The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reminding parents and caregivers not to put babies in sleep positioners. These products—sometimes also called “nests” or “anti-roll” products—can cause suffocation (a struggle to breathe) that can lead to death.
The two most common types of sleep positioners feature raised supports or pillows (called “bolsters”) that are attached to each side of a mat, or a wedge to raise a baby’s head. The positioners are intended to keep a baby in a specific position while sleeping and are intended for infants under 6 months old.
To reduce the risk of sleep-related infant deaths, including accidental suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep on their backs, positioned on a firm, empty surface. This surface should not contain soft objects, toys, pillows, or loose bedding.
Safety Advice for Putting Babies to Sleep
- NEVER use infant sleep positioners. Using this type of product to hold an infant on his or her side or back is dangerous.
- NEVER put pillows, blankets, loose sheets, comforters, or quilts under a baby or in a crib. These products also can be dangerous. Babies don’t need pillows and adequate clothing—instead of blankets—can keep them warm.
- ALWAYS keep cribs and sleeping areas bare. That means you should also never put soft objects or toys in sleeping areas.
- ALWAYS place a baby on his or her back at night and during nap time. An easy way to remember this is to follow the ABCs of safe sleep: “Alone on the Back in a bare Crib.”