Babies Should Sleep In Parents Room For First Year

  • Parents Only

By: Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist
New guidelines released by the American Academy of Paediatrics say that babies should sleep near their parents, but on a different surface, for their first year of life to prevent SIDS.

baby sleeping

Whilst this sleeping practice is said to be most important in the first 6 months as this is when 90% of SIDS incidences occur, the other 10% happens in the following 6 months. Therefore, a full year is the recommendation. Some other recommendations include:

  • Avoid putting your baby to sleep on an armchair, couch or cushioned chair alone or with another person

  • Babies, when in their parents bedroom, should sleep on their own surface, like a crib or bassinet. These surfaces should not have soft bedding, but rather, a firm surface with a tight fitting sheet

  • Babies sleeping in their parents bed and on the same surface are at risk of suffocation, strangulation and entrapment

  • At about 4 months, soft bedding can be used, however there is still evidence that this can continue to be a risk for infants older than 4 months

  • Supine position: Babies should ALWAYS be put to sleep on their backs, even straight after delivery. Side-sleeping is a SIDS risk

  • Babies that are breastfed for the first 6 months are shown to have a lowered risk of SIDS

  • Babies should have skin-to-skin contact with their mothers for an hour after their delivery, or as soon as the mother is awake and stable. This is said to stabilize body temperature and blood glucose levels, increase cardiorespiratory stability and stop your baby from crying

  • Use a dummy at nap and bed times- although the reason is unclear, it is said to decrease the risk of SIDS, even if it falls out of the baby’s mouth!

newborn 2

Other Things To Avoid

These recommendations and findings are slightly more obvious, but definitely need to be considered: avoid overheating and head covering infants, avoid alcohol during and after birth, avoid smoke exposure during and after birth, supervised tummy time when your infant is awake is recommended, & swaddling isn’t proven to combat SIDS.

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