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As a parent, it's important to keep your baby safe while they're sleeping. And now, with the Safe Sleep for Babies Act in place, there are new guidelines to follow when putting your little one to bed. One of the most important changes? Crib bumpers are now banned in the US. Read on for more information about this new law and how it can help keep your baby safe during sleep time.
On Monday, May 16, 2022, President Biden signed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021. Essentially, with this Act, two baby sleep products—crib bumpers and inclined sleepers—will soon be banned under federal law, since there have been hundreds of Baby deaths due to these products.
A crib bumper is a padded piece of fabric that attaches to the inside of a crib. Its purpose is to keep your baby from hitting their head on the sides of the crib, and also to provide a softer surface for them to rest against.
After years of research and study, it has been determined that crib bumpers are not safe for babies. They can cause serious injuries, including suffocation, and have been linked to over 100 infant deaths.
Additionally, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there's no evidence that supports crib bumpers as injury prevention for young babies. On the contrary, when a baby starts getting older and is able to start pulling up and standing on their own, crib bumpers could actually aid in helping a baby climb over the crib and fall.
Inclined sleepers are baby sleep products that prop your baby up at an angle. They are often used for infants who suffer from reflux or other medical conditions.
Similar to crib bumpers, inclined sleepers have also been linked to infant deaths. Additionally, they can cause serious injuries, such as head and neck injuries. Inclined sleep products—also known as baby docks, pods, loungers, nappers, or nests—let babies sleep up to a 30-degree angle.
However, according to the CPSC, any infant product that allows infants to sleep at more than 10 degrees is dangerous. Why? In that angled position, babies may fall asleep in a position that restricts their airways. There's also a chance that they may fall out of their device and get trapped underneath the sleeper.
If you're a parent, this law means that you can no longer purchase crib bumpers or inclined sleepers for your baby. If you have either of these products, you should stop using them immediately and dispose of them according to the manufacturer's instructions. You can contact that company that made your inclined sleeper or crib bumpers and see if they can offer a refund or replacement.
It's important to note that this law does not go into effect until January 16, 2023, which gives parents time to adjust to the new ruling. In the meantime, the CPSC recommends that parents find alternative ways to keep their babies safe during sleep time, such as using a firm mattress and tight-fitting sheet.
Additionally, the AAP advises against using any type of sleep positioner for your baby—including wedges, pillows, bolster pads, and other devices that are meant to prop up or keep your baby in a certain position. The safest way for your baby to sleep is on their back, on a firm mattress, without any pillows, blankets, or other soft objects in the crib.
The Safe Sleep for Babies Act only bans inclined sleepers and crib bumpers—rockers and bouncers are not included in this ruling. However, the CPSC does not recommend that parents use these products for unsupervised sleep because they can tip over easily, trapping and injuring your baby.
If you do choose to use a rocker or bouncer, make sure to always stay within arm's reach of your baby and never leave them unattended. It's also important to read the product's instructions carefully and follow all safety warnings.