To help guide new parents on the best date sleeping practices for babies, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has put together a new list of safe sleep guidelines. The American Academy of Pediatrics has reviewed almost 160 scientific articles on sleep-related infant fatalities and used the findings to update its safe sleep recommendations for the first time since 2016.
The AAP advises against inclined surfaces
The main recommendation by the AAP is to make sure the babies sleep flat on their backs and not on inclined surfaces. Furthermore, babies should sleep on a firm surface that meets the regulations set by the June 2021 Consumer Product Safety Commission. The new CPSC regulations will only allow products marketed for infant sleep that has no more than a 10 percent incline.
Dr. Moon, professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, stated that “If we’ve learned anything, it’s that simple is best: babies should always sleep in a crib or bassinet, on their back, without soft toys, pillows, blankets, or other bedding”.
The new sleep guidelines state that parents should refrain from using products for sleep that aren’t specifically marketed for sleep. As such, car seats, strollers, swings, infant carriers, and infant slings are not recommended for sleep, especially for infants under 4 months old. In addition, weighted blankets, toys, and pillows should not be placed near babies while they sleep.
Bed sharing with infants is not advised
AAP also stresses that parents must not sleep in the same bed as a baby under any circumstances. The evidence suggests that this practice significantly raises the risk of a baby’s injury or death. AAP does, however, recommend that parents or guardians sleep in the same room as babies, preferably for at least the first six months. Furthermore, the AAP advises against the purchase of commercial devices such as wearable cardio-respiratory alarms. There is no evidence that these products help with safe sleeping, and they can provide a false sense of security.
While the annual number of sleep-related infant deaths has decreased significantly since the 1990s, it has been almost stagnant since the year 2000. Around 3,500 infants die from sleep-related deaths annually in the United States each year, and hopefully, these new safe sleep guidelines by the AAP can help bring this number down by ensuring the safety of sleeping infants.