Monday, December 7, 2009

Amby Baby Hammock - Recall

If you haven't already heard, there is a huge recall of more than 2.1 million drop side cribs made by Stork Craft. The frustrating part about it is that there were 110 incidents including 4 deaths and these cribs have been manufactured since 1993. I'm not sure why they weren't recalled sooner. Please check your crib asap if you think it may be involved in this recall.


I have recently become aware that Amby Baby Hammocks may be under investigation by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. There are some posts on a few different message boards saying that several infants have died of suffocation in the Amby bed. I have been trying to find out more about this and don't have any other concrete information to offer at the moment, but I don't want to be a part of the silence. Sometime in mid October, the Amby website had a notice posted that they were not currently shipping any product. Their store was open, but you couldn't add anything to a shopping cart. There was no explanation as to why. Now, the Amby website is completely gone. There is a website up, but it is for Australia.

We purchased an Amby bed off of Craigslist to use with our new baby in January, so I'm obviously very concerned about this issue. I'll let you know what I find out. So far I have contacted someone at Amby that I had an email address for, the CPSC by phone and email, the JPMA by email and phone, and have searched the Better Business Bureau for information. I also contacted Dr Sears because he has endorsed the product in the past. None of these contacts have responded to me, but I'm not done pursuing the matter. A consumer research blog that I read, Z Recommends, is also looking into the issue and will post soon with what they've found out.

UPDATE: None of my contacts responded to inquiries I made, but today the CPSC has issued a recall that you can read here. The Amby website is back up with a note about the recall and a form to sign up for a repair kit to be issued some time in January. If you have an Amby, stop using it immediately. I'm changing the date on this post from 11/25 to 12/7 to move it back up to the top of my blog for now.

49 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your concern with all of us. I was about to buy an amby baby in perfect 2nd hand condition but now won't be. If nothing else, the silence from the company and closure of the US site is concerning. Thanks for raising the issue and pursuing it. I will be following your results. All the best, Kate.

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  2. As of today (12.8.09) Amby beds have been recalled.

    http://ambybaby.com/AmbyBabyRecall12.8.09.pdf

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  3. Dagnabbit! Our colicky little one LOVES her Amby bed. I knew it was too good to be true. Please let me know what the repair kit is. They are not offering it in Canada (yet). Instead, Health Canada suggests we dismantle and destroy our $250 bed!!

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  4. I'm interested to see what the repair kit is as well. I'm not sure how they are going to fix the issue. We probably won't be using the bed, I guess it depends on what the kit is, but its not supposed to be out until some time in January. That's interesting that Health Canada isn't allowing for the repair kit - that doesn't give me much confidence in it either.

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  5. I have one of these hammocks as well. Health Canada says the safest place for a baby to be is in a crib alone and yet look at the recall on cribs and the number of times they are telling you to change positions of a sleeping baby and crib deaths. Relative to Amby they are reporting 2 deaths and a couple of incidents - most of which resulted in no report, only one said about a metal fragment falling in the baby's eye - Health Canada. I think there is a risk no matter what you use. So if your baby likes it maybe use it during the day while your awake, under supervision and find another alternative to night time sleeping - at this point I don't intend on throwing mine away. Surely there is enough R&D to come up with a solution. Most businesses in this situation, use it as an opportunity to improve on the product not disregard and garbage it altogether. - I will hold onto my hammock and wait and see what they come up with.

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  6. Just reading a few more things on the issue and it seems that in the 6 years the product has been on the market the deaths were in June of this year and August of this year - perhaps there is more to this story - was it assembled properly? I just keep reading how satisfied people are with their hammock and wonder how over 6 years it is only become a problem for 2 babies over a very recent 3 month span - any thoughts?

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  7. Christine, I'm still not clear on what the whole story is either. There is a notice on the Amby UK site claiming that the hammock was used incorrectly in both cases. I wish the CPSC would make that clear if it was true. I agree that there are far more deaths in actual cribs and that they best thing is to have baby near mom. For now I guess I'm hanging on to the Amby and waiting to see what the repair kit is and if it makes me feel safer about it.

