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Consumer Reports reviewed incident data on the sleepers provided by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The organization identified seven deaths, which occurred between 2012 and 2018, associated with the following in-bed sleepers:
- Baby Delight Snuggle Nest Infant Sleeper
- SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper (made by SUMR Brands)
Another five deaths were associated with unidentified in-bed sleepers.
So far, there's no direct evidence that the sleepers caused the deaths. But news of the fatalities has raised alarm bells among health experts, who say these products don't meet the guidelines for safe sleeping established by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The companies that make the first two sleepers told Consumer Reports that the sleepers were not to blame. Representatives from Baby Delight said the deaths were likely due to misuse and improper sleep practices. Meanwhile, representatives from DockATot declined to comment.
The investigation pointed out that many of these sleepers feature padding and soft surfaces, which pose a suffocation risk. Also, by their very nature, in-bed sleepers are antithetical to safe sleep recommendations, which state that babies should not share a bed with their caregivers.
The news about in-bed sleepers comes on the heels of a separate set of tragedies involving inclined sleepers, a different product that puts babies in an inclined sleeping position. A study found that inclined sleepers have been associated with more than 70 infant deaths and could lead to suffocation. More than 6.5 million inclined sleepers have been recalled, including the Fisher Price Rock 'n Play and the Kids II Rocking Sleepers.
What's the connection? Neither inclined sleepers nor in-bed sleepers are governed by federal safety standards, according to Consumer Reports. In other words, the government is not making sure these sleepers are safe before they go on the market.
CPSC is proposing to close this regulation gap by essentially banning inclined sleepers and making it difficult for other risky sleepers, such as in-bed sleepers, to be sold.
In the meantime, brush up on safe sleep practices, learn about safer alternatives to bed sharing, and only use products that meet safe sleep guidelines.
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