Friday, February 17, 2017

New advice: Keep baby in parents' room, but not bed

I remember watching my daughter sleep...breathing in and out. It is so hard to leave them, so tiny and helpless, in a big crib alone.

Of course, parents worry about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which claims 3,500 infant lives a year in the US.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a recommendation that infants sleep in the parents' room, close to their bed, but on a separate surface designed for them.

This arrangement should last six months to a year.

Doing this could cut the risk of SIDS in half.

Of course, some pediatricians say no, this would interfere with the parents' sleep and ability to perform the next day.

Still, the recommendation has been reinforced since it was made in 2011.

The rate of SIDS has actually decreased but the risk of accidental suffocation and strangulation in an adult bed have increased.

Parents need to decide for themselves. Some tips:

--Put babies on their backs to sleep.

--Have a firm surface.

--Keep soft objects--toys, pillows, wads of sheets, out of the crib.

--Breastfeed for as long as you can--it reduces the risk of SIDS.

--Keep your baby away from smokers or places where people smoke.

--Don't overbundle the baby and let him or her get too hot.

--Offer a pacifier so the baby does not thrash around.

--Do not use home cardiorespiratory monitors or other products claiming to reduce the risk of SIDS.

I think the theory is that the parents will subconsciously listen for the baby's breathing if the child is nearby. You know--an instinct.

By the way, my daughter did not like covers. So I got her blanket sleepers--pajamas that were warm, fuzzy blanket material--no covers needed.

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