Child Health

Safe Sleep for Babies


Many babies are at risk of choking or sudden death (most commonly due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)). To reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) gives parents the following recommendations:
  • Until their first birthday, babies should sleep on their backs for all sleep times. Babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to die of SIDS.
  • Make sure there are no pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals near your baby. They can cover your baby's face if he rolls over them, leading to an obstructed airflow.
  • Use a firm, flat sleep surface to prevent the baby from moving around while sleeping. 
  • Place your baby in a special crib or bassinet in your bedroom, close to your bed. This can decrease the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%.
  • Only bring your baby into your bed to feed or comfort. Place your baby back in his or her own sleep space when you are ready to go to sleep. 
  • Make sure there are no pillows, sheets, blankets, or any other items that could cover your baby's face, head, and neck, or overheat your baby.

Bed-sharing is not recommended for any babies. However, certain situations make bed-sharing even more dangerous. Therefore, you should not bed share with your baby if:
  • Your baby is younger than 4 months old;
  • Your baby was born prematurely or with low birth weight;
  • You or any other person in the bed is a smoker (even if you do not smoke in bed);
  • The mother of the baby is a smoker;
  • You have taken any medicines or drugs that might make it harder for you to wake up.
  • The surface is soft (such as: a waterbed, old mattress, sofa, couch, or armchair).
  • There is soft bedding (such as: pillows or blankets) in the baby’s bed.

Recommendations for parents to keep infants safe:
  • Do not smoke during pregnancy or after your baby is born. Keep your baby away from smokers. 
  • Breastfeed your baby. Breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for a baby during the first 6 months of their lives puts them at a lower risk of SIDS. 
  • Make sure to schedule vaccinations and periodic follow-ups to examine your baby and check on their health.
  • Remove from your baby's crib all toys and objects that put your baby at risk of suffocation (such as: soft bedding and pillows). Do not hang anything on the sides of the bed.
  • If you are concerned about your baby getting a cold, use cold-proof pajamas.
  • Wrap your baby. However, make sure that the wrap is not too tight for them to breathe or move their hips. 
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Last Update : 07 October 2020 02:58 AM
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