Babies should sleep in parents’ room for the first year, report says


The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that infants sleep in the same bedroom as their parents to decrease the risk of sleep-related deaths.

New safety recommendations to prevent SIDS

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According to an updated policy statement, babies should share their parents’ bedroom for at least the first six months and “optimally” for the first year of life.

The child should sleep on a separate surface, such as a crib or bassinet — and never on a couch.

‘We know that parents may be overwhelmed with a new baby in the home, and we want to provide them with clear and simple guidance on how and where to put their infant to sleep,’ said Rachel Moon, MD, FAAP, lead author of the report.  ‘Parents should never place the baby on a sofa, couch, or cushioned chair, either alone or sleeping with another person. We know that these surfaces are extremely hazardous.’

Here’s a closer look at the AAP’s new guidance to create a safe sleep environment:

  • Place the baby on his or her back on a firm sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet with a tight-fitting sheet.
  • Avoid use of soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys. The crib should be bare.
  • Share a bedroom with parents, but not the same sleeping surface, preferably until the baby turns 1 but at least for the first six months. Room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.
  • Avoid baby’s exposure to smoke, alcohol and illicit drugs. 

About 3,500 infants die every year in the United States from sleep-related deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome, which is known as SIDS.

The new report is being published in the November 2016 issue of “Pediatrics.” 

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