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  8. I have an Amby and I love it. My daughter no longer uses because she's well over a year old. But we purchased it before she was born (Jan '09) because my son died of SIDS and there is no record of a SIDS victim in an Amby. We ended up being double blessed by having it because straight away my daughter was diagnosed with GERD. We used the snuggle insert thing for the first couple of months to keep her in place. After that about three months later (5 months old) she learned how to roll on her side in the Amby. (though every child is developmentally different) Me being the nervous parent, always had to pull one arm several times a night to correct her sleeping position. This then led to her somehow getting under the mattress portion. Honestly to this day I don't know how she managed to do it. So we called Amby to see if they had a solution and they were very helpful but they also reminded us that they clearly state "once your child can roll over, you should either discontinue use or use under close supervision" We decided then to take out the mattress and let her just hang in the fabric. Which you CAN do and is even recommended in the hot weather. It totally solved our problems. You should probably get the larger spring later because of your child weight will cause the Amby to get close to the ground. (we just ended up putting pillows down there)

    The day we stopped using the Amby was the day we woke up to her standing up right in it. She had just turned 10 months old.

    In my opinion I think the Amby is wonderful and I think the warnings were well stated as with any baby contraption. The sleep my husband and I got was well worth the price.
    My daughter did not die of SIDS or choke to death or suffocate.
    I have always gotten great costumer service and when everyone said they disconnected their phones in the US, I was still able to call and talk to someone and get them to send a repair kit. Im thinking maybe so many people were calling that they couldn't get through. Phone companies do relay that message when that happens. (Now thinking about it I wish I wouldve asked what was in the repair kit.)

    But I will use my amby again.
    I stand by my claim.

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  9. Cassie, thanks for sharing your experience. I'm glad you had good customer service from them. Hopefully the repair kit ships soon.

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  10. Just found this through a basic google search looking for info. on the repair kit that is suppose to be shipping this month.

    The two deaths in the Amby in 2009 were from improper use. In one instance the parents somehow hung the hammock from the ceiling. I used the Amby with my son who had terrible reflux. We stopped using it at 7 months due to his ability to roll over well. My new baby is 9 weeks and we are conflicted on what to do with the hammock. It concerns me that it is under recall but at the same time I think there is good evidence that the deaths were related to user error.

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  11. I wish there were more clear evidence about this as well! I haven't received my repair kit yet so we haven't used the bed and at this point probably won't. Thankfully Esther sleeps okay in bed with me. Its a tough situation though to try and figure this all out!

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  12. I received an email from the company saying all the requested repair kits would be shipped out by March 24th, but I have not received one yet. Has anyone else?

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  13. OK, so about 2 hours after I posted the above comment, I received the Amby Baby Bed Repair Kit in the mail. It contains a "safety tube" to cover the spring, a pin to go through holes in the tube to secure it to the spring, and a new tube sock to cover the tube (perhaps bigger than the old one so it will go over the tube?) and a new user guide.

    I really don't get how it will keep it from tilting front to back or side to side, as the two deaths indicated was the problem. We'll see!

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  14. I just emailed them the other day because I had a previous email saying that it should have been shipped by now and to email them if I hadn't received it by now. The reply I got said that it is shipping this week. I'm not impressed with it from what you say though Maria. How is this going to fix the issues? I wish the CPSC would come out and say WHY the bed caused deaths, was the Amby being used incorrectly as some rumors say? If so, that would make me feel better about using the bed as long as I use it properly... I don't know?

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  15. Christy, both deaths were a result of incorrect use. One was hung from the ceiling and the other, the baby was laid in backwards (with his head at the foot end). No deaths have been reported when these beds were used correctly.

