Baby positioners were originally manufactured as a means to prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) in infants. Baby positioners were foam wedges that kept baby on her back while sleeping, since back sleeping is the ideal position to reduce the risk of SIDS. But, in 2010, baby sleep positioners were recalled as the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the US Food and Drug Administration released a statement saying that baby sleep positioners were a suffocation risk after 12 infants died while using one.
A much safer alternative to a foam wedge baby positioner is a baby movement monitor. Baby movement monitors or sid monitors are devices made to reduce the risk of SIDS via a sensor and alarm.
There are two types of baby movement monitors.The first type is a flat pad that is positioned under a crib or bassinet mattress to monitor baby’s movements, like the one in the Angelcare AC1100 Video Baby Monitor. The second type is a smaller, more portable type that clips onto baby’s clothes to monitor movement. Both types use sensors to detect movement and come with a monitor that alerts you when no movement is detected. Babies move around a lot in their sleep, from small twitches to changing positions. Baby movement monitors keep track of these movements and if no movement is detected after a period of 20 seconds, an alarm sounds, allowing you to intervene if there is a problem.
There are still situations in which a certain type of baby positioner is necessary to use, such as having an infant with reflux. A newer, much safer baby positioner, such as the Summer Infant Tummy Comfort Positioning Seat, can help ease reflux symptoms. The Tummy Comfort Positioning Seat allows baby to rest in a 5 point harness at a 30 degree angle to help digestion. It can also be used in a crib, bassinet or on the floor, letting baby sleep safely and comfortably on her back. You can also find crib wedges that fit under a mattress, allowing baby to sleep at an incline to help with digestion issues. Both these types of baby positioners are safer to use. The do double duty keeping baby on her back and providing an incline to help with tummy issues.
If a baby sleep positioner isn’t for you and you still want a product that will keep baby safe and help reduce SIDS, consider a Nap Nanny or a Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper. A Nap Nanny is a foam infant recliner that allows your baby to both sleep and play safely and comfortably. Nap Nannies are not for use in cribs, but can be easily placed on the floor, making it ideal for room sharing. Baby will sleep comfortably on her back and in a 3 point harness. The Nap Nanny also comes in handy for keeping baby in one spot while you grab a quick shower or need to make an important phone call. The Rock and Play Sleeper is a small, portable, foldable bassinet style sleeper with a 3 point harness. You can use it any room for baby to take a nap, sleep or play. It folds up for easy storage and can be transported for naps at grandma’s house or anywhere you happen to be. It also keeps baby on her back for safe and comfortable sleeping.