Inclined infant sleep products

Some inclined infant sleep products are unsafe and cannot be supplied in New Zealand.

About this unsafe goods notice

This notice came into force on 19 December 2019 and was 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 100 infant deaths internationally.

When this unsafe goods notice applies

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.

When this unsafe goods notice does not apply

These 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 – there is limited research on the safety of these products.

The notice does not apply to inclined products that aren’t meant for sleep, including:

  • 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.

When a product is classified as being 'for sleep'

Below are the factors we take into consideration when determining whether a product is designed, intended or marketed for sleep.

Please note: all of these factors do not need 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 factor Description
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.