American Academy of Pediatrics sets new safe sleep guidelines

Parents know not to put a baby to sleep on their stomach or to not put stuffed animals or other items in a crib that could pose a danger to infants.

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Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics is updating its sleep guidelines for babies, for the first time since 2016.

The new guidelines come after the AAP reviewed almost 160 scientific articles published since 2015, according to “Good Morning America.”

The AAP is now advising parents to not co-sleep with a baby for any reason, CNN reported.

“The evidence is clear that (co-sleeping) significantly raises the risk of a baby’s injury or death,” Dr. Rebecca Carlin said, according to CNN. “For that reason, AAP cannot support bed-sharing under any circumstances.”

Carlin is the co-author of the AAP’s guidelines set by the group’s task force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. She is also an assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

The AAP said 3,500 infants die from sleep-related deaths in the U.S. every year.

The group also said that infants should sleep in the same room with their parents, but in a different bed, for at least six months and that the surface should be firm and flat.

Only cribs, bassinets, play yards and bedside sleepers will be allowed to be marketed for infants to sleep in and parents should use no other items to allow their babies to sleep on, the AAP said.

The group also suggests not resting with a baby on a couch, armchair or cushion either.

The AAP said babies should sleep alone, on their backs, on a firm mattress that has only a snug, fitted sheet.

Do not add soft toys, blankets, pillows, soft bedding, sleep positioners or crib bumpers. They also do not need hats or other head coverings to sleep.

The AAP also said to not use weighted blankets, weighted sleepers and weighted swaddles, “Good Morning America” reported.

Instead of a blanket, the AAP suggests using a traditional swaddle sack or wearable blanket, CNN reported.

As for propping up a baby to sleep, the Consumer Product Safety Commission will ban any product that is marketed for sleeping that has more than a 10% incline. The AAP said many products used to hold babies like pods or loungers, may not be sold as sleep aids but babies will fall asleep while in them and they have up to a 30% incline that could allow the children to slump forward while sleeping and restrict a baby’s airway.

Finally, the AAP suggests avoiding devices that claim to protect against SIDS as there is no evidence that they work and present a false sense of security, CNN reported.

To read the complete report, visit the AAP’s website.