These Two Baby Sleep Products Are Now Legally Banned

“The message from pediatricians has long been clear: The safest sleep environment for babies is a firm, flat, bare surface.”
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Assistant Editor
May 24, 2022
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Image: TobinCStudio/Shutterstock

President Biden has officially signed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act into law. The new legislation bans the sale, manufacture or distribution of inclined sleepers and crib bumpers for infants—two products that pediatricians and safety experts have long warned against as unsafe.

“Last night’s final passage of the Safe Sleep for Babies Act represents a monumental victory for children’s health and is a culmination of decades of pediatrician advocacy,” American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) President Moira Szilagyi, MD, PhD, FAAP, said in a public statement on the new law, which was introduced in June 2021 before passing the House and Senate with bipartisan support earlier this month.

“By banning the sale of dangerous and unsafe crib bumpers and inclined sleepers nationwide, this AAP-championed legislation is a true game changer when it comes to protecting infants from products that have no place in a safe sleep environment.”

Inclined sleepers have long been marked as unsafe for infants. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning as early as October 2019 advising parents against their use, and has previously recalled inclined sleep products—including the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, which has been linked to at least 30 infant deaths in the past decade.

Crib bumpers, once thought to protect infants from getting their arms or legs stuck in between crib slats, have also been advised against over the last few years. The concern is that an infant could suffocate if their nose and mouth gets trapped under or against the pad—and the danger is real. Data from the CPSC shows that between 1990 and 2019, 113 babies died in incidents where a crib bumper was used in the crib. Between 2008 and 2019, another 113 babies were injured or involved in bumper-related concerns.

The AAP cautions parents against the use of sleep positioners and crib bumpers across the board. “Pediatricians have long been advocating for safe sleep environments (ABCs-Alone, on their Back in a Crib), and it is time that these unsafe sleep products are taken off the market. The passage of this law is fantastic news and a long-awaited change,” pediatrician Dina DiMaggio Walters, MD told The Bump.

If you’re looking for some ways to make sure you’re following safe infant sleep practices, check out our top 10 tips.

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