Four More Deaths Linked to Infant Sleepers Like the Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper

The Kids II products should be recalled, Consumer Reports says

Kids 2 Ingenuity Moonlight Infant Sleeper
The Ingenuity Moonlight Rocking Sleeper from Kids II.
Consumer Reports

Four additional deaths are linked to infant inclined sleepers, according to Consumer Reports’ ongoing investigation of these kinds of products.

The sleepers—the Ingenuity Moonlight Rocking Sleeper and the Bright Starts Playtime to Bedtime Sleeper—are made by the children’s product company Kids II. A spokesperson for Kids II confirmed to CR that the company is aware of four deaths associated with those products. The Bright Starts product was discontinued in 2016, but the Ingenuity Moonlight Rocking Sleeper is still available.

On April 8, CR tied a similar product, the Fisher-Price Rock ’n Play Sleeper, to 32 deaths and called for that product’s immediate recall. CR also urged the Consumer Product Safety Commission to set strong rules for all infant sleep products and give consumers more protective, timely, and consistent safe sleep advice.

To read the latest news on these products, see CR's ongoing coverage of infant inclined sleepers.

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“These inclined products are linked to infant deaths and conflict with medical experts’ safe sleep recommendations. Kids II should recall them immediately,” says William Wallace, senior policy analyst at CR. “Babies should be put to bed alone, on their backs, on a flat, firm surface in their own space. If any infant sleep product doesn’t align with this advice, the CPSC should get it off the market right away, so that parents and caregivers don’t unwittingly put their babies at risk.”

After CR’s initial report on the Rock ’n Play Sleeper, the American Academy of Pediatrics urged the CPSC to recall that product immediately. The group also said it “does not recommend inclined sleep products like the Rock ’n Play, or any other products for sleep that require restraining a baby.”

A spokesperson for Kids II said, “Each of these [deaths] are tragic and heartbreaking. In the four cases, there were either extenuating circumstances not relating to the sleep product or a failure to follow instructions and warnings. No incidents were a result of product malfunction or design.”

When CR asked Fisher-Price for further comment, a spokesperson restated: “We have worked and will continue to work closely with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regarding the safe use of our products, including the Rock ’n Play Sleeper.”

A spokesperson for the CPSC said the agency is investigating the risks of inclined sleepers, but would not comment specifically about these four additional deaths. “Incidents involving fatalities warrant the highest level of attention at CPSC,” the spokesperson said.

The agency has not yet issued a recall for the Fisher-Price or Kids II products, and noted that “In order to bring a case, we need to establish the facts and evidence to make a defect determination to meet the legal standard required for a recall.”

But Marietta Robinson, who served as one of several CPSC commissioners from July 2013 to June 2018, says the agency has known of the risk of these types of products for years and could have taken action sooner. “These deaths were occurring over many months at the end of my time there, and I pushed for answers and appropriate action," Robinson says. But Robinson says she was told that the agency “could not determine if the deaths resulted from a defect, which I believe to be nonsense.”

Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger, a nonprofit that focuses on reducing childhood injuries from consumer products, advises parents who currently have a Rock ‘n Play Sleeper or any other inclined sleep product to stop using it immediately. “Do not sell or donate it. Destroy it or store it until there is a recall so you can participate and get a refund if offered," she says.

Read more about what parents can do to calm infants and help them sleep.

Kids 2 Ingenuity Moonlight Infant Sleeper
The box for an Ingenuity Moonlight Rocking Sleeper from Kids II.

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Rachel Rabkin Peachman

I'm a science journalist turned investigative reporter on CR's Special Projects team. My job is to shed light on issues affecting people's health, safety, and well-being. I've dug deep into problems such as dangerous doctors, deadly children's products, and contamination in our food supply. Got a tip? Follow me on Twitter (@RachelPeachman).