When my husband and I had our firstborn child, we did what all parents do – buy tons of stuff we simply did not need. We registered for a bottle warmer, not knowing that Tommy enjoyed a cool thirst-quenching bottle straight from the refrigerator. We bought a wipes warmer and realized that was $30 wasted since it scorched the wipes as opposing to taking the chill away. We purchased a mosquito net for his stroller, but as mosquitoes aren’t the threat in Washington DC that they are in parts of Africa, this item remained in its box unused.
The things I knew NOT to register for were abundantly clear to me due to my job at Safe Kids – no soft bedding for the crib. That means no pillows, blankets, crib bumpers and other similar products, which can suffocate a child. I remember putting the fitted sheet on the crib mattress and thinking, “well that’s a sparsely decorated crib.” There was no way Tommy’s nursery was going to be photographed for the latest Pottery Barn catalog. While it wasn’t the most lavishly decorated, I knew it was, most importantly, safe.
I always caution my friends who are expectant parents to stay away from soft bedding in the crib, and now there is another compelling reason to, in particular, avoid infant sleep positioners for the time being. Two federal government agencies, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a warning against the use of infant sleep positioners – devices that have been associated with 12 infant deaths over the past 13 years.
These positioners are soft mats that are designed to reduce the risk of SIDS by keeping infants on their backs, but these claims have never approved by the FDA. The infants that died suffocated in their sleep positioners or became trapped or suffocated between a sleep positioned and the side of a crib or bassinet. While parents have the best of intentions when buying these products, they should not be used until the federal government clears them for use.
As a mom, I understand the desire to bedeck the nursery to welcome the latest addition – just remove the soft bedding accessories when it is time for the little one to go to sleep. You will both sleep more peacefully knowing the crib is truly a safe haven.