American Academy of Pediatrics updates safe sleep guidelines for babies

Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 1:18 PM EDT
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(CNN) - About 3,500 babies die in sleep-related incidents each year in the U.S., but many of those deaths can be prevented.

For the first time in six years, the American Academy of Pediatrics has put out updated guidelines to help babies sleep safely.

“There are lots of factors that play into the dangers,” Dr. Michael Goodstein, a member of the AAP task force on sudden infant death syndrome, said.

The AAP said co-sleeping under any circumstances is not safe for infant sleep, whether that’s on the couch or in a bed.

“We recognize that sometimes you may unintentionally fall asleep with the baby,” Goodstein said. “So, I recommend that parents create kind of a safe sleep zone in the bed when they do this feeding, to move away from the pillows, the loose bedding, things that could create that added risk.”

Parents can also set alarms to help remind them to take their child back to the crib.

The AAP said babies should sleep in the same room with their parents for at least six months, separately on a firm flat surface, covered in a snug, fitted sheet, with no added bedding or bumpers.

“You want to avoid anything that’s soft, plush or loose,” Goodstein said. “Babies start to move around, we don’t want things getting up over their heads. We don’t want overheating. We don’t want things to obstruct the nose and mouth that increase the risk of suffocation.”

The AAP also warned against the use of commercial devices that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS or other sleep-related issues, including wearable monitors.

New consumer product safety commission regulations will ban all products marketed for infant sleep that have more than a 10% incline.

The AAP said keeping babies at a large incline for long periods of time can be dangerous because babies’ heads can fall forward during sleep which puts them at risk for suffocation.

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