Parents, Do You Know These Safe Sleep Facts?
If you’re the parent of a newborn, you probably know the basics when it comes to putting your baby to sleep. But other factors, like your baby’s caregiver, may unknowingly be putting your child at risk. Here are some facts about safe sleep you might not be familiar with.
–One in five SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) deaths occur while an infant is in the care of someone other than a parent.
–Many of these deaths occur when babies who are used to sleeping on their backs at home are placed to sleep on their tummies by another caregiver. This is called “unaccustomed tummy sleeping.”
–The risk of your baby getting a “flat head” from sleeping on her back is exaggerated. Experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend changing the direction your baby faces each time you put her to sleep on her back. She’ll naturally turn her head to look toward light and objects like mobiles.
–Giving your baby plenty of tummy time while she’s awake ensures she will not miss any developmental milestones due to back-sleeping, like learning to roll over.
–New babies should have “tummy time” 2-3 times per day for a few minutes each time. Lengthen the sessions as she gets used to being on her tummy.
–The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend the use of sleep positioners, which claim to keep a baby sleeping on her back. These devices can pose a suffocation risk for your baby.
–There is no evidence that supports a greater risk of choking while the baby sleeps on its back. Some parents express concerns over spit-up, but healthy babies will turn their heads or swallow when they spit up as a reflex.
–Sharing a bed with your baby is not a safe way to prevent SIDS. In fact, sleeping with another person increases your child’s risk.
–There is no known way to prevent SIDS, but following the safe sleep recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can help lower your baby’s risk.
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