GREENSBORO, N.C. — A law passed last month banning two dangerous infant sleep products brought long-sought relief to many parents. Consumer Reports explains the details of the new law and which other sleep products not covered by the law parents should stay away from.
The Fisher-Price Rock ’n Play Sleeper was on the market for a decade before it was finally recalled in 2019 after a Consumer Reports investigation revealed dozens of deaths tied to the Rock ’n Play and other infant-inclined sleepers.
The reason: The design of the products—specifically their incline—makes them inherently dangerous for infant sleep.
Last month President Joe Biden signed into law the Safe Sleep for Babies Act, which bans inclined sleepers and crib bumper pads, both of which are unsafe for infant sleep and together have been linked with close to 200 reported deaths.
As of June 23, 2022, any incline sleeper with more than a 10-degree incline will be banned from production and sale in the US.
"This legislation is an absolutely critical step to help parents and caregivers keep their babies out of unsafe sleep environments. People should be able to trust that if infant sleep products are for sale, they’re safe," said Oriene Shin, Consumer Reports Safety Advocate.
Still, there are products marketed for sleep that is not covered by the act and don’t conform to pediatricians’ recommendations for how babies should be put to bed. These products include infant hammocks and in-bed sleepers.
Later this year, a strong federal rule covering infant sleep products goes into effect, but until that happens, CR is urging parents to stop using anything that does not follow best safe sleep practices.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says babies should sleep alone on their backs on a firm, flat surface without any soft objects or loose bedding. They should sleep in a product covered by federal standards, such as cribs, play yards, and bassinets.
There is no place on store shelves or online for infant products that fail to align with expert safe sleep guidelines.