Biden Signs the Safe Sleep for Babies Act, Banning Inclined Sleepers and Crib Bumpers

Parents should immediately stop using both kinds of products, CR's safety experts say

Fisher-Price Rock ’n Play Incline Sleeper and Crib with bumpers
The Safe Sleep for Babies Act will ban inclined infant sleepers (left) and crib bumpers (right).
Photo: Consumer Reports, Getty Images

President Joe Biden today signed into law the Safe Sleep for Babies Act, which bans two dangerous infant sleep products: inclined sleepers and crib bumper pads, both of which are unsafe for infant sleep and have been linked with more than 200 reported deaths.

The new law was prompted in part by a CR investigation that revealed dozens of deaths tied to infant inclined sleepers, such as the Fisher-Price Rock ’n Play Sleeper, which have been largely unregulated until now.

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Sara Thompson, whose 15-week-old son Alexander died while in a Rock ’n Play Sleeper in 2011 and who has long fought for this legislation, welcomed the news. 

“Never underestimate the tenacity of a grieving mother,” she says. “Three years of hard work and tears finally paid off in justice for our angels and another step toward preventing future deaths. As we approach what would have been Alexander’s 11th birthday, I can now have the peace of knowing we have helped to spare other parents from this never-ending grief.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has advised against using inclined sleepers and crib bumpers because they increase the risk of suffocation and sleep-related infant death. AAP’s safe sleep recommendations for infants are for them to sleep alone, on their back, on a firm, flat surface, with no extra padding or loose objects like pillows, blankets, or toys in their space. 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a final rule for infant sleep products requiring those intended or marketed for infant sleep to meet established safety standards like those for cribs and bassinets. The agency is also working on a standard for crib bumpers and liners that will effectively prohibit the most hazardous products. 

CR supports the CPSC’s work, and also considers the Safe Sleep for Babies Act a vital measure to protect infants, says Oriene Shin, policy counsel for CR. “This critical legislation will help parents keep their babies safe and give them greater clarity in the marketplace,” she says. “People should be able to trust that if baby products are for sale, they’re safe. There is no place on store shelves or online listings for infant products that fail to align with expert safe sleep guidelines.” 

CR urges parents to stop using inclined sleepers or any other sleep products that don’t meet federal safety requirements. They should put their babies to sleep in a product (such as a bassinet, crib, or play yard) that complies with these requirements, and ask their pediatrician for help with infant sleep when needed.