    The Australian arms of the company issued a very candid statement about the recall:
    http://www.babyhammocks.com/hammock-safety-concerns.htm

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  16. I still have yet to receive my repair kit as well, although, given the description of what was received I'm not too confident in it's ability to stabilize the hammock. That being said, I did read the statement announcing that the infant deaths were the result of improper use. Hmm, I know they can't announce that on the US site but I wish they would disclose a bit more or maybe not route all emails to the UK, just to instill a bit of confidence in their ability to handle the situation.
    I emailed customer service and received this reply on April 8th;
    "Good morning
    We are sorry for the delay, we are based in the UK and the Nests have not been recalled here, our American distributors have said that 3,500 repair kits have been sent and the remainder are being sent this week.
    Best regards

    Angela"

    two weeks later, still no kit & I am unable to contact a rep in the US to ask where it is.

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  17. I brought my Amby with me from the US to Iceland in preparation for having my 3rd child. Until I searched the net for the instructions that I'd lost I had no idea about this recall. Any ideas?

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  18. Kristin, I think you should be able to sign up for a recall kit on their website, who knows how long it would take them to get it to you though?! I'm still waiting on mine. They first promised the recall kits to be ready in Jan, which is when I had Esther and was hoping to be able to use the Amby. I dont think we will now though.

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  19. The Amby site is no longer...and the phone number seems like it is about to be disconnected. I have yet to recieve a repair kit as well and it looks like there is no hope in doing so. I had my Baby in December just after the recall was announced and am now out almost $300 for nothing. If anyone has further information I would appreciate it.

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  20. Oh no! You're right, they are gone! Agh.... they disappeared and came back once, I wonder if they are gone for good now?

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  21. I don't know what you people are talking about the website is still there and they answered when I called this week

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  22. you need to go to the following website.

    http://www.babyhammocks.com/mbh.htm

    The www.ambybaby one is no longer there.

    I used the amby baby in 2008 with my daughter and had a very positive experience. I'd HIGHLY recommend it and have to many. It needs to be used correctly and we moved our daughter to a cot when she was at the rolling stage. This was a great transition time and she moved easily.

    Our daughter was born 3 months premature and so what the website says about prems is quite true. It was the only bed she slept well in and it helped her reflux.

    We hope to have a second child and plan on using the Amby baby again.

    My advice is read the use guide and become familiar with putting it together and taking it apart. The swaddles are quite good as well when they're little.

    Hope this is helpful to someone!

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  23. Well I had one as well and never had a problem with my Amby bed. Actually it was our savior to tell you the truth. I stopped using it early with my daughter only because she was rolling onto her tummy and that made me nervous so I stopped using it. As for requesting a repair kit I did as well and never received mine and as someone said they are no longer in business their site states so. Going on Ebay I found out that the repair kit is a "bar" that supposingly stabilizes the bed to make sure its level. There are a few that are selling theirs with the repair kit on there. I guess those of us that were the lucky few that got left out in the dust now have no repair kit and are at a loss, maybe that's why Amby closed their doors because they couldn't afford all the repair kits to send out!

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  24. I was just getting ready to sell my Amby bed at a children's consignment sale where I hoped to make some money. I've been laid off for over a year. Mine is in almost new condition. I hate to throw it away. Seems wrong to recall something for user error.

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  25. I just checked their website again. They are closed, looks like there are no more repair kits available. I requested a kit, emailed several times, and never received one. The statement on their website about having sent everyone who requested a repair kit is untrue. I have no idea what to do with the Amby bed in my basement?

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  26. In case they take it down, here is what their website says as of today:


    Dear Amby Baby customers:
    Thank you for the ongoing support you have expressed over the phone and through email. We have closed our doors, a difficult decision after 18 years dedicated to making babies and parents sleep better.

    In accordance with the The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) we sent a repair kit to all consumers who requested one. These kits are no longer available. If you do not have a repair kit installed, please immediately discontinue use of the Motion Bed and find an alternate sleep solution for your baby.

