Are Baby Hammocks Safe?
Many parents rave about their baby hammocks and swear by them to help with fussiness, reflux or uptight babies. And in truth, hammocks seem to be a lot more comfortable than a crib. A flexible sleeping surface that moves with you and naturally rocks when baby moves… hammocks can be especially tempting to moms who rock their babies to sleep, because the hammock does it for you!
However, as parents, safety is our first concern, which raises the question: are baby hammocks safe? Is this something you should be using for your newborn or older baby?
Unfortunately, there are few reasons why you should rule out baby hammocks.
First and foremost, babies have died in them. Babies have fallen out, babies have suffocated and babies have been trapped in the fabric of these unsafe sleep surfaces.
In past years, US Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled 24,000 baby hammocks after babies suffocated to death in the Amby Baby Motion Bed Hammocks. The CPSC recall reported that the rocking of the hammock can cause a baby to roll and become trapped between the fabric of the hammock and the mattress pad.
Not mentioned (but quite obvious) is the fact that you never ever know the day your baby learns to roll over- until it happens. And if a baby is in a hammock when she learns to roll, it may be too late.
Baby hammocks are also largely untested in a scientific manner and most doctors will not give the ok to use these in place of cribs.
Currently, the standard set by the American Academy of Pediatrics is that the only safe place for a baby to sleep is a firm sleep surface, like a crib or a bassinet.
It’s true that many babies sleep better in baby hammocks- they are wonderfully comfortable, sway gently and naturally rock baby back and forth. Its also true that babies sleep better on their stomachs! Now we’ve reduced the risk of SIDS by over 40 percent by putting babies to sleep on their backs, the safest thing to do is to lay your baby down to sleep on her back, even if she won’t sleep as well.
So while baby hammocks can seem quite tempting, avoid using them for any length of time when your baby is unattended.