A few alarming products we’ve seen lately

KID works to strengthen, or in some cases establish, strong safety standards for children’s products. We helped pass Danny’s Law in 2008. As a result, cribs, play yards, and bassinets all have strong safety standards and undergo independent testing prior to entering the market. While we are passionate about the safety of all children’s products we pay special attention to those intended for sleeping babies because:

  • Our founder’s son Danny died in a sleep product. KID’s work is his legacy.
  • Babies are not closely supervised in these products – hopefully parent(s) are getting their own rest or able to focus on other things. So they need strong standards to keep little ones safe.

However, products that are not covered by safety standards are constantly entering the markets. As a result, we are left with products that can be put on the market with little or no safety testing; leaving our most vulnerable consumers to find the flaws.  Here are just a few we’ve seen lately – use the comments to show us others you’ve seen.

5083eb_5216d21aa7c546189a7fe3c2698541f6Product #1: Snuggle Me Premium Lounging & Bed Sharing Cushions for Baby

This cushion is designed to be used in the bed with parents(s) and outside the bed for a variety of activities including: playing, napping, tummy time, massage, bathing, and traveling with babies up to 6 months. We have three main concerns with this product:

  • This product doesn’t adhere to any safety standards other than their own track record. The website claims to have a “9 year track record of amazing safety performance.” While this is great, it doesn’t and shouldn’t replace a strong safety standard and adequate testing.
  • Like most other sleep positioners, the manufacturer advises parents to always keep baby “well attended” when the product is in use. However, if this is a product that is used for parents to sleep with baby, constant supervision is impossible.
  • Lastly, the website advises parents to give the baby a blanket to sleep with in the product. For multiple safety reasons, including suffocation and overheating, babies under 1 year should not sleep with a blanket.

A similar- looking product is the DockATot, another product we are hearing about. The product is designed for children aged 0- 36 months as a multi- functional cushion. While the company advises caregivers to not use the product in a crib or basinet, it is very likely that they will, especially because it is designed as a transition piece for baby. The sides are breathable, but if used in a crib or basinet (or around other non-breathable surfaces) the baby could get caught in the gap between the DockATot and other surfaces. In this way the product very much reminds us of the NapNanny.

Health Canada, the Canadian Public Health Agency, also warns against baby nest products, meaning any product with “small, portable bed for an infant that has soft, padded sides.”

KID’s verdict? Keep baby in a crib, play yard or bassinet that meets the federal safety standard and keep the crib bare. Sharing the room, but not the bed, is a great way to sleep closely but safely.

#2Product #2:  Babo Cush New Born Comfort Cushion

This product was made in Australia by a mother that envisioned having more time to attend to herself and her family while having a newborn at home. The Comfort Cushion was designed to mimic being held over the shoulder, against the chest position and is complete with vibrations (to mimic heartbeat and womb sounds) and a slight rocking motion design to calm baby. Here are some concerns we have with this product:

  • While this is not described as a sleeping device, it is inevitable that babies will fall asleep on this product. However, in the safety reports on the product, it is advised that babies not sleep on the Babo Cush. This leaves parents and caregivers in the awkward position of waking a sleeping baby or leaving baby to sleep on an item not recommended for sleeping.
  • Babies are placed on their tummies when using the product, mainly in an effort to combat flat head syndrome. Tummy time is a great way to prevent flat head, but should be done on a firm, flat surface. This combined with the likelihood that a baby will fall asleep in this product and be sleeping on their tummies instead of their back as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics guide to Safe Sleep, leaves us concerned about using this product with babies.

KID’s verdict? Skip this product because the foreseeable use of using this product for infant sleep would be all too possible. Invest in an infant swing for play time instead that meets federal safety standards. But don’t leave a sleeping baby in it — move to a crib.

home-bannerProduct #3: Baby Merlin’s Magic SleepSuit

This swaddle transition product is designed for babies too old to swaddle but still want that cozy and contained feeling while asleep. We appreciate their commitment to safe sleep throughout their website and in regards to the recommendations on using the product. However, we are concerned about baby over-heating when using this product and over–heating is a contributor to SIDS.

KID’s verdict? Stick with lighter wearable blankets.

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28 Responses to A few alarming products we’ve seen lately

  1. Julia Chernova says:

    Interesting article, however, I could not find any information on Magic Merlin Suit and SIDS prevention. Is there a particular website where they claim that their product helps to reduce risk of SIDS?

    • Kids In Danger says:

      Note that the article no longer refers to that claim – which we heard from someone other than the company. Thanks to our readers for bringing it to our attention.

  2. cori doron says:

    would the dock a tot be considered safe it not ever placed in a crib or bassinet.

    • Kids In Danger says:

      It has not been tested to the rigorous standards other sleep products such as cribs and bassinets have to meet. The only sleep products that have to meet mandatory standards for safety are cribs, non-full-size cribs, bassinets and play yards. AAP and other safety experts recommend products that have been tested for safety.

  3. Justin says:

    Babies don’t over heat in Magic Merlin. There is no possible way you could come to that conclusion if you actually touched the inside of a Magic Merlin. It’s made out of a breathable material. Majic Merlin and owlet combo is the best way to go.

