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Updated guidelines on safe infant sleep

Every year, about 3,500 babies in the United States die suddenly and unexpectedly while they're sleeping. Usually, these tragic deaths are due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or accidental deaths from suffocation or strangulation.No one knows what causes SIDS, so there's no guaranteed way to prevent it. However, creating a safe sleep environment can help reduce your baby's risk of SIDS.In June 2022, the American Academy of Pediatrics revised the 2016 policy statement and technical report on safe sleep. The following guidance includes additional ways to reduce the risk of SIDS, as well as some new recommendations. 


  1. Keep babies “Back to Sleep”


Babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on their stomachs or sides. The problem with the side position is that your baby can roll more easily onto their stomach. Some parents worry that babies will choke when they're on their backs. But your baby's airway anatomy and their gag reflex will keep that from happening. Even babies with reflux should sleep flat on their backs.


  1. Use a firm, flat sleep surface

A firm surface means that it shouldn't indent when your baby is lying on it. Do not let your baby sleep in an inclined position

  • If your baby falls asleep in a car seat, stroller, swing, infant carrier or sling, you should move them to a firm sleep surface on their back as soon as it is safe and possible.

  • While in a moving car, an infant car seat is still the safest place for your baby. 

  1. Never sleep with your baby

Based on the evidence, the AAP doesn't recommend bed sharing with your baby. If you do bring your baby into your bed to feed or comfort them, place them in their own sleep space, which is flat and firm and put them back into their crib when you're ready to go to sleep.

  1. Instead of bed sharing, room share with your baby

This means keeping your baby's sleep area in the same room where you sleep for at least the first 6 months.

  1. Keep soft objects & loose bedding out of your baby's sleep area

These objects can increase your baby's risk of entrapment, suffocation or strangulation. Do not have in the crib:  pillows and pillow-like toys, quilts, comforters, mattress toppers, non-fitted sheets, blankets, toys, bumper pads or related products that attach to crib slats or sides.

 

  1. Don't let your baby get overheated

Overheating can increase the risk of SIDS. Your baby only needs one more layer than you would wear in the same environment to be comfortable.

  1. Try giving your baby a pacifier at nap time and bedtime

Studies show that This helps reduce the risk of SIDS, even if the pacifier falls out after your baby is asleep.

  • If your baby is breastfed, wait until breastfeeding is established before offering a pacifier. That means your milk supply is good, breastfeeding is comfortable and consistent, your baby is latching well and they're gaining weight like they should. If you're not breastfeeding your baby, you can start the pacifier whenever you like.

  • It's OK if your baby doesn't want a pacifier. You can try offering again later, but some babies simply don't like them. If the pacifier falls out after your baby falls asleep, you don't have to put it back in.

  • Don't hang a pacifier around your baby's neck 

  •  

  1. Do not smoke around your baby

  • Smoking while you're pregnant, and smoke in your baby's environment after birth, are significant risk factors for SIDS. Don't smoke anywhere near your baby, even if you're outside. This includes vaping and electronic cigarettes, which contain nicotine. Keep your car and home smoke-free. Get rid of secondhand smoke in any areas your baby and other nonsmokers spend time.

 

  1. Schedule and go to all well-child care visits

Regular check-ups help ensure your baby's growth and development is on track. In addition, your baby will receive important immunizations at these well-child visits with your pediatrician. 

  1. Don't use home cardiorespiratory monitors as a way to reduce the risk of SIDS.  You can buy consumer wellness devices such as heart rate and pulse oximetry monitors. Some of these are wearable. But remember, there is no evidence that these devices work to decrease SIDS risk. They don't have to meet the same requirements as medical devices either.

 

  1. Finally, Invest some time before the baby is born to take prenatal and  infant CPR classes.

 

 



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