Sheepskin is regularly used for cot liners, pram liners, footmuffs and nursery play rugs and is often chosen by parents for its naturally thermostatic qualities, alongside its comfort. Many parents wonder about the safety of using sheepskin and here we will provide some answers to this important question.
First of all, it is essential to make sure that any sheepskin used for babies is medically tanned. This means that no harmful chemicals (particularly chrome based) are used in the tanning process. If your baby is lying or playing on sheepskin that has not followed this process, then they are at risk of breathing in harmful chemicals. Medically tanned sheepskin is also shorn to a specific shorter length for the correct support and undergoes more rigorous quality assurance. Manufacturers who produce products for the babycare market (Bowron, Kaiser, Fellhof) all produce medically tanned sheepskin along with our own brand here at Baa Baby.
Many parents find that sheepskin helps their baby sleep however it is important to follow recommended guidelines for safe sleeping. The Lullaby Trust publish guidelines around safe sleeping and their advice can be found here. Research has found that infants who are placed supine (on their backs) on sheepskin are not at an increased risk of SIDS. Further information from the report can be found here.
If you are choosing a sheepskin product for your baby then look beyond the comfort and softness of the fibres – make sure it’s medically tanned and decide whether or not you choose for your baby to sleep on it, and if so, always in the supine position.