    If you own an Amby Baby Motion Bed and have installed the repair kit, please review the following to ensure the product is being used safely:

    Please do not hang your hammock from the ceiling or by any method other than the Amby Baby frame and spring provided as a package.
    If you purchased the hammock previously-owned and do not have user instructions, you can find installation instructions here. Please do not use the hammock without reading these instructions and without a repair kit installed.
    Please make sure both end ties are tied tightly and evenly.
    Please do not place your baby's head at the foot side of the hammock. If you are unsure which end is the foot end, please refer to our installation instructions.
    Please be very certain your baby is placed on his/her back and not in any other position. This is particularly important when the infant is not yet able to roll over independently.
    Thank you for your business over the years. It has been our pleasure to serve both parents and babies alike.

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  27. I bought Ambybaby Hammock in 2004 when my baby was diagnosed with sever GERD. He was on medication by age 2 wks old but that still did not help. I bought the Hammock when he was 2 months old, it was a life savor for him, and I would not have known how to live without it, I finally was able to sleep. We stopped using it at age 6 months because he was rolling in it.
    I am so sad to see them out of business. I am so grateful to what that Hammock had given me. I still have it and I am not willing to through it away.

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  28. Like Christy, I requested a kit in December 2009, emailed several times (the first few times, they responded, telling me it was still coming), and then never received a kit. I contacted the CPSC, and they were absolutely no help.

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  29. I did receive the repair kit, and the bed has been wonderful for me! My baby was sleeping 5 hrs straight by 3 weeks old, and 10 hours straight by 3 1/2 months! We just moved though, and I can't remember how to install the repair kit. Does anyone have the instructions to the repair kit and can email them to me please!

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  30. I posted back in February. I did want to say I did get my repair kit but I never fixed it because all the parts I had were the same. Maybe it was a legal issue or something that made them have to replace old parts. But I did find out that they were sued over nothing. My Aunt lives in Australia and her friend works for the mother company over there. Both babies died do to improper use of the Amby. And with the legal fees to fight it, they went under in the US. You can still buy one but it has to be shipped over seas. It's sad because they weren't exactly popular to begin with and to have a guilty parent (or in this case "parents") deffer their angry onto someone else. Their negligence has cost them precious lives and ability of other parents to have an easy and accessible safe place for their child to sleep.

    So I want to make this clear to everyone. The Amby is STILL safe!!! It always has been. But please please please use it correctly.
    If you are concerned about the mattress and suffocation, just take it out. You cant roll over when your hugged and suspended in fabric.
    I promise you. . you didn't waste your money.

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  31. Well spoken Cassie,
    My name is Ian Lewis the owner of http://www.ambyhammock.co.uk and the parent site http://www.babies-born.co.uk This is so unfortunate that our fellow supplier in the U.S was forced out of business over parents not purchasing the amby and assembling it in the correct situation...We have been a supplier in the U.K for 9 years and have never had a problem with the sale and use of the Amby nests...Customers are still buying and using them and re-selling freely second hand on e-bay....For a statement on the U.K site on the U.S recall go to http://www.ambyhammock.co.uk/amby-statement-recall-u.s.a-2009.html

    Thousands of these beds have changed hands over the past twenty years or so and two incidents which happened should not stop parents using them, just follow the assembly instructions supplied or print them of our site if lost....

    There is no repair kit needed or ever been made available on UK sites to my recollection since this matter was bought to U.S and Canada customers attention..
    Just one point Cassie...The amby nest is designed to be used complete with the mattress supplied ,using without invalidates all the safety tests made when the nest was designed. To centralise and stop baby rolling use a amby baby wedge available the accessories part of our sites, if the nest is tilting, check the nest is set at the correct levels with adjustment velcro and side ties on hammock sling..Head should be slightly higher that feet end.

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  32. I have been trying to contact the company but get no response, I have sent 3 e-mail's and no answer. My question was, how do I get the updated hardware and is it necessary to have the mattress for the hammock, does anyone know how to get in touch with Amby??
    Sheila Brey

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  33. Anonymous, my contact at Amby Baby was Ambrose Hooi . She informed me the recall kit is no longer available as it did little to improve an already "Safe Product". She also stated Amby Baby pulled out of the US as a result of the US Authorities reacting to these situations in their usual "knee jerk" manner.

