Are baby hammocks safe?
When it comes to babies and sleeping, it is important for parents to thoroughly research products before purchasing or using them. When we get asked about the safety of Nature's Sway baby hammocks, we are committed to giving parents as much clear and honest information as possible, to help guide them in their decision making process. The short answer, we believe is yes. If they are used and assembled correctly of course. Multiple scientific studies have confirmed this, including a randomised controlled trial study at Auckland University where they used our very own Nature's Sway baby hammocks. Read more here. Nature's Sway baby hammocks are used and recommended by health care professionals, including numerous midwives and they even get used at the Auckland Hospital postnatal wards. Plus, we have 25 years worth of parents safely using our baby hammocks to prove how safe they are.
So why do some people think that baby hammocks are controversial?
Exploring the options for your baby's first bed can be a daunting task. There are so many different options from so many different companies, and the information seems to change depending on what you are reading. There are also differences of opinion among medical professionals around safe sleeping practices for babies too, which makes it even more difficult for the average parent to make informed decisions. Add to that, a lack of government regulations around baby sleep products, and you have a perfect storm for conflicting information, fear and misunderstanding. Parents assume that what’s for sale in stores and online must be safe, which isn't necessarily true. Tragically, thousands of babies lives are taken every year, by asphyxiation while sleeping or sudden unexplained death in infancy (SUDI). This has led to a number of campaigns aimed at educating parents about the safest sleep practices for babies. These campaigns have been very successful and saved many young lives. Some people think that their advice about firm, flat sleeping surfaces, eliminates the hammock as a safe sleeping option, but we believe these concerns are not valid. The natural contours of a Nature's Sway baby hammock, keep a baby on their back (the safest sleep position), and the slight curve and elevated head position have been proven to not compromise the baby's upper airway and oxygen supply.
Are Nature's Sway baby hammocks tested?
At Nature's Sway, we are committed to making the highest quality and safest products we possibly can. So we use the best natural materials available, and we stringently test our components for strength and durability.
What about legal safety standards or requirements?
In New Zealand, Australia and Europe, unfortunately there are no safety standards that cover baby hammocks. The existing mandatory safety standards for cots (AS/NZS 2172), and folding cots (AS/NZS 2195) do not apply to hammocks, and the new world-first voluntary safety standard for Infant Sleep Surfaces (AS/NZS 8811.1) specifically excludes hammocks. This means that there are no baby beds other than full-size cots that meet a compulsory legal safety standard. We are currently in communication with the Ministry for Commerce and Consumer Affairs to try to get some clearer safety standards in place for baby hammocks in New Zealand.