Inclined infant sleep products Unsafe Goods Notice

This notice prohibits the supply of certain inclined infant sleep products.

Unsafe Goods (Inclined Infant Sleep Products) Notice 2019

This notice was published on 19 December 2019, and amended in August 2020. It prohibits the supply of certain new or used inclined infant sleep products (inclined sleepers). Inclined sleepers have been linked to more than 70 infant deaths internationally.

The Unsafe Goods Notice applies to products that:

  • are intended to contain a child under 1 year of age, and
  • are designed, intended, marketed, or make any representation that they are suitable for sleep, and
  • have a sleep surface angled more than 7 degrees from the horizontal.

‘Sleep surface’ means the surface that supports an infant’s head and back.

Some types of inclined sleepers are excluded from the notice:

  • Medical devices. These products are considered to have a therapeutic purpose, and are regulated under the Medicines Act 1981.
  • Products that can be adjusted to multiple incline angles, as long as every angle designed, intended or marketed for sleep is below 7 degrees.
  • Baby hammocks, because there is limited research on the safety of these products.

See the Unsafe Goods Notice below for more detail:

New Zealand Gazette website – Unsafe Goods (Inclined Infant Sleep Products) Amendment Notice 2020(external link)

Tip Icon Orange2 NOTE

Only flat, firm surfaces are recommended for safe infant sleep. We are looking into the safety of other products that do not align with the recommended safe infant sleep guidelines. 

The notice doesn’t apply to inclined products that aren’t meant for sleep

For the avoidance of doubt, this notice does not apply to:

  • car seats and capsules
  • prams and strollers
  • products that are designed to carry an infant on the body of another person, such as slings and baby carriers
  • products that are meant only for play or amusement, such as baby bouncers and play seats, as long as they are not designed, intended or marketed for sleep.

These products are intended for transportation or entertainment, and are intended for use under the supervision of a parent or caregiver. They are not suitable for sleep.

Guidelines for classifying a product as being ‘for sleep’

The following factors will be taken into consideration when determining whether a product is designed, intended or marketed for sleep.

Please note that it isn’t necessary for all factors to be met to classify a product as ‘for sleep’. For example, stating that a product named a ‘napper’ isn’t intended for sustained sleep does not remove the product from the scope of the Unsafe Goods Notice.

Classification factorDescription
Name The product's name:
  • includes ‘cot’, ‘cradle’, or ‘bassinet’
  • makes reference to sleep, such as ‘sleeper’ or ‘baby bed’.
Marketing The product's packaging, instruction manual or advertisement show:
  • an infant sleeping in the product
  • the product placed next to the caregiver's bed (implying that the product can be used for overnight sleep)
  • Any other visual or audio representation of sleep.
Listed use functions The product’s stated functions are linked to sleep (including ‘napping’ or ‘dreaming’), and/or there are any references related to sleep on the product's packaging, labelling, instructions or advertisement.
Recommended use The product is promoted as a sleeping environment for an infant.

A range of baby bouncer products are manufactured to meet the European Standard EN 12790:2009 Child use and care articles – Reclined cradles. This Standard requires several warnings, including the statement ‘this product is not intended for prolonged periods of sleeping’.

The Unsafe Goods Notice does not apply to this warning statement when it is in the following places:

  • Marked on the product
  • Included in the product’s instructions for use

A product may still be found noncompliant if the warning statement is found in another place, such as advertising or point-of-sale information. This is because showing the statement at the point-of-sale could make consumers think it’s safe to buy and use the product for infant sleep, as long as it’s for a period that’s less than “prolonged”.