Certain sleeping products favoured by parents could be putting babies at risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), a cot death charity has warned.
The Lullaby Trust said items such as cushioned sleeping pods, nests, cot bumpers, pillows, duvets and anything that wedges a baby in place do not conform to safer sleep guidelines and can pose a risk to infants under 12 months of age.
Evidence suggests that sleeping a baby on anything other than a firm, flat surface can increase the risk of SIDS, but with no safety standards that relate to phenomenon it can be difficult for new parents to know what products are safe.
In a survey by the charity two out of five (41%) new parents said they had bought or were planning to buy a baby sleep nest or pod.
As part of Safer Sleep Week, The Lullaby Trust has issued guidance supported by Public Health England (PHE) to help new and expectant parents make safer choices when deciding on sleeping products for their baby.
The charity's chief executive, Francine Bates, said: "As a SIDS charity, we have watched with concern as products that go against safer sleep advice gain popularity."
"It is hard for parents when they are trying to choose from the overwhelming number of baby products on offer and many people make the reasonable assumption that if an item is sold on the high street or made by a recognised brand it is safe for their baby."
Professor Viv Bennett, director of nursing at PHE, said: "We would always encourage parents to discuss any concerns or queries with their midwife or health visitor who can offer advice and signpost to information about safer sleeping."