A MESSAGE FROM LESLIE GUDEL – OWNER/FOUNDER NAP NANNY
Recently the CPSC filed an administrative complaint against our company seeking legal authority to stop the sale of all Nap Nanny recliners on the theory that the Nap Nanny is a hazardous product. We do not believe the complaint has merit and stand behind the safety of our product when used as instructed.
The CPSC’s complaint notes that five infants have died “while using” the Nap Nanny. The loss of an infant is an unthinkable tragedy, and I am truly heartbroken for the families who have lost a child. But the fact that infants have died “while using” the Nap Nanny improperly, such as when used in a crib where the child could suffocate on a crib bumper or a blanket, does not mean our product caused the child’s death or is hazardous.
We at Nap Nanny went to great lengths to make the safest product possible. Nap Nanny has helped thousands of babies and their tired parents the last four years. No infant using the Nap Nanny properly has ever suffered an injury requiring medical attention. The Nap Nanny was designed and constructed for use only on the floor with the harness secured.
The emotional connection Nap Nanny users have experienced with the product has been the driving force behind our company and the testimonials we have received speak for themselves.
In July 2010, Nap Nanny participated in a voluntary recall after learning that infants could get sideways and one infant tragically died while sleeping in the Nap Nanny while in a crib. Consumers were asked to discontinue using the Gen1 recliner and new, improved warnings and instructions were issued for the Gen2 product. The Gen2 remained on the market and those who owned this model were asked to view an instructional video. The new warnings for the Gen2 were authored in part and approved by the CPSC and placed on the outside of the Nap Nanny so they were visible at all times. The recall was followed by the launch of the Nap Nanny Chill in January 2011. This newer model provided a snugger fit for smaller babies, while better containing older infants.
Early this year, after learning of three additional incidents in the Gen2, one predating the recall and two since the recall, Nap Nanny began several months of discussions with the CPSC, crafting a plan to remind consumers of how to properly use the product. The CPSC wanted consumers to stop using the discontinued Gen1 and Gen2 Nap Nannys.
The CPSC advised us that it had conducted a technical analysis on the Nap Nanny Chill, and deemed it a suitable upgrade to our older models.
In July of this year we learned that an infant died in a crib in which a Nap Nanny Chill was present. Unfortunately, the baby was placed in the Nap Nanny without a cover and without being secured by the harness. The infant was found in the crib, outside the Nap Nanny, near loose blankets. The cause of death was Sudden Unexplained Infant Death with accidental asphyxia not excluded.
Upon learning the news of this incident, the CPSC reversed course and informed us that it deemed the Nap Nanny Chill unsafe because of what the Commission described as “reasonably foreseeable use.” In addition, the CPSC now says the warning labels are “inadequate.” These are the same warning labels the CPSC helped us write and approved two years ago. They are also claiming the harness is “defective” in that it’s difficult to adjust the waist straps, making it less likely parents will use the harness. The changes to the harness on the Nap Nanny Chill were made at the urging of the CPSC two years ago.
Since the announcement on December 5th, numerous news reports have quoted the CPSC as saying they are aware of 70 reports of children nearly falling out of the Nap Nanny. What they don’t say is which Nap Nanny model those reports are associated with. We have not received a single report about an infant getting over the side of the Nap Nanny Chill. Rotation in the Nap Nanny was an issue in the Gen1 and Gen2, but addressed in the Chill product we have been selling for the last two years.
The filing of CPSC’s complaint does not mean it’s illegal to sell the Nap Nanny. Anyone who wants to sell the Nap Nanny certainly can, for now. The CPSC may succeed in its attempt to legally ban the sale of the product, but there’s no telling whether that will happen or how long that will take. It matters little, because very few Nap Nannys remain on the shelves. The ongoing battle with the CPSC cost us so much money that it forced us out of business a month ago.
Another small business is gone. Twenty-two Americans are out of work between Nap Nanny and our supplier. This doesn’t take into account the financial impact our closure has had on our other U.S. suppliers.
For those consumers who have reached out to us since learning we closed, THANK YOU for your support. It means more to us than you will ever know. For those of you who have asked for a Nap Nanny and can’t find one at a retailer, I’m sorry we can’t be there for you. I set out to make a product that comforted babies and improved infant sleep. I know we accomplished this mission. I’m sorry we won’t be around to carry it on any longer.