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Bassinet Safety

Posted Jul 03 2008 1:14pm

The results of a study as reported by WebMD shows that more and more parents are using bassinets, however little is known about their safety.   In a nutshell, the study reports 53 infant deaths in bassinets over the course of 14 years.  The majority of these deaths occurred as a result of suffocation due to loose blankets and pillows and/or the infant being placed on their stomach to sleep.  More details on this limited study can be found in the article “How Safe are Bassinets for Baby“?

Currently there are no federal safety standards for Bassinets, however there are guidelines.  Here’s what the CPSC advises to look for in bassinets:

  • A sturdy bottom with a wide base.
  • Bassinets should have smooth surfaces.
  • No hardware should be sticking out of bassinets.
  • Mattresses need to be firm and fit tightly.

While some parenting experts includingDr. James McKenna, the world’s leading expert on infant sleep, advise that co-sleeping is best, theAmerican Academy of Pediatricsrecommends that infants sleep near their parents but not in the same bed due to the possible risk of SIDS.  Bassinets provide a cozier alternative to a crib but due to the lack of safety standards, may not be the best option.   What do you think?  Where is the best place for baby to sleep in the early months?  Crib, Bassinet, Co-Sleeper, or Parent’s Bed?

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