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Following product recalls, experts reinforce safe sleep practices

Parents rely on sleep devices like the Boppy Lounger, which was linked to several infant deaths.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Parents of newborns just want to catch a few winks of sleep whenever they can. Baby loungers on the market have felt like a Godsend, but some are now being recalled after tragedies have happened.

Charissa Beres of Rossford has two daughters ages five months and two years. Both slept on their backs and in an empty crib.

Beres describes herself from the start as "a safe sleep person. It's something I'm super passionate about." No blankets, no bumpers and no stuffed animals in the crib. 

For naps here and there, Beres says with both daughters she used a product you'll see on just about every mom's baby registry: the Boppy Lounger.

"She loved it. It was kind of a cozy inset thing. So it was one of those cozy places for them to sleep, that wasn't on mom," explains Beres. 

She said she always supervised her girls and nothing went wrong. Beres' daughters grew out of the product by the time a recall for three styles of Boppy loungers was issued last month. 

RELATED: 3 million Boppy loungers recalled after 8 infant deaths are reported

"It's just creating more of a risk for SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome," says Hillary Adams, a Pediatric nurse practitioner with Mercy Health. She says infants can suffocate in the Boppy Loungers if they roll or move.

The consumer product safety commission linked the product to eight infant deaths. 

Adams doesn't judge parents who rely on sleep props or devices because she understands the desperation to calm baby and get some rest, but she does want parents to know best practices.

"Sleeping on their back in a flat, firm bassinet. Usually in that first few weeks, especially. But if they have other options like a pack-n-play or a crib at that time, if that's your only option then that's what we recommend," Adams said.

Adams warns that babies can suffocate on soft surfaces like pillows and blankets when they're too young to move their heads on their own. 

So how do you get baby to not only sleep safely, but get mom and dad some rest as well?

"I really just encourage my patients to reach out, especially if you're a single parent, to reach out to any family support, friends that you might have that are willing to help, because everyone wants a baby to do well, and a baby to be safe and healthy," says Adams.

Adams also recommends going old school by rocking baby and using a pacifier. Beres can attest to that, as the swaying is comforting to a newborn who just spent months in the womb.

Beres adds this advice: "I hate it when people say it, but sleeping when the baby sleeps. Letting the dishes go. Letting whatever it is go so you can get the sleep."

For continued sleep in the future, Adams recommends starting a nighttime routine from the get-go to normalize sleeping at night.