First 5 LA's NEW Safe Sleep Brochure
“Sleeping like a baby” isn’t always safe. Where and how your infant sleeps may put them at risk for serious injury, or worse. Fortunately, you can protect your infant from sleep-related injury or death by creating safe sleep environments and habits from the start.
For many parents, the assortment of information, opinions and commonly held beliefs about safe sleep may be confusing and contradictory. While some families have a tradition of “co-sleeping,” studies show that sharing a bed with an infant, or having an infant share a bed with other babies or children, poses a much higher risk for suffocation and death. While the cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is not known, a study published in Pediatrics revealed that two-thirds of infant deaths from suffocation and SIDS occurred while sharing a bed.
To help your baby sleep safely, these new guidelines are based on the most recent research from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
- For the first six months, infants should sleep in the same bedroom as parents, but on a separate surface, such as a crib or bassinet with a tight-fitting sheet. For the crib safety guidelines, visit https://www.first5la.org/parenting/articles/first-...
- Avoid soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys. The crib should be bare.
- Infants should never sleep on a couch, armchair or other soft surface, either alone or with another person.
- Place your infant on his or her back to sleep. (If they roll — back to tummy, tummy to back — you don’t have to turn your baby around.) Playing with your baby while on their tummy during the day boosts development.
- Don’t expose your baby to smoke, alcohol and illegal substances.
- The AAP recommends breastfeeding as added protection against SIDS. Never take prescription medicine, drugs or alcohol that might make you drowsy or impair your judgment when breastfeeding, and always place your baby in their own sleeping space before you fall asleep.
- Employ the use of pacifiers during naps and nighttime sleeping, as they have been linked with reducing risk for SIDS, according to the AAP.
- Avoid costly “smart monitors” marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS. These special monitors have no basis for improving safety or lowering SIDS risk. Regular video and/or audio monitors work well enough to keep an eye or ear on your baby, but use additional precautions (as listed here) to help prevent SIDS.
- Share sleep safety information with anyone who cares for your child.
For more information about safe sleep practices for babies, talk to your baby’s health care provider and visit: https://www.first5la.org/parenting/articles/first-...
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