The ABCs of safe sleep for babies
Too many parents aren’t getting the message. Guard against sudden infant death with these crucial tips for infant sleep.
One topic that comes up most frequently with excited new moms is safe sleep.
Despite the conversations, a new study published this week in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, suggests that the safe-sleep messages aren’t reaching many. The study of infants from 1- to 6-months showed that up to 21 percent were initially placed on sleep surfaces that were not recommended, up to 33 percent were placed the wrong positions and up to 93 percent were placed in sleep areas with unsafe, loose items such as stuffed animals and bumper pads.
According to the Tennessee Department of Health, the number of sleep-related infant deaths in the state is dropping because of statewide efforts; there were 141 sleep-related infant deaths in 2010 and 117 in 2013. There’s still more work to do here and all around the South. Take a look at the tips below to ensure your new bundle of joy is sleeping safely.
Remember the ABC’s of safe sleep: All babies should sleep Alone, on their Backs and in the Crib.
Never allow other children or pets to sleep in your baby’s crib. In addition, keep toys, pillows, bumper pads and fluffy blankets out of your baby’s crib as well. Consider using a sleep sack to replace the use of blankets.
Your baby should always be placed on his/her back to sleep during nap time and at night. Once your baby is able to roll from back to stomach and stomach to back, they may be allowed to remain in whatever sleep position they assume during the night. However, all infants should be placed to sleep on their back until 1 year of age.
Always place your baby to sleep in their own crib, bassinet, or play yard that meets current safety standards. It is important to note that these standards have recently changed. The once popular drop-side cribs are no longer acceptable for use and cannot be sold by retailers. Your baby’s crib should have a firm mattress with a tight fitting sheet. Do not allow your baby to sleep with you in your bed. Learn more about crib safety from our website and get the latest information about current safety standards or product recalls from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Avoid secondhand smoke and smoking during pregnancy.
- Breastfeed your infant as long as possible. Breastfeeding can help to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
- Do not overheat your baby’s room. The recommended temperature is 65 – 72 degrees.
- Make sure to teach all individuals who may handle your infant about the importance of safe sleep.
- Share a room with your baby preferably for a year, but for at least six months. The baby should be in his or her own crib. (The American Academy of Pediatrics updated its guidelines in October 2016 to include this recommendation.)
You can read more about the American Academy of Pediatrics’ safe sleep guidelines here.
Is your baby sleeping safely?