Is It Safe To Use A Sleep Positioner For Babies?

When you put your baby in the bed, cot, or stroller, they may sometimes get out of their intended sleeping position. This can cause you to worry as you would like them to stay put in their place. Sleep positioners for babies are a great way to keep babies from sliding off and changing their position.

They are made from soft, breathable cushion-like materials that provide comfort and safety. We have compiled a list of the best sleep positioners for babies for you to choose from. So, take your pick and ensure your baby sleeps like a log.

In This Article

What Is A Sleep Positioner?

Sleep positioners come in two forms. One has a flat mat with soft wedges on either side. The other looks similar but has a slight incline to keep your baby in an upright position. You can simply place these specialty products in your baby’s crib or your bed (if you are co-sleeping).  Sleep positioners are also marketed as a safety measure against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend the use of sleep positioners as it can cause death due to suffocation in babies. But many parents still swear by it!
(1).

In the year 2016, a remarkably high number of 42% of fatalities resulted from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), followed by accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed (24%).

Factors contributing to sudden unexpected infant deaths

Source: Data and Resources on Sudden Unexpected Infant Death; Children’s Safety Network/National Center for Health Statistics

Is It Safe To Use A Sleep Positioner For Babies?

Parents seem to have taken to sleep positioners with frenzy. But the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and FDA warns against its usage (2) (3). A statement released by the commission ‘urges parents to stop using sleep positioners’. According to reports, about 13 infant deaths have been linked to sleep positioners in the last 15 years. Contrary to claims, these devices may raise the risk of SIDS. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend the use of sleep positioners. But many parents still swear by it!

Should You Buy A Sleep Positioner?

If you listen to the experts, it makes sense to keep sleep positioners out of your infant’s crib. But many parents think otherwise. Here are some benefits of investing in a sleep positioner for baby:

  • Prevents flat head syndrome
  • Keeps infants on their back, as recommended by experts to prevent SIDS
  • Provides a comfortable sleep position
  • Prevents babies from falling down from their bed
  • Prevents discomfort that comes with reflux

Now, there’s some good and some bad that comes with sleep positioners. Should you buy one? If you think you can monitor your baby, sleep positioners can make a great tool. But before you go ahead and buy one, talk to your pediatrician and follow their guidelines.

Best Baby Sleep Positioners For Babies

So, you have decided to go ahead and invest in a sleep positioner. Now comes the fun part – shopping! Sleep positioners come in many varieties. Here are the best of them:

1. Boppy Noggin Nest Head Support, Brown Wheels:

With a unique, patented design, the Bobby Noggin Nest Head Support helps relieve pressure from your infant’s head. It can be used in cribs, strollers , and bouncers too.

Price: $14.98

Website

2. Sassy Cozy Vent Sleep System:

Image: Source

With a headrest made of 100% mesh, this sleep positioner for babies ensures constant air flow. The Sassy Cozy Vent Sleep System comes with an adjustable design. You can easily change the settings to fit your growing baby. Easy to clean and machine washable, this is one product that would bring some peace of mind.

Price: $20.20

Website

3. Munchkin Cool Flow Back Sleeper:

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Munchkin Cool Flow Back Sleeper comes with some expert recommendations! With the approval of the American Academy of Pediatrics, you can safely invest in this super-comfy sleeper. Its cross ventilation design helps prevent SIDS and provide a safe and snug environment to sleep. You can also use it as your baby grows, thanks to its adjustable design.

Price: $19.99

Website

4. Baby Delight Snuggle Nest Surround:

Image: Source

It is a great buy for co-sleeping parents. You can also use it as a travel bed or a napping space. Its side panels come with vents and ensure baby sleep positioner safety from SIDS. It also comes with an incline wedge to offer your infant relief from reflux and spit ups.

Bonus: The Baby Delight Snuggle Nest Surround comes with a sound and light show, to provide your little one the perfect sleep time setting.

