New AAP Safety Guidelines Say No Co-Sleeping or Crib Decor

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It’s been more than five years since the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its guidelines for baby sleep standards, but some big changes are happening. This past Tuesday, the group released new recommendations that will hopefully reduce the number of SIDS cases forever.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a safe sleep environment to reduce the risk of all sleep-related deaths. This includes supine positioning; use of a firm, noninclined sleep surface; room sharing without bed sharing; and avoidance of soft bedding and overheating.” For parents, that means that co-sleeping and crib decor are out.

aap safety guidelines
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The AAP has been recommending that parents keep the crib free of objects for quite some time, but these new guidelines go even deeper. “Use a firm, flat, non-inclined sleep surface (e.g., tightly fitting mattress in a safety-approved crib) covered by a fitted sheet with no other bedding or soft objects to reduce the risk of suffocation or wedging or entrapment,” says the report. This means that bumper pads and even mesh liners that can contribute to the overall “aesthetic” of your nursery are not considered safe.

In addition to reaffirming how much safer it is for a baby to sleep on their back and not their side until at least their first birthday, the AAP also is recommending no co-sleeping. “It is recommended that infants sleep in the parents’ room, close to the parents’ bed, but on a separate surface designed for infants, ideally for at least the first 6 months,” the report states.

When not bed-sharing, the risk of SIDS is decreased by as much as 50% within the first year. The APP says “this arrangement is most likely to prevent suffocation, strangulation, and entrapment that may occur when the infant is sleeping in the adult bed. Furthermore, this arrangement allows close proximity to the infant, which will facilitate feeding, comforting, and monitoring of the infant.”

That’s good news for new parents, who want to be as close to baby as possible in those first few months. While it’s not safe to sleep with a baby, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having them right by your side in their own bed.

You can read the entire report, which includes more information about breastfeeding, pacifiers, immunizations and room temperature, by visiting the Academy of American Pediatrics here.

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