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Baby Care

AAP Updates Safe Sleep Recommendations

July 5, 2022

It's been nearly five years since the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released an update to their safe sleep recommendations. However, the AAP has just released new guidelines for safe sleep. Keep reading to learn all about the updated safe sleep recommendations from the AAP.

What are the AAP Safe Sleep Updates?

Although this isn't a new update, the AAP reinforced the recommendation that the safest sleep for a baby is on their back.

The back sleep posture has been found to have the lowest risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Not only that, but research shows that babies who sleep on their backs are less likely to get fevers, runny noses, and ear infections.

What About Sleeping on Inclined Surfaces?

The AAP does not recommend inclined surfaces for sleep because there is no evidence that this decreases the risk of SIDS. In fact, some studies have shown that inclined surfaces may actually increase the risk of SIDS.

Wondering about other AAP safe sleep recommendations? In a similar vein, the AAP also doesn't recommend side sleeping for babies. This is because it may actually increase the risk of suffocation.

What are the Risks of Co-Sleeping?

Co-sleeping is when you sleep with your baby (whether on the bed, a couch, etc). The AAP doesn't recommend co-sleeping because it increases the risk of SIDS and suffocation.

The AAP's newest report highlights the fact that when an infant sleeps with someone on a couch, armchair, or cushion, there is a 67 times greater risk posed to the infant. And when an infant is bed-sharing or co-sleeping with someone who is impaired (due to either fatigue or medications or substances), there's a 10 times greater risk posed to the infant.

At the very least, co-sleeping with an infant under the age of 4 months increases the potential of death or injury by 5-10 times.

Should a Parent Sleep in the Same Room as Baby?

Although parents should not co-sleep with their babies, the AAP recommends that parents sleep in the same room as their baby for at least the first six months, and ideally for the first year. This is because studies have shown that room-sharing reduces the risk of SIDS.

In short, the AAP's updated recommendations are:

1. Babies should sleep on their backs

2. Parents should sleep in the same room as their baby for at least the first six months (ideally for the full first year)

3. Co-sleeping is not recommended

4. Inclined surfaces are not recommended

5. Side sleeping is not recommended

By following these recommendations, you can help ensure a safe and healthy environment for your baby to sleep in.

What Does the Report Say About Breastfeeding?

The new report also highlights the fact that breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS. In fact, breastfeeding for at least two months can reduce the risk of SIDS by half.

Not only that, but breastfeeding has a host of other benefits for both baby and mother.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

1. Breastfeeding helps protect your baby from infections, including ear infections and pneumonia.

2. Breastfeeding can help your baby lose weight after birth.

3. Breastfeeding may lower your baby's risk of developing asthma, allergies, and diabetes later in life.

4. Breastfeeding can help you lose weight after giving birth.

5. Breastfeeding releases oxytocin, which can help reduce postpartum depression symptoms.

What About Commercial Devices that Claim to Reduce SIDS?

The AAP report states that there is no evidence to support the claims made by commercial devices that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS. There is no evidence that any of these risk-averse claims are legitimate in reducing or preventing death.

Parents should recognize that using products that make such claims may provide a false sense of security and complacency for caregivers. The best way to reduce the risk of SIDS is to promote safe sleep for your infant. Relying solely on a product to reduce SIDS without being involved is not adequate preventative care.

What Are the Other Safe Sleep Recommendations?

There are a few other safe sleep recommendations from the AAP that are worth mentioning.

First, avoid smoking during pregnancy and after birth. Second, use a firm mattress with a tight fitting sheet for Baby's crib or bassinet. Third, remove all soft bedding and toys from baby's sleep area. Finally, keep Baby's sleep area in close proximity to your own bed so that you can easily feed and check on them throughout the night.

Why Are These Updates Important?

These updates are important because they provide parents with the most up-to-date information on how to keep their babies safe. Safe sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your child, and these updated recommendations will help ensure that your baby is as safe as possible.

If you have any questions about the updated AAP recommendations, be sure to talk to your child's doctor. They will be able to give you more information and answer any questions you may have.