The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued updated guidelines on sleep environments for babies to reduce cases of SIDS and promote safety and well-being.
Approximately 3500 infants die annually in the United States from sleep-related infant deaths. The new recommendations are:
• Infants should be placed on their back for sleep, including all naps.
• A firm surface with a tight-fitting sheet should be used for sleep
• Avoid use of soft bedding, crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys. Devices such as wedges or positioners should also be avoided. The crib should be bare.
• Sharing a bedroom with parents for at least 6 months reduces the risk of SIDS but as much as 50 percent. Babies should not share the same sleep surface, but be positioned nearby
• Breastfeeding reduces rates of SIDS and adds to overall health, and is recommended.
• Avoid baby's exposure to smoke, alcohol and illicit drugs.