7 Baby products not considered safe for sleep

7 Baby products not considered safe for sleep

In Australia, there are no mandatory safety standards for most products marketed for sleep. Which means retailers, both online and instore, all sell products that do not meet safe sleep guidelines. Here are some examples:

✖️Bouncers and rockers are not considered safe even for supervised sleeping. When a baby falls asleep in a propped up device such, their head can fall forwards, pushing the chin down towards the chest and limiting airflow.

✖️Sleep wedge / Inclined or soft mattresses. A safe mattress is one that is the right size for the cot, is firm and is placed flat (not tilted or elevated). In Australia, there is a ‘voluntary’ firmness test for infant mattresses, but not all manufacturers choose to meet this standard. Never put soft bedding under the bottom sheet, such as a sheepskin. A firm mattress ensures that there will be no indent around a sleeping baby, and lowers any risk of rebreathing exhaled air and/or overheating.

✖️Baby nests & loungers. There is a risk of a baby being placed to sleep that may facilitate their neck being flexed to the “chin to chest” position potentially blocking a baby’s airway and reducing airflow. There’s an even greater risk when placed within a bassinet, cot, or sofa as a baby can move outside the nest and become entrapped.

✖️Infant pillows. Including those said to prevent flat head syndrome are not safe for sleep and should never be placed in a baby’s sleep environment. Red Nose recommends delaying offering a pillow until a baby is over two years of age and is no longer sleeping in a cot.

✖️Cot bumpers. Red Nose recommends against using padded bumpers. And for mesh bumpers they state “ensure you follow the manufacturers instructions in relation to installation to reduce the risk of entrapment”. Whereas, the AAP recommends against the use of ANY type of bumper including mesh.

✖️Sleep positioners. Any positional products such as anti-roll devices should never be used. There are no Australian Standards for these products and case studies have shown that these products can be unsafe.

✖️Cot doonas, or loose blankets. Soft bedding may cover the baby’s face and obstruct breathing and/or cause overheating. If using blankets, make sure baby’s feet are touching the bottom of the cot, it’s tucked in firmly and that the blanket can only reach baby’s chest to prevent baby wriggling under. Or consider using an infant sleeping bag instead.

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