Recent research suggests that parents should follow safe-sleep guidelines in order to protect their children from any harm. Around 3,500 sudden accidental infant deaths occur every year across the country.
These babies die because of accidental strangulation and suffocation while they sleep. Mothers can even be charged and go to prison in such situations. According to scientists from the AAP, infant death rates drop off by fifty percent when children sleep in the same room with their parents, but on another surface, which means a different bed, specially designed for newborns.
More precisely, experts strongly recommend parents to follow these new regulations by letting their infants sleep on a safe-sleep surface for the first half a year although it would be best for infants to sleep in their own bed until they are one-year-old.
Also, babies should never sleep on a soft surface, armchair, or couch because even if they are almost immobile, they can still move their arms and legs enough to fall during their sleep.
According to pediatrician May Sun, the ideal sleeping position for infants is on flat, firm surface, and on the back. This position drops down the risks of suffocation and SIDS.
Dr. Sun further adds that parents should place their babies in a safe-sleep bassinet or crib with just a fitted sheet and without bedding including soft surfaces, blankets, and stuffed animals which can be life-threatening as the infant can entangle or suffocate because of them.
Although parents think that by sleeping with their babies in the same bed they can protect them from any harm, there is no better position than putting your child to sleep on a flat, firm, and protected surface.
Other parents prefer to sleep in the same bed with their infants because it’s more comfortable and they can feed their babies quick.
According to Kelsey Sepich, coordinator of the crisis nursery from the Crittenton Center, ‘A lot of our parents don’t know that those are options that can help the babies feel like they’are being nurtured and loved without you having to hold the baby all night.’
For infants who are used to a co-sleeping environment, parents can provide them with additional safe-sleep comfort using sleeping sacks or swaddling clothes. Experts hope that these new regulations and statistics will raise awareness among parents who will start following the safe-sleep guidelines.