baby on a sleep schedule too early and have reasonable expectations about newborns waking up in the middle of the night
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