American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines: how to keep your sleeping baby safe

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Sleeping baby safe

The number of babies who die suddenly and unexpectedly while sleeping is staggering, with 3 out of every 100 deaths being due to SIDS or other causes. Babies are more likely than adults when it comes down their sudden infant death syndrome (Sids).

The updated policy statement and technical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics include new evidence that supports skin-to-skin care for newborn infants, addresses use cases like bedside sleepers or in beds with babies prone to sleeping near their parents (a trend commonly seen among couples who work nights), as well adding recommendations on how you can create safe environments where these types lifestyles are possible.

Remember, all these recommendations are for babies up to 1 year old. Talk with your pediatrician if you have any questions about the best ways of keeping them healthy and happy.

Follow the ABCs of sleep safety for infants

ABCs of sleep safety for infants
  • In order to reduce the risk of SIDS, parents should always sleep train their baby before they turn one. Babies who use a pillow or surface for support can roll onto their stomachs and sides which invites danger because it puts them in an environment where regurgitating food would be more likely without protection from toys moving around underneath bedding items placed near enough as well-the logistics there really shouldn’t matter too much if you’re looking out solely behalf your child’s safety but just wanted clarification on how the best practice works regarding back sleeping vs other positions.
    • Newborns are incredibly special, and it is crucial to get them used as soon as possible skin-to-skin with their mother. After an hour has passed or when the woman needs sleep because she’s had such a hard time giving birth; her baby should be placed back into bassinets so that he/she can learn what feels like being belly up again before going home from the hospital! Preemies may also need tummy time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) due to breathing problems but once those issues resolve themselves then we recommend putting our preemie right onto his/her backside where they will stay until age 1.
    • Some babies will roll onto their stomachs. You should always place your baby to sleep on the back, but if they’re comfortable rolling both ways (back-to-tummy or vice versa), then you don’t have to make them go back! However, be sure there are no blankets/pillows, etc around so that he doesn’t get stuck inside one of those items which could block airflow.
    • There are few things more frustrating than trying to sleep while your baby has fussy or painful habits. This can be especially true if they fall asleep in the car seat, stroller, swing, etc., so you should move them out of these Items immediately upon noticing this happening.
  • Make sure you have the right sleep surface and bedding for your baby. A crib, bassinet, or portable play yard that meets safety standards set by CPSC is recommended along with a firm mattress and fitted sheet designed specifically to fit these products. Nothing else should be in their place except themselves so they can dream peacefully without any distractions. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be placed to sleep on their backs, but there is no published evidence showing how safe these products really are. If you’re looking into buying one for your little ones or yourself then make sure it meets CPSC safety standards before purchasing anything else.
  • It is important to remember that your baby needs their own space as well. In order for them not to feel overwhelmed by you, it’s best if they are able to sleep in a crib or bassinet without any pillows or blankets around him/her so they can breathe easily and not get too hot during sleep time! You should also avoid having anything covering up what would otherwise be covered with sheets when breastfeeding- this includes faces + heads since babies sometimes nestle into these areas while nursing which could lead to newborns getting overstimulated.
  • Bed-sharing with your baby is not recommended in most cases. However, there are certain situations that make it even more dangerous, and therefore you should avoid doing so if:
    • Your baby is still an infant under 4 months. 
    • Your baby was born early or with a low weight.
    • You or any other person in bed with you may also be a smoker, even if they do not smoke at night time.
    • The mother smoked during pregnancy. 
    • You have taken any medicines or drugs that might make it harder for you to wake up, so we’ll just hope this doesn’t keep us awake.
    • You drank alcohol.
    • You are not the baby’s parent. Baby’s parents are the only ones allowed to a sleepover.
    • The surface is too soft, it’s like lying on the world’s most luxurious waterbed.
    • The bedding is too soft like blankets or pillows on the bed.
  • Room sharing can be a great way to keep your little one safe, while also giving you some much-needed rest. The AAP recommends rooming in for the first 6 months or year if possible because it reduces SIDS risk by up 50%. You’ll have easier access to feed and comfort them when they are newborns.
  • Make sure the baby’s sleep area is safe and comfortable. Keep soft objects like pillows, quilts, or comforters out of their reach as these may increase the risk for entrapment in bedding if they happen to get stuck underneath it; also be mindful that any toys attached under crib slats can present risks too! If you worry about your child getting cold while asleep simply use infant wear which consists typically of one layer more than what mommy wears – this will help them stay warm throughout nippy nights.
  • The National Institute on Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) says that sleeping while propped up against the pillow can cause you to forget about your baby.  They may roll over onto their sides or stomachs, turning their heads into the soft fabric which blocks off any airflow; if this happens it’s important for parents not only to check to breathe but also move them away from danger quickly.
  • The sofa is not a place for your baby to sleep. The couch and armchair are even worse! Keep them away from these hazard zones at all times, if you want the best for their safety.
  • It’s perfectly fine to swaddle your baby. However, make sure that the fabric doesn’t cause any problems with their breathing or movement and always put them on their back when wrapped in it so they can breathe more easily! When you notice him/her trying to roll over while being bundle-like like this then stop whatever else may have been doing at night time because there are only two hours of sleep allowed per day (unless otherwise specified).
  • Giving your baby a pacifier can help reduce the risk of SIDS, even if it falls out after they’re asleep. A study found that breastfeeding mothers should wait until their child is well-established in this behavior before offering one as well; usually, 2 – 3 weeks later will do just fine! If you aren’t Nursing or bottle feeding then feel free to offer them at any time because some babies simply don’t like wearing these things (although we think it’s adorable). 