    I purchased this hammock fully knowing about the recall and doing my research. I personally came to the conclusion the CPSC overreacted in how they went about the recall of this product b/c I truly do feel the 2 unfortunate deaths (and only 2 over the whole time this product has been sold throughout the world) were the result of USER error. These Parents just didn't want to be accountable and take responsibility for their own child's death that occurred as a result of their own negligence, inattentiveness and oversight.

    My daughter wound up having reflux and hated sleeping on her back. This product was a life saver. I kept her in the product from birth until she began to roll over in it (about 5-6 months). She only slept on her back (with the cuddle snuggler) in the Amby Baby Bed. I was very careful about setting up the product and followed the product instruction with diligence. I even took one consumers advice and used weights to make sure the hammock was level before putting my baby in it. I also ALWAYS double checked how level the bed was and the angle of the head every time I put my baby in it. I honestly think I had to make 2 minor adjustments the entire time she used the product. I would HIGHLY recommend this product to anyone with a baby who is "high-need", colicky, has GERDS/REFLUX or maybe just sleeps better in a a "reflux nest" or while in motion.

    I wish I had this for my very high need first born (also had reflux). He hated the swing, hated the bouncer, hated being swaddled, hated being on his back. He pretty much wanted to be carried EVERYWHERE, and nursed constantly. Not a fun introduction to parenthood.

    Best of luck!

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  34. Hi, I found your blog entry about the Amby doing a research on the recall for the Amby. Its unfortunate this recall took place. It seems Amby helped so many. And now, many of us find ourselves wondering if we can even sell or give away our Amby we are no longer using because our children have grown out of it. Is it even legal in the U.S. to resell it if it's been recalled and the company doesn't have a local branch? I have one I purchased just before the recall at the end of 2008. I have all the "recall" repair kits. Does that make it okay to sell?
    What's the answer? Regardless of the answer. Your entry and the comments show that we should be questioning this recall.
    How different is the hammock they are currently selling in AU or the UK?

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    1. Hi Katy. I wish the answer were more clear! I ended up giving mine away on Freecycle and completely disclosing that it was a recalled product. I decided that I wasn't comfortable using it, but knew that someone else might decide differently.

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    2. Katy, It is illegal to sell a recalled product in the US. Here is the US Government site related to the recall http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10056.html. Since you have the "recall" kit, you should be in the clear.

      In the event that you do not have a recall kit, you can always sell the product in parts and throw the motion bed with crossbar in for free. What a consumer chooses to do with the motion bed is not your responsibility. That way you are avoiding breaking the law. If you go to the Amby Baby site, you will see that you can actually purchase the system separately. Discount each item on Craigslist, tell your buyer that if they buy it all you will throw the Motion bed and cross bar in for free. I was able to do this successfully and I included info on the recall of the product.

      I still have my ad if you need something for wording.

      As for the difference in what Amby Baby is selling to the rest of the world today and how your product differs, I suggest you contact Amby directly. My bed was a 2008 and when I sold mine w/o a recall kit in 2011 there had been no changes to the product. Actually I spoke directly with the creator and she specifically said there have been no changes b/c when used properly the bed was safe to begin with and the rest of the world felt the same way. The recall kit was a mere formality as a result of the deaths that took place. Because US authorities demanded the kit, after fulfilling the orders Amby Baby pulled out of the US entirely.

      It is unfortunate, the product really is awesome.

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  35. I had no idea about the recall. Listed mine on Ebay, had the jump, jump and all the accessories. The 2nd day it was listed i got am email from Ebay saying they removed the listing due to a recall from the CPSC. I think it is rediculous to have put this awesome company out of business in the US due to two negligent claims. So unfair!

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  36. Hi I just purchased one second hand. Your link for illegal selling does not work. Does this apply to individual sales?

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    1. Sarah, Try selecting the text, coping and pasting the web address into your browser. It worked fine for me. I don't control the hyperlink settings for the blog.

      http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10056.html

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  37. I would like to purchase it from u I dont care about the illegal thing my friend has one and had no problems. I think the claims were proabaly false. u can contact me at w8n4bil@aol.com

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    1. Sorry, I don't have mine anymore.

