Inclined infant sleep products
Certain types of inclined infant sleep products are banned under an Unsafe Goods Notice.
Unsafe Goods Notice
Importing, selling or gifting some types of inclined infant sleep products (inclined sleepers) has been banned in New Zealand, following the deaths of more than 70 infants internationally. The ban applies to new and second-hand products.
Some of these deaths are the result of babies’ heads falling forward or to the side and blocking their airways, due to the steeper incline angle. Infants have also suffocated after rolling over in an inclined sleeper.
The ban applies to products that are designed, intended or marketed for babies to sleep in, and that have a sleep surface angled more than 7 degrees from the horizontal.
‘Sleep surface’ means the surface that supports a baby’s head and back.
Some types of inclined sleepers are not covered by the ban:
- 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.
For more information, see:
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.
Make sure that your baby’s bed is safe
Baby’s bed is safe when:
- it has a firm and flat mattress to keep your baby’s airways open
- there are no gaps between the bed frame and the mattress that could trap or wedge your baby
- the gaps between the bars of baby’s cot are between 50 mm and 95 mm – try to get one with the gaps closer to 50 mm if you can
- there is nothing in the bed that might cover your baby’s face, lift their head or choke them – no pillows, toys, loose bedding, bumper pads or necklaces (including amber beads and ‘teething’ necklaces)
- baby has their feet close to the end of the bed so they can’t burrow under the blankets
- baby is in the same room as you or the person looking after them at night for their first 6 months of life.
It is never safe to put your baby to sleep in an adult bed, on a couch or on a chair.
For more information on safe sleep, see the Ministry of Health website or talk to Plunket.
If you own a banned product
You should stop using the inclined sleeper, and put it away to make sure no one else uses it. You won’t be able to sell it second-hand, or give it away to someone else.
Under the Consumer Guarantees Act, products need to be of acceptable quality – this includes being safe. You may be able to get a refund or replacement product from the retailer.
See the Consumer Protection website for more information:
Two inclined sleepers were recalled in April and June 2019. If you still have one of these products, you can contact the supplier to get a refund:
Reporting an issue with an infant sleep product
If you have a safety problem or concern with an infant sleep product, let us know.