The best way to take care of yourself during pregnancy and after giving birth is by following the recommendations listed below

place for your baby to
  • Non-smokers have a better chance of getting pregnant than smokers. If you’re interested in having children, it is important that your body is in top physical condition so as not to harm or scars the developing baby’s lungs with secondhand smoke exposure during pregnancy and after birth when they are most vulnerable! Make sure also never bedshare – meaning if one partner smokes while sleeping next to another who does not breathe properly due to their lackadaisical attitude towards life.
  • The health of you and your baby is crucial to consider when pregnant. Do not use alcohol or any medicines that can make it hard for both of y’all to get up in time, especially if one person has been drinking while bedsharing with their new little bundle.
  • Giving your baby breast milk is the best way to keep them safe. Breastfeeding has been shown in studies as being associated with a lower risk of SIDS, so if you’re able-bodied and willing then why not do what helps? The AAP recommends that moms continue breastfeeding for at least 12 months after adding solids foods into their diet or longer if they want to.
  • Schedule your baby’s well-check visits so they can get important immunizations. Recent evidence suggests that these doctor appearances may protect them from SIDS.
  • More than just playtime, tummy time is an important part of a baby’s development. It helps them grow and develop new skills while you get some rest! Try giving your little one awake moments in bed so they can enjoy their own company away from mom or dad reading all afternoon- it’ll make everyone feel better.

When shopping, read the label and look out for potential warning signs

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions against the use of products that claim to reduce your risk for SIDS. Wedges, positioners, and specialized sleep surfaces have not been shown by research studies as being able lower chances or cause an accident leading up to such death as this one does so it’s best you don’t buy into those claims unless they can back them up.
  • You may think that using a home monitor to reduce the risk of SIDS is safe, but it’s not. Your pediatrician should be able to answer any questions you have about these types of monitors for other health conditions before relying on them as an option at all.
  • The AAP has no recommendation for or against bedside sleepers. Studies show that there’s been insufficient research into their effect on SIDS rates and if they increase the risk of injury from asphyxiation, but we can’t rule out those possibilities altogether.

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The information on this site is not a substitute for medical care and advice from your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that he or she recommends based on individual facts, circumstances or personal preference you have as an adult who is now taking responsibility of caring for another life stage alongside their own childhoods!

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