11/23/11

AAP on Sleep Safety


The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) had a recent article/revised policy on SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths that goes over the recommendations for creating a safe infant sleep environment. Here's an overview:
  1. Put baby on his back to sleep for the first year of life. When an infant can roll from back to front and front to back he can sleep in whatever sleep position is preferred. NOTE: Side sleep carries a significant increased risk of SIDS compared to back sleep and is not recommended.
  2. Use a firm sleeping surface. A safety-approved crib, portable crib, play yard, or bassinet is recommended for sleep. 
  3. Breastfeeding is recommended and associated with a reduced SIDS risk. The more exclusive, the better.
  4. Room-sharing without bed-sharing is recommended. Infants may be brought into the bed for feeding or comforting but should be returned to their own bed once the parent is ready to return to sleep. In-bed-co-sleepers are not recommended.
  5. Immunizations are recommended and evidence links them to a 50% reduced risk of SIDS.
  6. Avoid overheating.
  7. Smoking during pregnancy, in the pregnant woman's environment, and in the infant's environment should be avoided.
  8. Avoid using alcohol and illicit drugs during pregnancy and after birth.
  9. Avoid cobedding with twins and other multiples
  10. Consider using a pacifier during sleep. Do not force it. There is no need to reinsert it after your baby falls asleep.
  11. Tummy time is recommended. Make sure it is supervised.
  12. Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of cribs, including wedges and positioning devices. Bumper pads are not recommended (although the newer, safer ones have not specifically been found to be unsafe)
  13. Pregnant women should get regular prenatal care. 
  14. Use of home monitors following an alte has not been shown to decrease SIDS.

The AAP makes recommendations for something once it has been proven safe and/or more safe than something else. Not recommending something often means it is unsafe, but sometimes it simply means it hasn't been proven safe yet.  Also, some of the recommendations are based off of some situations where user error caused risk, but if done correctly, there may be no risk (i.e. baby wearing). 

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