Infants can suffocate when sleeping in an inclined position. Safe sleep advice recommends placing your infant to sleep on a firm, flat surface and to remove loose items such as blankets and soft toys.
About infant inclined products
Infant inclined products are a broad category of products used by parents and caregivers that position infants at an inclined angle. There are many products that may fall within this category, such as rockers, bouncers, swings, co-sleepers, recliners and bassinet-type products.
These products may be designed, intended or marketed for sleep or for other purposes, such as play, resting or soothing an infant.
Risks and injuries
These products pose a risk of injury or death for infants when sleeping due to the incline, curvature of the backrest and soft sleeping surface. Research has shown the following risks, which can lead to infant fatalities:
- suffocation – where an infant rolls over for the first time from their back onto their tummy and their airway is blocked by fabric on the side or base of the product;
- positional asphyxiation – where the infant’s head falls forward, pressing their chin to their chest, blocking their airway and reducing oxygen flow over time.
While there are no existing mandatory or voluntary standards in Australia that specifically apply to these products, infant inclined products sold in Australia may comply with relevant international standards or regulations. These standards and regulations have varying requirements, but some require a safety warning that the product is not safe for unsupervised sleep by infants.
Suppliers can also:
- provide adequate warnings and instructions to consumers describing safe use and potential risks associated with these products
- review infant inclined product lines to ensure they are safe for use, including assessing whether these products could be foreseeably misused by consumers and result in an increased risk of death or serious injury.
Suppliers can refer to the Best practice guide for the design of safe infant sleeping environments.
If you have infant inclined sleeping products consider whether you want to continue using them.
If you continue to use the products:
- Never leave your infant unattended.
- Stop using the product when your baby begins to roll.
- Put the product on a flat floor surface, away from potential hazards.
- Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use of the product.
- Remember to only place infants to sleep on a flat, firm surface.
The ACCC has published a consultation paper seeking feedback on regulatory options to address the risks associated with Infant Sleep Products, including Infant Inclined Products.
11 August 2022
The ACCC is seeking feedback on ways to reduce significant safety risks associated with products commonly used to place babies to sleep.
11 August 2022
The ACCC has published an issues paper sets out key issues with infant inclined products, options the ACCC is considering and questions we are seeking feedback on.
19 July 2021
After a review into the safety of inclined infant sleeping products, the ACCC is now seeking views on how best to respond to these potentially deadly products.
19 July 2021
The ACCC has commenced a market review into infant inclined products due to recalls and increasing concerns regarding the use of infant inclined products.
12 July 2019
Mattel Pty Ltd — Fisher-Price Rock 'N Play Sleeper – 2 May 2019
Danish by Design Pty Ltd—Bednest Bassinet – 12 Feb 2016