It’s easy for a parent to feel scared about sudden unexpected infant death – there can be so much conflicting advice and terrifying stories. Here are the latest recommendations from the Academy of American Pediatrics to help you make informed decisions about how you sleep your baby.
Back to sleep for every sleep.
To reduce the risk of SIDS, infants should be placed for sleep completely on their back for every sleep by every caregiver until the child reaches 1 year of age.
Use a firm sleep surface.
Infants should be placed on a firm sleep surface (eg, mattress in a safety-approved crib) covered by a fitted sheet with no other bedding or soft objects to reduce the risk of SIDS and suffocation.
Breastfeeding is recommended.
Breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of SIDS. Unless there is a negative health reason, mothers should breastfeed exclusively or feed with expressed milk for 6 months.
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 the first year of life, but at least for the first 6 months.
There is evidence that sleeping in the parents’ room but on a separate surface decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%.