Infant Deaths Prompt Government to Warn Against Using Nursing Pillows for Sleep
At least 28 infant deaths are linked to nursing cushions and lounging pads, a Consumer Reports analysis finds
Update: The Boppy Company recalled 3.3 million of its infant loungers on September 23, 2021 after the Consumer Product Safety Commission linked them to 8 deaths.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission today warned parents and caregivers to never let infants sleep on nursing pillows or other pillowlike products, such as lounging pads. These products pose a suffocation hazard for babies. The agency announced that it is investigating deaths associated with these products “when children are left on or near pillows, and the child rolls over, rolls off, or falls asleep.”
The warning applies to all nursing pillows and baby loungers, which are made by companies such as Boppy, Blessed Nest, Ergobaby, Leachco, Luna Lullaby, and Zenoff Products (maker of My Brest Friend). They are sold at major retailers such as Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Buy Buy Baby, Pottery Barn Kids, and Target. Nursing pillows are meant to make breastfeeding easier; lounging pads are for babies to sit or lie on. Both are designed for babies to use while awake and supervised.
Consumer Reports analyzed data from the CPSC, including from its SaferProducts.gov public database of incidents, and found at least 28 infant deaths from 2012 to 2018 tied to nursing pillows and baby loungers.
Many of the reports were among data that the CPSC sent to CR in 2019, which mistakenly contained manufacturer and brand names. Normally, because of a controversial law unique to the agency, the CPSC redacts company information from those reports. This disclosure led to an ongoing investigation by CR into the dangers of inclined sleepers and other infant sleep products, which prompted the recall of at least 5.6 million inclined sleepers, including the Fisher-Price Rock ’n Play Sleeper.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated to include manufacturer comments.