Here are the best ways to keep babies safe while they sleep

“Bar is best” when it comes to preparing a crib, bassinet or playpen for a newborn baby to sleep in, advises Consumer Product Safety advised parents Thursday. This means a firm, flat surface with no blankets, pillows, toys, stuffed animals or anything other than a sheet.

Extra bedding and other clutter have been linked to an average of 100 infant deaths a year between 2018 and 2020, according to a new report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Risks associated with nursery products are even higher, with more than 160 nursery product-related deaths annually.

Nearly 60,000 children under the age of 5 were brought to an emergency room in 2022 due to injuries associated with preschool products, the report found. About 15 young children died each year during the same period because caretakers placed them in an inclined carrier that was not intended for sleeping, the commission said.

“It is important for families to remember that the ways many adults sleep are not safe for young children,” CPSC Chairman Alex Hoehn-Saric said in a announcement. “If your baby falls asleep in a tilted product, move it to their cradle, crib or playpen.”

2 more deaths related to recalled child seat


Despite their visual appeal, soft bedding and plush toys can lead to suffocation or suffocation, Samantha told St. John, program coordinator for Cook Children’s Health Care System in Fort Worth, Texas, told KFF Health News earlier this month. St. John also stressed that babies should sleep in cribs or bassinets, not in beds with siblings or in their parents’ arms.

Hundreds of infant deaths and the continuing risk of suffocation have spurred new rules for sleeping infants and the recall of rockers and many other products. Food and Drug Administration last year warned parents not to use head-shaping pillows on their infants because the units “may contribute to the risk of suffocation and death.”

The CPSC did not share specific brands or products to avoid in its report, but it maintains a searchable database of recalled baby products on its website. In a recent example, a popular baby pillow recalled in 2021 — Boppy’s Newborn Lounger — is now linked to at least 10 infant deaths, CPSC said in June.

Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts for parents and anyone caring for babies to remember, according to the CPSC:


  • Use products intended for sleep, including cribs, cradles, playpens and cribs, that meet federal requirements
  • Remember that “bar is best.” Nothing but a sheet should be placed in a crib, cradle or playpen
  • Always put babies on their backs
  • Move your baby to their crib, crib or playpen if they fall asleep somewhere else
  • Check the CPSC website for product recalls.

Do not

  • Do not add pillows or blankets to your baby’s sleeping area
  • Do not let your baby sleep in an inclined product with an angle of more than 10°, such as a rocker, bouncer, swing or glider.

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