Unlike cribs.. cradles, bassinets, and co-sleepers are not regulated by the federal government. During the past 13 months, more than 1,000,000 bassinets by 3 different manufacturers have been recalled. The latest re-issued recall involved the Simplicity close sleeper or bedside sleeper. This particular recall was preceded by the death of more than one child. In fact, Simplicity has been involved in many recalls over the past few years.
What can parents do to ensure their newborns's safety while sleeping?
- Be proactive and sign up for a recall notification system. Do not wait for the manufacturer to notify you of a recall. In fact, the Consumer Products Safety Commission states that "recalled products" are one of the 5 hidden home hazards. We suggest the monthly newsletter from Chicago-based Kids in Danger. It is concise, easy to read, and offers action steps for parents.
- Evaluate your bassinet in many of the same ways you would for your crib. See Safety Squad's previous post on crib safety. Be sure the mattress fits tight, use a bassinet without drop down sides, avoid bumpers, blankets, and stuffed animals/toys in the bassinet.
- Use a blanket alternative. The Halo sleep sack keeps baby warm and snug. The guardian sleeper for bassinets keeps baby warm, helps with reflux, and keeps baby properly aligned to prevent baby from moving into a compromising position.
- Be the one who doesn't use a bassinet. There is no "rule" that newborns have to sleep in a bassinet. It is perfectly fine to return a newborn to his/her crib to sleep or nap. Are you breastfeeding and want to room share with your baby? Sleep in your baby's room for the first few months or move the crib into your room. The round crib by Stokke fits through standard doorways. It also converts to a toddler bed and now accomodates a nicer organic mattress.
- Follow other SIDS precautions.