SAN ANTONIO – The Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning parents about the dangers of letting infants sleep on nursing pillows. The agency is investigating infant deaths that could be associated with the products that are popular on baby gift registries.
“Do not allow infants to sleep on nursing pillows or other pillow-like products,” the agency stated.
The risk is suffocation.
“The issue is not using the nursing pillows for breastfeeding or bottle feeding -- it’s either when babies are put to sleep propped up on the pillow or flat on the nursing pillow and then roll over and suffocate,” said Rachel Rabkin Peachman, an investigative journalist for Consumer Reports.
The CPSC said it is investigating deaths possibly associated with the products “when children are left on or near pillows and the child rolls over, rolls off, or falls asleep.”
The agency is looking into the entire class of products, not any particular brand.
Peachman reviewed the government database of incidents and said there are at least 28 infant deaths between 2012 and 2018 that are possibly linked to nursing pillows or lounge pads. She said parents must get the message that nursing pillows are not sleep products.
“The message should also be to manufacturers that this means that their marketing, packaging, and labeling needs to be very clear because parents are confused about how to use these products,” Peachman said.
Peachman says it’s critical to move children who fall asleep on a nursing pillow or lounge pad to safe space.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says babies should sleep on their backs and on a firm, flat surface with no padding or pillows.