WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new federal rule is aimed at making it easier for parents to find safe sleep products for their infants.

The new Safety Standard for Infant Sleep Products went into effect on June 23. The rule makes it against the law to sell non-compliant infant sleep products. It effectively eliminates potentially hazardous sleep products in the marketplace, such as inclined sleepers, travel and compact bassinets, and in-bed sleepers that do not currently meet a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) mandatory safety standard for infant sleep.

“As a parent, I know there is nothing more important than the safety of our children. I am pleased to announce this new safety standard will protect our most vulnerable population, babies,” said CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric. “The new rule will support parents in making the safest possible choice for a product intended for babies’ sleep.”

The rule comes after more than 165,000 inclined sleepers were recalled in 2020 due to the risk of suffocation. In 2019, the CPSC reported receiving 1,108 incident reports involving infant sleepers, including 73 infant deaths.

Research from the University of Arkansas for Medical Scientists found that none of the inclined sleep products they tested were safe for infant sleep. The research concluded that products with inclines 10 degrees or less, with flat and rigid surfaces, are likely safe for infant sleep. 

The rule applies to items marketed or intended for babies up to 5 months old. The CPSC is planning a comprehensive outreach effort to manufacturers, importers, and sellers to enforce the new rule.

The CPSC provided some tips for parents and caregivers to make sure they are providing a safe sleep environment for their infants.

  • Stop using infant sleep products with inclined seat backs of more than 10 degrees. Parents and caregivers should not use infant car seats, bouncers, and other infant-inclined products for sleep, and should follow manufacturer instructions.
  • Follow safe sleep advice. Bare is Best: Do not add blankets, pillows, or other items to the baby’s sleep environment. Back to Sleep: Always place infants to sleep on their backs on a firm, flat surface.
  • Check www.cpsc.gov often to see if your nursery products have been recalled, and promptly follow the recall instructions to receive a refund, replacement, or repair. Consumers who register their nursery products with the manufacturer’s registration card (included with nursery items) can be contacted directly by the manufacturer if there is a recall.