Baby hammocks range in design and style. They usually pivot around a large spring and are supported by a frame or hung from a ceiling.
They are designed for babies who:
- are no more than 9 months old
- can’t roll over by themselves.
Baby hammocks can pose a serious safety hazard, especially once your child starts to roll. They could suffocate or fall out of the hammock.
Suffocation happens when something blocks your child’s breathing. This might happen if they:
- roll over so they’re face down and can't roll back
- move into the side of the hammock, where the material covers their nose and mouth.
This can prove lethal in 1 to 2 minutes.
Slow suffocation happens when a child’s head falls forward, chin-to-chest. This stops them being able to breathe, or even cry out. Young children don’t have the neck strength to raise their own head off their chest.
A curved mattress may cause your child’s chin to press down onto their chest. Take your child out of the hammock immediately if you notice this and stop using it.
If the hammock has an open end, your child could fall out. Place them in the centre of the hammock, far away from the open ends. Even a short drop can cause serious injury to a young child.
Tips for safe use
Only use a baby hammock as a short-term arrangement. Make sure that you:
- always put your child on their back
- supervise and regularly check that your child is still on their back
- only use it if your child is the correct age or weight
- read and act on all the safety instructions.
Always use a baby hammock with caution.
Stop using it as soon as your baby can roll over by themselves.