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Sleep Tight Baby Bed Review

Sleep Tight Baby Bed Review

You may have noticed that we don't sell padded nests or baby pods at The Sleep Store, even though they are super popular. They seem to be in every baby store, all over Instagram and new parents consider them almost a must-have item. We have had major safety concerns about this category of products and chose not to stock them until our safety concerns were addressed by a safety standard or we found a product that was clearly designed with safety rather than looking gorgeous in mind.  

On a trip to the world's largest, most prestigious baby products trade fair, finding a safe version of a nest was one of my top priorities. I spoke with dozens of suppliers from around the world over four days, nests and pods are now in so many brands ranges. In almost every case, the conversations were such a disappointment to me. Yes I can see your prints are gorgeous, yes I can imagine they are selling very well, yes I'm sure babies feel very cosy and cushioned sleeping in what is basically a soft padded cushion. However the answers to my questions about safety were when it was really disappointing. Yes great to hear you've tested the flammability of the nest but why is it still so squishy? Is there a relevant safety standard in your country for this category of products? Have you tested if the sides are breathable?  

Conversation after conversation was totally lacking in answering my safety concerns until I met the team at Purflo, one of the world's leading sleep products brands and one with a real focus on safety. They had been selling a nest and it was super popular, but they knew they needed to improve the safety of this product. They knew that retailers like us would never stock their soft squishy nest in a million years, despite customers and babies lovely them.

And rather than wait for the EU or UK to finally develop a safety standard for this category, Purflo went back to the drawing board to totally reimagine the next type product into something where they START with safety. rather than try to justify later that yes the product is safe. And this was my first introduction to the Sleep Tight Baby Bed, more than a year ago and the start of our relationship with Purflo. As someone who has a huge interest in safe sleep, safety standards and finding the safe options for our customers, it was a pleasure to meet the team from Purflo who share my interest in these areas.

On first glance, yes the Sleep Tight Baby Bed does look like a nest. It's a similar shape, oval with raised sides. It's also designed for the first few months until baby can sit up and yes babies do look adorable in this little bed.

But this is where the similarities between the Sleep Tight Baby Bed and nests or pods finish. And the reason that this product is called a BED, rather than a nest, pod, lounger or resting pod or something for 'supervised sleep' or napping. Purflo have designed this product as a BED for little babies, as that is what they know parents use them for. Their research and any brief look into the world of babies of instagram will show that babies fall asleep in nests and that these sleeps are not always 'supervised'. Babies sleep in these type of products overnight, while parents are out of the room, while they are busy with other siblings, while baby is not actively supervised. The biggest risk for all this is of course overnight sleep, that despite whatever intention parents may have, they cannot actively supervise their baby's sleep while they are asleep themselves.

So yes, Purflo have re-imagined the nest and designed the Sleep Tight Baby Bed as a safe bed for overnight sleep. While other products may be used for napping or overnight sleep, this is the only one in my comprehensive search around hundreds of trade booths, more than 2 years of researching brands and contacting dozens of suppliers to ask about their safety information. The Sleep Tight Baby Bed is truly different and the only product of this type we are happy to recommend and stock in our range.

In designing this bed, Purflo consulted with 2 different testing laboratories in the UK to identify what possible testing could be used and which safety standards were relevant for proving that this bed was safe for overnight sleep. Remembering that no country has a safety standard for nests or pods, so it's not a simple question to apply the standard from a different country. So the recommendations were to look at what makes already certified bassinets and moses basket type products safe for overnight sleep? What is it about a moses basket that is so different to a padded nest, that one is safe for overnight sleep and meets the Carry Cot safety standard, and what makes a padded nest only safe for lounging or supervised sleep.

What do we consider safe for newborns?

Beds that achieve all the safe sleep guidelines are safest for newborns. So this means choosing beds that meet the following:

  • Have a firm sleeping surface
  • Babies have their own sleep space
  • The mattress is well fitting with no gaps
  • There are no padded or cushioned items, so no duvets, quilts, bumpers or pillows near baby.
  • If baby’s face is up against the side of the bed, it does not pose a suffocation risk. So this generally means a firm, breathable surface, such as cot slats, the cotton or mesh side of a bassinet or the firm surface of a moses basket, wahakura or pepi-pod.

Newborn baby lying awake in Purflo Sleep Tight Baby Bed

How do nests compare?

In comparison, here's a photo of a typical nest. This is taken from Alibaba, where there are dozens of suppliers making these type of padded nests for overseas brands. There are also many of this type of nest made in New Zealand.

These types of nests have:

  • Soft squishy sides that pose a suffocation risk if a baby's nose was up against them, as the fabric and padding would compress around the nose.
  • In many the base is soft with nothing to keep it's shape
  • The nest can tip over, as there is no structure which has been designed to prevent tipping or rolling over.
  • In many nests, the area where baby lies is very small and their head is therefore close to the sides or surrounded by the sides. This has led to concerns that nests may also be an overheating risk, particularly as babies are often shown sleeping in a nest while wearing a hat or other head covering.
  • The base of these nests often opens, may have cord or ties or buckles, none of which are tested as safe for use with babies and may pose a strangulation or choking risk.
  • These is a gap between the sides and the base, where the shaping of the sides curves under. This poses a suffocation risk as baby's face could become wedged in this space or face surrounded by the padding.

But don’t nests meet all the safety standards?

Remember are NO specific safety standards in New Zealand, Australia or anywhere else than apply to baby nests. So we recommend you ask for specifics about claims that nests are ‘certified’ or that they meet particular safety standards, as some of the claims are misleading at best and outright lies at worst. For example, one brand in NZ claims their nests meet safety standard AS/ NZS ISO 8124/Pt.1/2002 but this standard has nothing to do with beds. It is a toy safety standard! The part that deals with small parts and mechanical pieces that could otherwise be a choking hazard.

Another brand references standard NZ 8811.1:2013, the voluntary standard that covers the firmness of sleep surfaces. While firm sleep surfaces are important for safe sleep, this is completely outweighed by the suffocation risk of very soft padded sides next to your baby's face.

So to conclude.....

We are really thrilled to have have partnered with Purflo to bring the Sleep Tight Baby Bed to New Zealand. we have long wanted to find a safer alternative to the nests and pods which have flooded the market with little care of interest in the safety of babies. while we would still always tell you a moses basket or bassinet that fully meets an international standard is your SAFEST bed for your newborn, we think the focus on safety and testing makes the Sleep Tight Baby Bed a safe and adorable option for your baby that easily addresses all the safety questions we have about nests and pods.