A baby nest is a small, portable bed for an infant that has soft, padded sides. Many baby nests are advertised as multi-functional products that can be used as a sleep surface, changing mat and tummy time mat. Some baby nests are also promoted as being suitable for bed sharing, which involves placing the product in the caregiver's bed. A baby nest's soft, padded sides pose a suffocation risk.
What You Should Do
Babies should never be left unattended in baby nests, nor should the nests be placed inside another product, such as a crib, cradle, bassinet or playpen.
Baby nests should never be placed on standard beds, water beds, air mattresses, couches, futons or armchairs. Placing a baby nest on these soft and uneven surfaces can further increase the suffocation risk.
The safest place for a baby to sleep is on his or her back, alone in a crib, cradle or bassinet that meets current Canadian regulations.
When buying a product for a baby to sleep in, it is important to keep the following in mind:
- A baby's sleep surface should be firm and flat.
- Products with soft surfaces or padding should be avoided.
- Products with attached cords, strings or ribbons pose a strangulation risk.
- Large openings or gaps in a baby's crib or other sleep environment are unsafe.
Health Canada does not recommend bed sharing or products that are intended to be placed in the adult bed, or attached to the adult bed, because of the risk of suffocation and entrapment. Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada recommend room sharing, using a crib, cradle or bassinet next to your bed, as a safe alternative to bed sharing. Research has shown that it is beneficial for babies to share a room with one or more caregivers, as it may reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Report Health or Safety Concerns
If you experience a health or safety problem with any product that you use, report it to Health Canada and to the manufacturer or the retailer where it was bought.
What Health Canada is Doing
In Canada, products that are intended to provide sleeping accommodation for a baby are regulated by the Cribs, Cradles and Bassinets Regulations issued under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. This includes baby nests. If a crib, cradle or bassinet is found to be non-compliant with these regulations, Health Canada will take the necessary enforcement action.
Health Canada is reviewing the safety of baby nests and taking appropriate enforcement action with responsible companies. Health Canada is continuing to monitor new and emerging hazards with products related to a baby's sleeping environment.