Baby nests are becoming more popular. But how safe are they actually? We turned to Maria Holmberg at the Swedish Consumer Agency.
Baby nests are an unregulated product. There is no standard covering them.
Why is it like that?
It’s a fairly new product when compared to others in the children’s product market. The first baby nests were developed by nursing staff for children born prematurely. One company later realized that there was a niche there, many parents wanted to bring the baby nest that the staff made home.
How safe are baby nests?
There are risks. A too soft bottom or too soft sides can be a choking hazard. Cords, strings or bands that can lift up can also be dangerous. Some companies I have seen put handles on their baby nest, so that you can carry them around. But there is usually an opening, there will be a hole somewhere and the child may risk slipping out. There is simply a fall hazard.
Baby nests also encourage bed-sharing: which could be a greater risk.
Read more: How to keep your baby sleeping safe.
Do you have any recommendations / warnings regarding baby nests?
I know that several authorities around the world responded to baby nests as a risk product. We have not seen it so. We think it’s worse when you make them at home.
Many people produce baby nests themselves. It’s a thing that mothers make at home during pregnancy or when they are on maternity leave. They sit and sew them at home and sell them through, for example, Blocket, Tradera and Facebook. There we have seen a risk. It is true that they know what they are doing. How much filling there should be, no long twists or strings. You can read more on our website [in Swedish]. This happens with small businesses. They think they make it as a hobby, but it does not matter in the opinion of the law. Your product should be safe if you sell it.
Are you aware of any deaths caused by baby nests in Sweden?
No, I have not heard of that. But it obviously does not mean that it has never happened. About 45 children per year die of sudden infant death syndrome in Sweden. About half of these cases are due to infections of some kind, the other half we do not know what it is due to. There is simply too little information about the circumstances surrounding the death of the children in order for forensic medicine to determine the cause of death. This may be because healthcare professionals and the police do not ask the right questions. The National Board of Health has therefore recently made a new routine with in-depth questions. I have seen that one of the questions concerns baby nests, says Maria Holmberg, at the Consumer Agency.
In the next part of the baby nest series, we present Najell’s SleepCarrier and why it’s safer than other baby tests.