Price: $61.95

Website

5. The First Years Close & Secure Sleeper:

Image: Source

Investing in the First Years Close & Secure Sleeper makes a lot of sense. Its design ensures easy portability, making it perfect for traveling. You can use it on your bed or place it on your baby’s crib. It comes with a built-in night light too!

Price: $58.99

Website

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Should babies sleep on a wedge?

No. Using sleep positioners, wedges, or other such props is not advised by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) or any other reputed medical institution as it increases the risk of SIDS and other complications for the baby (4).

2. Should babies sleep flat or inclined?

As recommended by the AAP, babies should be put to sleep only on flat and firm surfaces, not inclined or soft ones (5). It is particularly eminent when babies begin to roll over, as they may become trapped or wedged in an inclined or soft surface, which can increase the risk of suffocation.

3. How do I stop my baby from choking in his sleep?

Putting babies to sleep on their backs helps reduce their chances of choking even if they spit up during sleep (6). Generally, sleeping on the back is essential to ensure safe and secure infant sleep.

4. Is it OK to elevate a baby while sleeping?

Elevating or raising a baby while sleeping is generally not recommended, as it may increase the risk of SIDS. Generally, experts advise placing a baby flat on their back during sleep on a firm surface without any loose bedding, such as blankets or pillows, on it (7). According to the AAP, sleep positioners with an elevation of more than ten degrees can be very dangerous for the baby and lead to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) ( 8).

Sleep positioners for babies are safety measures against SIDS and help prevent babies from slipping off and shifting their position while sleeping. The greatest sleep positioner is a flat mattress sleep positioner without anything in the crib or bassinet. However, as concerns about their safety grow, sleep positioners quickly lose favor. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against the use of sleep positioners. So, do some research before deciding whether or not to get one for your baby. If you’re still not convinced, talk to some mothers who have tried it, and don’t forget to seek advice from a pediatrician.

Infographic: Benefits And Risks Of Sleep Positioners For Babies

Sleep positioners or positioning devices are designed to aid in a safe and comfortable sleeping position for babies. Although they may be commonly used, it is essential to be aware of the potential risks and benefits associated with their use. Learn the advantages and disadvantages of these devices to make an informed choice.

sleep positioners for babies (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Disclaimer: MomJunction may earn a commission when products are purchased through affiliate links given in the article. However, this partnership does not influence the editorial content featuring in our list.

Key Pointers

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against using sleep positioners for babies.
  • Proper use of sleep positioners can have benefits, such as preventing reflux discomfort and flat head syndrome.
  • Parents should be mindful of the risks associated with sleep positioners and seek advice from a doctor for guidance.

Keep yourself informed and updated about the risks of usng sleep positioners or similar devices for your baby, explained by a pediatrician.

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
    https://www.cdc.gov/sids/index.htm
  2. Sleep Positioners: A suffocation risk.
    https://onsafety.cpsc.gov/blog/2010/09/29/sleep-positioners-a-suffocation-risk/
  3. Do not use infant sleep positioners due to the risk of suffocation.
    https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/baby-products-sids-prevention-claims/recommendations-parentscaregivers-about-use-baby-products
  4. Why Sleep Positioners Put Babies At Risk?
    https://www.michiganmedicine.org/childrens-health/why-sleep-positioners-put-babies-at-risk
  5. Inclined Sleepers Crib Bumpers & Other Baby Registry Items to Avoid.
    https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/Inclined-Sleepers-and-Other-Baby-Registry-Items-to-Avoid.aspx
  6. Helping Babies Sleep Safely.
    https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/features/baby-safe-sleep/index.html
  7. Infant Sleep Position and SIDS.
    https://www.nichd.nih.gov/sites/default/files/publications/pubs/documents/SIDS_QA-508-rev.pdf
  8. Inclined Sleepers, Crib Bumpers & Other Baby Registry Items to Avoid.
    https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/Inclined-Sleepers-and-Other-Baby-Registry-Items-to-Avoid.aspx
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