Health Canada Warns About Safety Risks of Baby Nests




Health Canada has issued a warning to consumers about the suffocation risk associated with baby nests, also called baby pods. A baby nest is a small, portable bed for an infant that has soft, padded sides. Many baby nests are advertised as multi-functional products that can be used as a sleep surface, changing mat and tummy time mat. Some baby nests are also promoted as being suitable for bed sharing, which involves placing the product in the caregiver's bed.

A baby nest's soft, padded sides pose a suffocation risk. Babies should never be left unattended in baby nests, nor should the nests be placed inside another product, such as a crib, cradle, bassinet or playpen. Baby nests should never be placed on standard beds, water beds, air mattresses, couches, futons or armchairs. Placing a baby nest on these soft and uneven surfaces can further increase the suffocation risk.

The safest place for a baby to sleep is on his or her back, alone in a crib, cradle or bassinet that meets current Canadian regulations.

When buying a product for a baby to sleep in, it is important to keep the following in mind:

• A baby's sleep surface should be firm and flat.
• Products with soft surfaces or padding should be avoided.
• Products with attached cords, strings or ribbons pose a strangulation risk.
• Large openings or gaps in a baby's crib or other sleep environment are unsafe.

Health Canada does not recommend bed sharing or products that are intended to be placed in the adult bed, or attached to the adult bed, because of the risk of suffocation and entrapment. Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada recommend room sharing, using a crib, cradle or bassinet next to your bed, as a safe alternative to bed sharing. Research has shown that it is beneficial for babies to share a room with one or more caregivers, as it may reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

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