The American Academy of Pediatrics updated safe sleep recommendations in June 2022. Here’s what you need to know.
Here’s the latest news on sleep safety for young children.
- Babies up to 6 months old should sleep in the same room with their parents in a crib, bassinet, or bedside sleepers—a three-sided crib that attaches to the parents’ bed—and always on a flat and firm surface. Experts say any type of infant seating—including car seats and swings–should not be used for sleep. The AAP also says it’s best not to hold your baby while they sleep if there is any possibility you may fall asleep too.
- Babies should sleep alone in an empty crib. No blankets, stuffed animals or loveys, pillows, foam wedges or crib bumpers. In other words, the crib or bassinet should have only one thing inside—a sleeping baby!
- Babies should sleep on their backs. Research shows that this is the safest position for sleep. Foam positioners and wedges that claim to keep babies in “safer” positions are not recommended. Once babies are able to roll over on their own, you can allow them to choose their own sleep position—backs or bellies.
- Babies should always sleep in a smoke-free environment. Smoke in the house (or even on adults’ clothing) can cause irritation and breathing problems.
- Some research suggests breast milk during a baby’s first two months helps reduce the risk of SIDS.
- How much baby gear is enough?
- You might choose a sleep sack– a zip-on blanket that will keep your baby warm without the danger of suffocation from a loose blanket.
- A baby monitor can be helpful if your baby sleeps in a separate room.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends against the use of other devices that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS or other sleep-related deaths.
For more information on safe sleep, visit the National Institute of Health or American Academy of Pediatrics websites.