Due to over 70 complaints from parents and the deaths of 5 babies, the manufacturer of the popular infant sleep device, the Nap Nanny, is being sued by the Consumer Products Safety Commission and asked to refund parents their money and also pull the device from store shelves.
And even if you don't own a Nap Nanny, I'm sure you've at least heard of it, because plenty of parents use them these days. The infant recliner keeps a baby all comfy and snug and supposedly helps them sleep like, well -- babies.
A lot of parents pretty much deem this thing to be a miracle device as far as getting their little ones to sleep goes, but there have been several complaints about babies falling out of the device -- and it actually was recalled once in 2010 when the first baby died while using it. After the incident, the sides of the recliner were raised, and an instructional video on how to use it was put up on the Nap Nanny website.
But after that, four more infants still died as a result of using the device.
The maker of the product is a mom, Leslie Gudel, who got the idea for the Nap Nanny when her own infant daughter refused to sleep in anything but a car seat.
Since she and her company would not agree to a voluntary recall of the product, a formal complaint was filed.
And while she is heartbroken for the parents who lost their children, she also says in a written statement:
We do not believe the complaint has merit and stand behind the safety of our product when used as instructed. The Nap Nanny should be placed on the floor with the harness secured.
She also added:
No infant using the Nap Nanny properly has ever suffered an injury requiring medical attention.
But a spokesperson for the CPSC maintains, "We believe it is a hazardous product and we are concerned about the safety of the children that are in there."
And now, I guess it's up to a judge to decide whether or not the Nap Nanny is really a danger to babies.
But regardless of the court's decision, this information is bound to break the hearts of thousands of parents who absolutely swear by the Nap Nanny and count on it to help their baby sleep, and get a few extra much needed zzz's themselves.
This thing wasn't around when my son was a baby, but I've had more than one friend tell me that the Nap Nanny has been nothing short of a miracle worker in their household.
And as the mom of a child who was a horrible sleeper as an infant, I've always kept the Nap Nanny in the back of my mind as a potential life saver I could use if I ever wound up having another baby. My first baby may not have slept, but thanks to the device that so many of my friends swear by, I figured I'd have a decent shot of having a rock star sleeper if I had a second.
But now that there are questions about the Nap Nanny's safety, I'm not sure whether I'd be as enthusiastic about trying it. And I'm sure plenty of parents who are using them right now will seriously consider giving them up and going back to traditional sleep methods and hoping for the best.
I think we just have to realize that when it comes to babies and sleep, there's really no miracle device. Being exhausted and sleep deprived is just part of the deal when you're a new parent, so there's no sense trying to fight it.
You can hear more about the complaint from the CPSC in this video clip.
Do you use a Nap Nanny, and will you stop after hearing about the possible dangers?
Image via Amazon