    • Kids In Danger says:

      Overheating is a serious concern. Down is breathable – that doesn’t mean it won’t keep you warm. We have heard from many though and will continue to look at this product.

  4. Trisha Brown says:

    Hi- Have you guys actually purchased/tested the Baby Merlin Suit to evaluate overheating? It LOOKS like it would be hot but I read several reviews that speak to it being very breathable and babies not seeming too warm at all (provided they only wore a onesie & socks underneath)…

    • Kids In Danger says:

      We have also been approached by many about the Merlin Suit, including the company. We will continue to review.

  5. Nicky W says:

    I don’t really see how Dockatot is unsafe if not used in a crib or bassinet. Looking at the Dockatot website, it lists several different safety certifications. It would be helpful if you listed the difference in standards between bassinets and Dockatot, for example, although Dockatot is not meant to be standalone like a bassinet or crib.

    https://dockatot.com/pages/safety

    • Kids In Danger says:

      KID is currently working on materials to help parents judge the safety of sleep products. Stay tuned!

    • whitman ewen says:

      I looked at their safety page before I even came here and it raised my suspicions. This falls under the Shakespeare’s rubrick, “Thou does’t protest too much” meaning they overwhelm the reader with certifications but none seem to the be the one overarching safety standard. I also looked at their contact and career page to see where they are located and couldn’t find that. I assume they are an offshore brand that is taking advantage of the weak/slow American regulatory environment for new products this market.

  6. Lorraine C says:

    Is the only reason why the Babocush is unsafe is because parents will allow their babies to sleep on them? Are there any other concerns

    • Kids In Danger says:

      The concern is for when babies fall asleep on the product – which might not be the parents intention, but will still happen.

  7. Aly says:

    I am disappointed to see an infant swing recommended for sleeping in this article! Swings, car seats, and bouncy seats are not safe for sleeping!

  8. Ella says:

    Would the DockaTot still pose a suffocation hazard if used in a crib / bassinet with all 4 slatted sides?

    • Kids In Danger says:

      Products used in cribs can create hazards as the child can be held between the rigid crib rails and the soft padding and suffocate. Nothing should be in a crib but a tight fitting mattress, with a fitted sheet.

  9. Tasha says:

    I would love you to look more into the dock a tot. I know many mom’s who have used this product because their website lists all safety precautions. And to use it properly is safe. Also you shouldn’t assume most parents will ignore the rules and use it as a transition piece. A lot of people educate themselves on see baby sleeping and don’t just ignore the rules. Please do some more research on it

  10. Abbie says:

    The SnuggleMe Organic is extremely safe. The center is a sling so there is NO POSSIBLE way a baby could get his face buried. Also, there is no material on the bottom, so if you put your baby on a hard mattress, he still will be on the hard surface. There is no cushion for him to sleep on, just hugging his midsection. Your comment about constant parental supervision is irrelevant. They say that to cover their bases so they don’t get sued. Same about the blanket comment. If your room is too warm, don’t cover with a blanket. Or, better yet, put them in a wearable blanket if your room is colder!

    Please, please do your research on the actual products by testing and trying. Not just making assumptions based on how the product looks via the internet. It isn’t doing anyone any good to provide false information. However well your intentions are.

    • Kids In Danger says:

      This product, like the others we mention, is not tested to any mandatory standard to prove its safety. Babies sleep safest in a bare crib, bassinet or play yard that has met federal standards.

  11. Lindsay says:

    I used a dockatot, my newborn slept great in it. As soon as he could roll over, I stopped using it.

    • Kids In Danger says:

      Babies roll over for the first time unexpectedly and can be in danger from a product like this immediately – -better not to take the chance.

  12. Miriam says:

    Is there any information available about the Cooconababy https://www.cocoonababy.com.au/pages/faq) sleep safety? We use it within a side along sleeper (chico-next to me) and also move it around to whatever room we are in during the day so our baby is always near us. It seems very well researched and carefully designedly paediatricians. Our baby is 9 days old and seems to settle very well in it. We would like to use it up until 3 months (or will stope earlier if baby starts to be able to turn earlier). I like that it reduces the likelihood of flat head syndrome. One of my visiting midwives used one for her child (day and night) and was very happy with it. She could not find any evidence not to use it. However, the official advice from my health visitor is not to use it and stick with the flat firm mattress. My brother had a sids incident (45 year ago now) so I am super-keen not to take any chances with safety. The website addresses the sids safety question but does not give any guarantees. Any extra assessment from paediatrician/sleep experts would be great to see.

    • Kids In Danger says:

      The danger with these products is that babies roll or twist to one side unexpectedly — often before parents are aware they are able to do it. This would leave baby in a dangerous position with face against the side. Also, we recommend against anything being used the in the crib. The Nap Nanny, a similar product, led to multiple deaths when the baby was able to turn and get partially over the side. Our advice is the same – babies sleep safest on a flat surface without additional padding.

  13. Pingback: DockATot Review: Not Recommended | Baby Bargains

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