Suffocation or strangling are the most common causes of sudden infant death (SIDS) in the United States, taking the lives of around 3,400 newborns each year. An updated policy statement and technical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides new research that supports skin-to-skin care for newborns; it covers the use of bedside and in-bed sleepers and offers guidelines for creating a safe sleep environment.
We know that newborns who rest on their backs are far less likely to die from SIDS than infants who lie on their bellies or sides. Because of the increased ease with which the infant may turn onto their stomach in the side position, it’s not ideal. Contrary to some parents’ beliefs, the gag reflex and the baby’s airway structure prevent newborns from choking while lying on their backs. Sleeping on the back is recommended for all newborns, even those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Mattress and fitted sheets intended for the cradle should fulfill the safety criteria set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The cot should contain just the infant and nothing else. If a baby is resting on a solid surface, it should not sink in. There have been no published studies on the safety of bedside sleepers that fulfill CPSC criteria, making them a viable alternative. In addition, certain crib mattresses and sleep surfaces claim to lower the risk of SIDS for babies in their care. Parents may use these items if they fulfill CPSC safety guidelines, despite the lack of proof.
When you’re ready to drift off to sleep, return your infant to their sleeping area. If you suspect that you might fall asleep, ensure there are no beddings or items that might conceal your baby’s upper body or overheat your infant. As soon as you wake up, take the infant to their room and put them to sleep.
Put your infant’s cradle or play yard next to your bed in your bedroom. As opposed to bed-sharing, which may increase the risk of SIDS by nearly 50%, the AAP suggests that parents consider having their children share a room. It will also be simpler to feed, calm, and observe your infant when you share a room with them.
Among them are crib slat or side-attached bumper pads, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, and other similar items. Infant sleepwear, such as a wearable blanket, may be used to keep your baby warm while they sleep. It is generally recommended that your infant wear no more than one more layer than you do.
Newborns might roll onto their stomachs or sides and press their heads into the soft material. When supported up against a cushion or lounger, their heads might slip forward, obstructing their airways. If you have any questions about your child’s safety contact ELM Pediatrics.