• Why a Sleep Positioner Is NOT the Best Pillow for Your Newborn

    These pillows or "nests" make claims that have no scientific or medical evidence.
    by SmartParenting Staff .
Why a Sleep Positioner Is NOT the Best Pillow for Your Newborn
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Your newborn will need A LOT of things, but you don't have to spend much on his sleeping space. Keep it as bare as possible until he's six months old. In fact, there is no need for pillows.   

    In its latest safe sleep guidelines, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants to sleep on a firm mattress with a tight-fitting bedsheet. Pillows, blankets, stuffed toys, bumper cribs, and any other soft items should be put away to prevent accidental suffocation, strangulation or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the unexplained death of an otherwise healthy baby during sleep. SIDS mostly occurs in babies one to four months old.

    If you spot pillows telling you that it will help prevent SIDS, don't believe it. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (the FDA) particularly warns against sleep positioners or “nests” that are often marketed as “anti-roll” products.

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    There is no such thing as an anti-SIDS pillow for infants.screenshot U.S. FDA/YouTube

    According to the FDA, the 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."

    But the FDA strongly recommends you "NEVER" use infant sleep positioners. "Using this type of product to hold an infant on his or her side or back is dangerous" because it poses a risk of suffocation that can lead to death.

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    According to the FDA, infants may suffocate after rolling from a side to stomach position or after being placed on their sides in the sleep positioner. Even if appropriately placed on their backs, infants may scoot up or downward and may become entrapped in the sleep positioner or between the positioner and the crib, playpen, sleeping mat or bassinet.

    There is also no scientifically sound evidence to support medical claims about these pillows.

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    Remember, bare sleeping space is the best for infants. Always put babies on their backs to sleep. According to WebMD, "Once your baby can roll over both ways, which usually happens around 6 months, it’s fine to let him choose his own sleep position once he knows how to roll over.") 

    Create a safe environment by following the ABC’s of safe sleep listed by FDA below:

    A: Alone in their own sleeping space with no other people in the crib or bassinet

    B: on their Backs on a firm sleep surface

    C: and in a Crib or bassinet free of pillows, blankets, bumpers, sleep positioners, and other objects.

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