(CNN) — Co-sleeping is not safe for babies to sleep under any circumstances, the American Academy of Pediatrics stressed Tuesday in the first update to its safe sleep guidelines for babies since 2016.
“We know that many parents choose to share a bed with a child, for example, perhaps to help with breastfeeding or because of cultural preference or a belief that it is safe,” said Dr. Rebecca Carlin, co-author of the guidelines. and techniques. report of the AAP Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and the AAP Committee on the Fetus and Newborn, in a statement.
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“The evidence is clear that (co-sleeping) significantly increases the risk of injury or death to the baby,” said Carlin, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “For that reason, AAP cannot support co-sleeping under any circumstances.”
It’s one of several recommendations the AAP provided to pediatricians to help stem the tide of infant sleep deaths.
Some 3,500 children, many of whom are in socially disadvantaged communities, die each year from sleep-related infant deaths in the United States, the AAP said.
“The rate of sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs) among black and American Indian/Alaska Native infants was more than double and nearly triple, respectively, that of white infants (85 per 100,000 live births) in 2010-2013,” says the AAP. noted in a statement.
“We’ve made great strides in learning what keeps babies safe during sleep, but there’s still a lot of work to be done,” Dr. Rachel Moon, lead author of the guidelines and professor of pediatrics at the University of California, said in a statement. University of Virginia.
Sleep in the same room, separate bed
While the AAP strongly discourages co-sleeping, its updated guidelines say that babies should sleep in the same room with their parents for at least six months on a separate sleeping surface with a firm, flat surface.
Under new Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations that take effect this week, the only products that can be marketed for infant sleep include cribs, bassinets, play yards and night beds. Bedside sleepers are small separate cribs or bassinets that attach to the parent’s bed but allow babies to sleep on their own without bedding.
Parents should not use sleep products that are not specifically marketed for sleep, the AAP said.
Other sleeping environments can also put babies at risk. Lounging with a baby on a sofa, couch or cushion and falling asleep raises the risk of infant death by 67%, AAP indicated. If the baby is premature, born with a low birth weight or is less than 4 months old, the risk of death while sleeping on a bed, sofa or elsewhere increases five to 10 times, the academy said.
“A great way to test if a surface is too soft is to press down on your hand and then lift it up. If your hand leaves an indentation, it’s too soft,” said Alison Jacobson, executive director of First Candle, a national nonprofit. committed to eliminating SIDS and other sleep-related childhood deaths through education and advocacy.
naked is better
Parents should always put infants to sleep alone on their backs on a flat, firm mattress covered with a tight, fitted sheet, according to the AAP. Avoid all extras in the crib, including stuffed toys, blankets, pillows, soft bedding, sleep positioners, or bumper pads, as babies can get caught in such items and suffocate.
“Crib bumpers have been linked to more than 100 infant deaths over the past 30 years,” states the AAP on its consumer website, healthychildren.org.
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These products are generally used by well-meaning parents who only want the best for their children and believe they are doing the right thing, said psychologist Carol Pollack-Nelson, a former CPSC staffer who now studies how people use consumer products.
“When they see their little peanut crying and having trouble getting settled in the big crib, they think, ‘Well, I need to get the crib settled. My baby just came out of the womb, you know. So intuitively, that’s what makes sense,” Pollack-Nelson said.
But babies don’t need any of those quilted products to stay warm and comfortable, Jacobson said. “Instead of a sheet or blanket, put the baby in a diaper bag or portable blanket.”
In fact, putting too many clothes or blankets on a baby, especially in a warm room, may be associated with an increased risk of SIDS, Jacobson said.
“Hats and any other head coverings should be removed before putting your baby to bed,” she said, adding that babies only need one more layer than an adult would normally wear.
Since crib slats are now regulated to be together, bumpers are no longer needed, the AAP said. “Stores now sell mesh bumpers and vertical crib liners. But even these can become loose and become a choke hazard. Babies can also get trapped between themselves and the crib mattress,” the academy warned.
Less than 10% incline is allowed
New CPSC regulations will ban all products marketed for infant sleep that have more than a 10% incline. Those include inclined beds and sleep positioners, which are also called infant nests, springs, pods, loungers, rockers and nap chairs, the AAP said. Some of the products may not be sold as sleep aids, but babies often fall asleep while wearing them.
Many of these products on the market have a tilt of up to 30%, which can be dangerous because babies’ heads fall forward during sleep, the APP said. This chin-to-chest position can restrict your airway and cause suffocation. Babies can also roll off devices and become trapped under them, the AAP warned.
The Safe Sleep for Babies Act, enacted last year, bans the manufacture and sale of inclined sleepers and crib bumpers.
Car seats, strollers, swings, baby carriers and baby carriers can also block a baby’s airway, the AAP said. Therefore, when the baby falls asleep in them, which is unavoidable, the parents should move the child so that he lies on his back on a flat and firm surface.
Avoid commercial devices sold for SIDS
In its new guidance, the AAP also warns against using commercial devices that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS or other sleep-related problems, including portable monitors.
Also, don’t use home cardiorespiratory monitors — devices that monitor a baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels — as a way to reduce SIDS risk, because there’s no evidence they work, Jacobson said.
“The use of products that claim to increase sleep safety can create a false sense of security” for parents that “could result in reduced safe sleep practices for infants,” she said.
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