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  38. This is so interesting! Thanks for sharing. I used my amby for my first baby and loved it, now I am unsure if I should use it for me 2nd baby...sigh.

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  39. So disappointing! I bought this for my son, and pulled it back out for my baby this year. I kept thinking "I need to get that repair kit I heard about a long time." So tonight I went to find it and learned all this information about the company being gone! I was really hoping to find a new home for my sweet hammock too. :(

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  40. We bought our Amby Baby Bed for our first daughter who was born in June 2009 after doing a ton of research on all sorts of baby beds. There was no recall at the time that we bought it. Erynn LOVED her hammock and so did I. We took it everywhere with us. I stopped using it when Erynn was about 7 months because I saw her roll over. I was very careful about the way I set it up making sure to follow the instructions to a t. I have to admit that I don't remember reading anything about discontinuing use when baby starts to roll but it was just common sense to me. Erynn never had any particular special need for the bed, it was just what we bought and everthing worked well.

    We had our second daughter in April 2012. Isabella was born 2 weeks early because my belly stopped growing at 35 weeks due to all the second hand smoke I was exposed to from the people that lived above us in our 'non-smoking' rental. Due to Isabella being born early she had horrible jaundice and horrible GERD/REFLUX. Isabella was so sick from her reflux that she weighed the same at 1 month as she did at birth. This was actually good news because she had lost almost a pound in the hospital. Even though this was good news its never a good thing when your baby hasnt gained an ounce over birth weight at 1 month old. To top off my stress I had to pack up both my girls when Isabella was 3 weeks old (we lived in Cold Lake, AB) and drive to my moms house 17hrs (if I didn't stop) away because we couldnt keep exposing the girls to the second hand smoke after we found out what it did to Isabella. I had to do this all by myself because my husband had to go try to find us a better life in Calgary, AB. We pretty much lived out of the car for 6 weeks. The Amby bed was the only thing that saved me. Isabella cried all night unless she slept elevated. One night I had to scoop spit up out of her throat 3 times cuz she was choking so bad. That was when. I started using the bed religously again. Isabella is almost 5 months and is now a very fat and happy 14.6lbs. I dont think she would be anywhere near that weight if not for the Amby bed. It really helped her keep her food down and continues to do so. Today was the first time I found out about the recall and that was only because the bed has done so much for Isabella and I that I wanted to post the web site on facebook and share its amazingness with all my friends. Reading everything that happened doesnt make me want to throw away the bed, but slap the Canadian government. How can they allow smoking in houses and give tenants like myself no rights to get away from second hand smoke, which has caused way more illnesses and death, yet they can bully an amazing company that has done so much good into going out of business. Beyond disgusting! I live by the Amby Baby Bed and always will. Thank you Amby for your sanity saving, by far my favorite baby item, product!

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  41. I also used a Special Delivery Baby Hammock for both of my keiki. This was the only company I could find that had a pediatric physician as the designer/owner. The foundation of their company is very inspiring, supporting new mothers by creating jobs within the sewing circle...all hammocks are made by mothers! The selection is so unique, I chose a beautiful stock hammock for my first baby, and then had them make me a custom hammock for my second. The custom hammocks are less expensive than their stock hammocks, which I thought was amazing!! I was able to chose my fabric to compliment my sons nursery. Obviously I LOVE the product, my babies have slept through the night since birth, which I believe is due to the Special Delivery Baby Hammock. This is a great company with a great product!!!!!
    specialdeliverybabyhammock.com

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  42. I recently bought a second hand amby baby hammock for our grandbaby that is due in Dec. It had no instructions with it so I went to the internet for help. I am not sure if ours has the repair kit installed or if I need to order it......not sure what it even is. I am questioning how to take it apart to wash it and my second question is not knowing if has the safety kit would you recommend I throw it away?

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    1. I wish the answer were more clear! I ended up giving mine away on Freecycle and completely disclosing that it was a recalled product. I decided that I wasn't comfortable using it, but knew that someone else might decide differently.

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