Bednests and safety: What you need to know

  • Published
BednestImage source, Bednest

As an inquest of a baby girl opens, BBC News looks at some questions about the bed blamed for her death. Seven-week-old Grace Roseman died from asphyxia at her home, after being put to sleep in the Bednest crib.

In response to what happened to Grace, in April 2015 coroner Penelope Schofield issued a Regulation 28 Report to Prevent Future Deaths, and the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) has issued guidance.

Such reports are issued if it appears there is a risk of other deaths occurring in similar circumstances, but do not necessarily arise from an inquest.

What is a Bednest?

It's a bedside crib with an adjustable height so parents can make it the same level as their bed. The side flaps down to open on to the main bed's mattress so that there is no gap between the baby's sleeping area and the main bed.

This means the baby cannot slip between the crib and the bed.

Why are they used?

Many people believe co-sleeping can be dangerous, and parents may be anxious about accidentally rolling on to their baby in their sleep.

The Bednest means the baby can sleep close to the parents without actually being in the bed, and the parent can see and reach the baby without the side of a cot in the way.

What happened to Grace Roseman?

The side of the Bednest had three positions - fully up, fully down and halfway up. Grace was put to bed with the side in the halfway position and with the head end tilted up higher than the feet - which some parents find helps relieve reflux.

The tilt should be no more than 5cm, but Grace was tilted 8cm.

When her mother checked on her, Grace had managed to move her head over the side of the crib. The weight of her head meant she could not roll free, and she became unable to breathe and died.

What has Bednest said?

The company said the crib should only be used with the side fully up or fully down. The current version of the cot has been modified so the side cannot be left in the halfway position.

Bednest has also issued a free kit for people who own a pre-modification crib, which can be fitted to make sure the sides are either fully up or down.

Advice on its website says the Bednest should never be used with the folding panel in the half-raised position.

The company told the BBC: "We continue our programme to reach all owners of pre-November 2015 Bednests and we are monitoring online second hand sales of cribs closely, contacting anyone who appears not to have the modification fitted. Any purchaser of a replacement mattress is notified to check that they have a modified Bednest.

"We send our heartfelt condolences to the Roseman family for the tragic death of baby Grace and we continue to work to do everything we can to ensure the safety of all children using our equipment. This is at the heart of our company's ethos."

What has the NCT said?

Following Grace's death, the NCT carried out an investigation which identified a "small but plausible" safety risk when using the Bednest crib in the halfway folded-down position.

It also stated that using the crib with the folding side fully up (or fully down if bedside-sleeping) eliminates the risk that a baby could move on to or over the side of the crib.

What did the coroner's report say?

Coroner Penelope Schofield said in 2015 she had "a number of concerns".

These included:

  • The manufacture's website "clearly showed" pictures of babies in the cots in the incompletely lowered position [this has since been rectified]
  • There were no warnings on the cot itself
  • The cot should not be tilted more than 5cm (as per paper instructions) but it is possible to tilt it more steeply
  • There are a large number of second-hand Bednests on the market, which might not still have the paper instructions

Are Bednests still on sale?

Yes, but only the modified version. If used correctly, the NCT says the Bednest is completely safe.

Customers are urged to keep the paper instructions and pass them on to the new owners should they sell their Bednest second-hand.

The manufacturer provides the latest user guides and instructions on its website.

The NCT, which formerly sold the Bednest via its website, no longer has an online shopping division. The charity said this was a "commercial decision".

The European Child Safety Alliance also produces a safety guide for child-related products.

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.