Are Baby Sleepers Safe?

Having a baby is a very exciting period in the life of parents, and because of this, many parents create baby registries for the items they think their child will require.

It’s crucial to realize that some common products are unnecessary and can even harm your child. 

If you’re a first-time parent, you might be tempted to buy your newborn infant almost every piece of baby equipment to keep him cozy and comfortable.

If the inclined baby sleeper is on your list, you might want to read this guide to the end without skipping a single sentence.

That said, read on to learn more about inclined baby sleepers, including their features and whether or not it is safe for your infant to use them.

What Is An Inclined Baby Sleeper?

A baby in a sleepers
Image Source: iStockphoto/Olha Romaniuk

An inclined sleeper is a baby bed that enables a child to nap at an inclination between 10 and 30 degrees that is semi-sitting.

These “sleepers” may be promoted as being used for sleeping or different activities such as playing, relaxing, or soothing.

However, keep in mind that whether the product is referred to as a rocking inclined sleeper, an infant swing, a baby bouncer, or something else entirely if it raises your baby’s head by more than 10 degrees and the child falls asleep in it, the product is taking an unneeded and actual risk.

If you’ve never seen one or are unfamiliar with baby sleepers, they resemble baby hammocks and are constructed of soft fabric that hangs from the frame.

These sleepers come in wide varieties, from those that vibrate or blow air to those that can also play music.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently deemed these sleepers unsafe despite being highly popular in the early 2000s.

Why Do Parents Want Inclined Baby Sleepers?

Raising a newborn infant is a full-time job for parents, and they are constantly looking for solutions that will make their job easier and more comfortable for their little ones.

This is where equipment like inclined or reclined sleepers come into play, especially for parents without assistance. 

While specialists may make no claims or recommendations on using such products for babies, most parents believe keeping their children in sleepers is safe and comfortable and promotes better sleep.

The belief that keeping their infants in these sleepers may aid in minimizing or preventing spitting up or reflux is another crucial reason why most parents consider purchasing these sleepers.

Most parents also discover that sleepers are handy around the house or even when they move out, allowing them to unwind while the child naps or sleeps in the sleeper.

To meet different demands, these gadgets also provide a variety of add-ons.

Are Inclined Baby Sleepers Dangerous?

Are baby sleepers safe
Image Source: stocksy/Cara Dolan

Yes. When placed on a slope, babies’ heavy heads can readily slip forward into the chin-to-chest position.

According to reports, between January 2005 and June 2019, the Consumer Product Safety Commission received 1,108 incident reports related to inclined baby sleeper injuries. Bear in mind that this included 73 infant deaths.

So, a baby may become caught in the chin-to-chest position, which is dangerous because their neck muscles are frequently too weak to lift their large heads back up.

This might block their little airway and put them at risk for positional asphyxiation.

If the infant’s face rests on the plush sides of the inclined sleeper, their breathing may also be obstructed.

Although the item may be practical for parents, baby equipment like inclined sleepers may not be safe enough for infants.

Because infants do not have greater head control, especially in the first few months after birth, the risk may always be present when your baby is in an inclined sleeper.

According to this, the baby may tuck his chin to his chest if they slouch while sleeping.

A newborn should not be in this posture since they lack the muscle to control their heads properly and may be unable to breathe correctly.

It might not seem like a big deal if the parents or other caregiver is nearby or keeping an eye on the child. But if nobody is nearby, this may become a life-threatening circumstance.

New Federal Safety Requirements

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) authorized a federal safety standard for infant sleep products in 2021 since a safe sleeping environment is crucial.

This guideline was to assist in the elimination of potentially hazardous baby sleep products from the middle of 2022, including inclined sleepers, in-bed sleepers, loungers, and travel/compact sleepers.

These products must meet the CPSC requirements for baby cribs, bassinets, play yards, and bedside sleepers.

In May 2022, the Safe Cribs Act also became law. The sale, distribution, production, or import of crib bumpers and inclined sleep items will be prohibited under this law.

Are Inclined Sleepers Still Being Sold?

As of then, infant product suppliers had until the end of 2022 to comply with the Safe Cribs Act, but the new CPSC requirements didn’t go into effect until mid-2022.

This implies that positioners and inclined sleepers were still accessible.

The sale of inclined sleepers and crib bumpers has already been discontinued or outlawed in several businesses, online merchants, local governments, and states.

Additionally, several businesses have voluntarily recalled these products.

They can still be found at thrift shops or garage sales, even in places where these harmful goods are outlawed.

Before utilizing a product, it’s crucial to check the CPSC website to see if it has been recalled.

You can even register for CPSC email alerts to remain current on the most recent recalls. Additionally, make sure anyone watching your child is aware of recalled and dangerous products.

What Should I Do With A Sleeper I’ve Already Bought?

The facts mentioned earlier make it evident that using an inclined sleeper for your child may not be a good choice, but if you have already purchased one, the most important thing to do is never use it when you are not with your child. 

You can use it to rock or calm your baby, but you should never leave them in the sleeper unattended, especially while you’re not there.

It is, without a doubt, a dangerous product, and in the ideal world, you should cease using it altogether because it involves your baby’s safety, which should never be jeopardized. 

If you haven’t used the item, you can return it or even sell it online. Parents must use caution when purchasing and utilizing any infant equipment.

To lower any hazards or dangers, you should know the benefits and drawbacks of any infant equipment you plan to purchase.

Safe Alternative To An Inclined Baby Sleeper

Swaddling, shushing, and swinging are three of the 5 S’s for calming newborns that have been shown to help with sleep, and they’re all safe.

Each of these behaviors imitates the womb-like feelings that activate the critical calming reflex.

Swaddling provides a cozy, secure hug akin to the small spaces of the womb. White noise or shushing imitates the steady hum heard throughout pregnancy. 

Additionally, swinging or rocking is similar to the almost continual jiggle experienced within the womb. The only risk-free option to fit all three is with SNOO smart sleeper. 

With the help of a unique swaddle, this clever sleeper keeps infants flat on their backs and almost prevents unsafe rolling.

Additionally, SNOO smart sleeper continuously plays white noise and gently rocks your baby throughout the night, varying the volume based on your baby’s mood to reduce fussing and lengthen sleep. 

Your baby can have much fun and rest in swings, bouncy seats, and similar items.

However, putting your baby in their own flat, hard baby crib on their back is the safest approach to keep them asleep.

Safe Sleeping Tips For Infants

The most effective strategy to keep your sleeping baby safe is to adhere to the most recent AAP recommendations.

According to Steven A. Shapiro, D.O., chair of the Pediatrics Department at Abington-Jefferson Health, babies should always sleep on their backs on a hard, level surface with nothing else but a tightly fitted sheet.

Baby sleepers do not follow these rules because they are angled, curved slings with lots of soft padding.

Parents should avoid inclined sleepers since they are unsafe for sleep due to the new legislation, even if they are found in thrift stores or childcare facilities.

Remember that babies should always sleep ALONE and on their backs in an EMPTY crib or bassinet.

Parents are also advised to use caution when letting newborns sleep in any furniture item not suggested for this use, such as loungers, cushions, and positioners.


Keep in mind that your infant should only sleep in furnishings intended to provide a secure sleeping environment, such as cribs, bassinettes, and portable play yards.

Swings, reclining chairs, bouncers, and other sitting or positioning equipment are unsuitable during sleep.

If your infant nods off in one of these, relocate her immediately to a secure sleeping area.

And do well to consult your pediatrician if you have concerns about your child’s safe sleep items.

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