Lawmakers Urge Parents and Brands to Quit Weighted Blankets: “Death or Injury Waiting to Happen”

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Parents will do just about anything to help their babies sleep — especially when they are seriously sleep deprived themselves. For some, turning to weighted blankets has provided a sense of security and comfort to babies who just don’t want to be put down. But, lawmakers are issuing further warnings, after the American Academy of Pediatrics also recently spoke out against weighted blankets, calling them dangerous.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, at a news conference in January with Dr. Ho-Bhoong Chang, Chief of Pediatrics in Hartford, Conn., said, “These weighted swaddles or sacks are a menace, quite simply they are a death or injury waiting to happen.” His warning comes after a similar information from the AAP, who explains that the products including weighted blankets, sleep bags, and stuffed animals, shouldn’t be used on infants. Also, in June 2023, the AAP sent a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission expressing concerns about weighted blankets, sleep sacks and swaddles for babies and the safety of the products. (1) The CDC has also expressed concerns about the products, citing that they are not safe to use.

Main concerns associated with the use of weighted sleep products for babies include pressure on chest can make it difficult for babies to breath, difficulty for the baby to move to a safe sleep position, could cause too deep of sleep, leading to SIDS. In addition, the CPSC, a federal agency for consumer safety, told Consumer Reports in 2022 that at least one fatality involving a weighted infant product had been reported. (2)

In spite of warnings, product sales have continued on, and according to one report, interest in weighted stuffed animals even grew almost 600 percent in the past year. Why are parents and companies continuing to buy and sell the products in spite of warnings? Like the founders of Dreamland Baby said on SharkTank in 2020, they were waking up every half hour still with their 6 months old. So, sometimes parents are willing to try anything that might work. “When I say nobody was sleeping, I mean nobody, so I created this,” founder Tara Williams said, promoting “deep touch stimulation.” She swore that the baby soon was sleeping 12 hours, calling it a “game changer.”

Last year, Dreamland spokesperson told Sleepoopolis for a previous article that they’d consulted with child safety and sleep experts who assured them that less than 10 percent of the infant’s weight as safe, especially since the weight is evenly distributed across the front of the sleep sack.” However, the AAP isn’t comfortable with any amount of weight on the baby, with the potential for that pressure on the chest and lungs.

In a new statement from Williams to Sleepopolis, she commented “We are in an ongoing dialogue with the AAP regarding their stance on weighted sleepwear. We are hopeful that new mandatory standards and ongoing clinical studies will result in the AAP retracting its 2022 statement. Dreamland Baby, as always, stands behind the safety and efficacy of our gently weighted products.”

Sen. Blumenthal is calling for legislation he equates to the necessary recalls of the Rock ‘N Play sleep product in the past. “I’ve called on [companies] to take action in a letter last December. (3) We may need legislation…” he added, pointing to the “sobering and sad” statistics around SIDS.

Dreamland is far from the only brand carrying infant sleep products that are weighted. Nested Bean still offers multiple products like the Zen Sack which claims to be “safely weighted to mimic your touch,” and multiple types of weighted stuffed animals are available. They might just be a favorite childhood toy, but only once a child is older.

  • 1. Chung, Sandy L. “RE: ASTM F15.19 Weighted Infant Products,” American Academy of Pediatrics;; June 15, 2023.

  • 2. Kirchner, Lauren; “Pediatricians Warn That Weighted Baby Blankets, Sleep Sacks, and Swaddles Are Not Safe,” Consumer Reports;; July 26, 2023.

  • 3. Hauser, Kathryn. “Weighted infant sleep products pose risks, lawmakers issue warnings,” WTNH News;; January 30, 2024.

Alexandra Frost

Alexandra Frost

Alexandra Frost is a Cincinnati-based freelance journalist, content marketing writer, copywriter, and editor focusing on health and wellness, parenting, real estate, business, education, and lifestyle. Away from the keyboard, Alex is also mom to her four sons under age 7, who keep things chaotic, fun, and interesting. For over a decade she has been helping publications and companies connect with readers and bring high-quality information and research to them in a relatable voice.  She has been published in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Glamour, Shape, Today's Parent, Reader's Digest, Parents, Women's Health, and Insider.

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