Safe Sleep Recommendations reduce risk of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths

According to new safe sleep recommendations, infants should sleep in the same bedroom as their parents – but on a separate surface, such as a crib or bassinet, and never on a couch, armchair or soft surface — to decrease the risks of sleep-related deaths, according to new safe sleep recommendations and guidelines released by the American Academy of PediatricsIn fact, room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent. Breastfeeding is also recommended as adding protection against SIDS. After feeding, the AAP encourages parents to move the baby to his or her separate sleeping space, preferably a crib or bassinet in the parents’ bedroom. “If you are feeding your baby and think that there’s even the slightest possibility that you may fall asleep, feed your baby on your bed, rather than a sofa or cushioned chair,” said Lori Feldman-Winter, MD, FAAP, member of the Task Force on SIDS and co-author of the report. “As soon as you wake up, be sure to move the baby to his or her own bed,” she said. “There should be no pillows, sheets, blankets or other items that could obstruct the infant’s breathing or cause overheating.” This new information is based on more than 60 studies involving infants up to one -year old.  The updated policy statement, entitled “SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleep Environment,” can be found here. A video emphasizing the importance of following safe sleep guidelines can be found below.

New AAP Safe Infant Sleep guidelines added for 2016 include the following:

In addition to new guidelines, the AAP maintains the following recommendations to reduce the risk of SIDS and suffocation:

The AAP recommends that doctors have open and nonjudgmental conversations with families about their sleep practices. Media outlets and advertisers may also play a role in educating parents by following safe sleep recommendations when presenting images and messages to the public. “We want to share this information in a way that doesn’t scare parents but helps to explain the real risks posed by an unsafe sleep environment,” said Rachel Moon, MD, FAAP, lead author of the report and Medical Director at First Candle.  “We know that we can keep a baby safer without spending a lot of money on home monitoring gadgets but through simple precautionary measures.” First Candle works tirelessly to educate parents and caregivers on ways to lower the risk of SIDS, support research and provide bereavement support to families who have experienced a loss.