Boppy pillows make breastfeeding more manageable and comfortable for the baby and mum. Because of the comfort offered, most babies sleep in them better and longer. However, it is not safe for the baby to sleep in the Boppy.
We understand that most new parents struggle with getting the baby to sleep in the first weeks, and they end up adopting anything that makes the baby sleep. However, it is vital to ensure that the sleeping surface is safe.
If your baby only sleeps in the Boppy, this must be coming to you as bad news because you will have to try other means to get your baby to sleep.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reported several Boppy related infant deaths. The reports indicate that the deaths occurred to babies who were placed on their back, side, and stomach, who ended up sliding into the curve and suffocated because they could not pull themselves out.
Such incidences are very unfortunate, and as a result, millions of Boppy loungers and pillows were recalled from the market by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Parents are advised to discontinue the use Boppy pillows or only use them for breastfeeding and only allow the baby to stay in them during the day under maximum supervision.
Why Can’t Babies Sleep in a Boppy?
Getting a fussy baby to sleep is exhausting; therefore, most parents leave the babies to sleep wherever they are settled because they might wake up if they try to move them to the crib or bassinet. In our case, if the baby finally falls asleep on the Boppy, the first instinct is to leave them there. Although it is convenient for you, it is not safe for the baby.
Here are three reasons why the baby should never sleep in a Boppy:
Positional asphyxiation is the term used to describe suffocation that happens when a baby is left to sleep on devices or objects that put them in a sleeping position that causes the upper body’s weight to block the airways. These objects could include a Boppy pillow, car seat, baby carrier, swings, and lounges, among others.
Another possible risk of letting the baby sleep overnight on a Boppy is back injuries. When the baby bends their head on one side for a long time, they are straining their backs, and if this happens repeatedly, they will develop back issues.
Baby turns on a position that blocks the nose
From the Boppy pillows reported deaths, some babies were found sleeping on the tummy or side with a blocked nose. Babies below 4 months do not have proper head and neck control, and they cannot turn themselves if they sleep in an uncomfortable position. For this reason, if they happen to turn on the tummy and block their nose, they wouldn’t know how to rescue themselves, and sadly this leads to suffocation and death.
Can Baby Sleep In Boppy Lounger Supervised?
You should never leave your baby to sleep in a Boppy all night because they pose the risk of suffocation. The pillows or loungers are only safe if used when the baby is awake. To avoid this kind of infant death, parents are advised to practice safe baby sleeping practices, which include:
Put your baby to sleep on their back
It is recommended that babies below one year should be put to sleep on their backs. However, babies can roll over from back to tummy and tummy to back after around three months. Therefore, if you find that they have rolled to the side or tummy, leave them alone because they will continue to roll.
The baby should sleep on a firm surface
Babies should sleep on firm surfaces to reduce the dangers of suffocation. If your baby falls asleep on a pillow, car seat, lounger, or carrier, you should transfer them to a firm sleeping surface like a bassinet or crib as soon as possible.
Never allow the baby to sleep on the Boppy pillow. Also, adult supervision is critical if you are using the Boppy pillow during the day.
Keep the crib free of objects
Clear the crib of objects like blankets, stuffed toys, coat bumpers, or comforters to reduce the risk of suffocation or strangulation. Also, ensure that the crib mattress is fitting and is covered with a fitted bedsheet.
Use Swaddlers or wearable blankets instead of covering the baby with loose blankets. At the age of 12 months, however, you can start introducing light blankets on the crib because the baby is strong enough to remove it out of the way.
What To Do if Your Baby Won’t Sleep in a Bassinet?
The bassinet is the safest place for the baby to sleep, but some newborns cannot sleep in them. This means a lot of frustration for sleep-deprived parents who end up letting the baby sleep on the Boppy pillows or co-sleep in their bed, putting the baby at the risk of suffocation.
If you are struggling to get your baby to sleep on the bassinet, the tips below might help:
- Ensure that the room temperature is ideal for baby sleep. Experts recommend that the temperatures of the nursery should be kept at 68-72 degrees (F).
- Purchase appropriate baby sleeping clothes. Sometimes the babies refuse to sleep in the bassinet because they are too hot or cold. Proper baby clothes depend on the season of the year and the warmth offered by the clothes.
- Consider swaddling for babies who have not started to roll. Swaddling gives them a womb feeling and helps them deal with the startle reflex.
- Ensure that the baby is comfortable. This can be achieved by ensuring that the baby’s diaper is dry, the baby is well-fed, and that they are not gassy.
- Schedule enough awake time between naps so that the baby is not overtired from sleeping throughout the day.
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Unsafe sleeping positions rob many parents of their little ones, a regrettable occurrence. For that reason, parents are advised to check the warning signs on Boppy pillows and only use them for the indicated purpose, which is support during breastfeeding.
The pillows are not designed for the baby to sleep on, and therefore you are exposing your baby to possible risks by letting them sleep on them for whatever reason.