In 2022 the American Academy of Pediatrics added more recommendations to allow newborns and infants to sleep safely. You may also have heard recently that some commercial products marketed toward infant sleep are no longer able to be sold. In this article, Safe Sleep Updates for 2022: Your Questions Answered we’ll break down the newest safety updates.
- Weighted swaddles and sleep sacs are not recommended
- Commercial monitors and devices that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS are not recommended
- Rockers and infant sleep positioners are banned for sale
- AAP includes drugs and alcohol with nicotine in list of substances to be avoided in or around baby
If a weighted swaddle keeps my baby on her back, isn’t that a good thing? Why are they unsafe?
The NIH explains this best: “An infant’s ribcage is still developing and adding weight could make it difficult for baby to expand their chest to take in air, reducing their ability to breathe properly. There are no studies of what amount of weight, if any, is safe to place on baby’s chest.“
Additionally, there are currently no specific safety rules for weighted baby items. Materials used to make them could cause a risk of overheating, or be too heavy to allow baby to roll back onto their backs if they rolled onto their stomachs. There are also no reputable studies showing any benefit. In short, there are no proven benefits to weighted items but there are several safety unknowns.
I thought heart rate monitors and the Owlet sock were good? What happened?
They’re not “bad” products but it’s important to know that they shouldn’t be used in place of safe sleep practices.
Additionally, the AAP cautions against cardiorespiratory monitors and other commercial devices that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS or other sleep-related deaths. There’s no evidence to support these product claims and they don’t have to meet the same requirements as medical devices.
But why do I still see stuff like rockers for sale if they’re unsafe?
The ban on rockers, pillows, nappers, wedges and infant sleep positioners took effect in 2022. President Biden signed into law the Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021 on May 16. The law requires “inclined sleepers for infants, regardless of the date of manufacture, shall be considered a banned hazardous product” under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). Because the change has been recent, it’s likely you will still see these items for sale at resellers like TJ Maxx or Ross, consignment shops, Facebook Marketplace or others.
Safe Sleep Updates for 2022: Your Questions Answered – What else should I know?
Illicit drugs, alcohol, opioids and marijuana join nicotine in the list of substances that should be avoided in the home and around baby. Avoid parent, caregiver and baby’s exposure to these substances.
The safest place for baby to sleep is in the same room you’re in, but not in your bed. The AAP recommends room sharing for at least 6 months.
And if you’re concerned that discontinuing use of some commercial products means you won’t sleep as much, there are solutions. Try swapping nights or blocks of hours with your partner or allow others to care for baby while you sleep.
The National Institute of Health has comprehensive newborn and infant sleep resources for parents, caregivers and professional child care providers. We highly recommend reading this!