'Accidents waiting to happen': Aussie nurse warns against 'dangerous' baby sleep products
By Nikolina Koevska Kharoufeh |
From sleeping bags to swaddles, cot bumpers to white noise machines, with so many baby sleep products on the market parents can become overwhelmed when setting up their baby's sleep environment.
And according to a well-known baby and child sleep consultant, Steph Gouin, one big mistake mums and dads are making is purchasing popular and commonly used products thinking they are safe.
"There's a whole host of baby sleep products I encourage parents to steer clear from. Many are a safety and suffocation risk," Steph Gouin who is also a registered nurse, tells 9Honey Parenting.
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The mum of three revealed the products parents should never even consider introducing into a child's bedroom, and the ones that are being dangerously misused. These include sleep positioners, cot bumpers, cot pillows and loose blankets.
Gouin, who is an ambassador to Koala's newly launched kids' furniture range Joey, says she has worked with many families over the years who unintentionally turn to dangerous products in an attempt to 'fix' their baby or child's poor sleep.
"Out of sheer desperation they have set up unsafe sleep environments and are using products in an unsafe and dangerous way," she warns.
"It's such a worry to think there are sleep-deprived parents out there who are just so exhausted and desperate they feel they have no other choice."
?She urges all parents to follow Red Nose Australia's Safe Sleeping Recommendations and avoid the misuse and overuse of sleep products.
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"I always say the focus should be about 'keeping it simple' and ensuring safety and comfort over anything else," she tells 9Honey Parenting.
Baby sleep products to avoid?
Gouin recommends parents stay clear of the below products within a baby or child's sleep space:
- ?Sleep positioners
- Cot bumpers
- Cot pillows
- Loose blankets and bedding
- Comforters (under a certain age)
She says these items do not belong in a baby's sleep space under any circumstance, "Many of these items are a safety and suffocation risk."
What to look for in a cot?
?When it comes to choosing a cot or sleep space for a child, she also says the overwhelming amount of options out there can be confusing for parents and lead to dangerous purchases.
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"I tell parents to stay away from co-sleeping bassinets and baby sleep loungers. In line with Red Nose Australia's Safe Sleeping Recommendations, babies need to be sleeping in their own safe sleep space on a firm flat mattress," she notes.
As a registered nurse, she points out that even particular cots can be unsafe, "Some cots sold on the market don't meet safety standards. And if a cot or bed is assembled incorrectly, it can become dangerous even if it has the safety standard tick of approval when purchased."
When looking to purchase a cot ?she recommends parents invest their money in a good quality and safe purchase, "invest in well made, premium quality bedroom furniture like cots, beds and mattresses that provides a safe and comfortable sleep space for your babies and children."
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A safe sleep environment?
And it isn't just the sleep space parents need to be careful with. She also says we need to be focusing on what's happening around the sleep space too.
"This is where accidents can be waiting to happen too," she warns.
"Cots and beds should be positioned away from windows without curtain or blind cords hanging near. Cords are a strangulation hazard," she tells 9Honey Parenting.
"They should also be positioned away from heaters and power points."
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