New baby sleep recommendations

June 22, 2022
A sleeping baby

If we’ve learned anything, it’s that simple is best: babies should always sleep in a crib or bassinet, on their back, without soft toys, pillows, blankets or other bedding.

Dr. Rachel Moon, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ new infant sleep recommendations.

Why It Matters: The American Academy of Pediatrics updated their infant sleep guidelines for the first time since 2016. The guidelines state that about "3,500 infants die from sleep-related infant deaths annually in the United States" and "urges parents to make sure the baby sleeps on a flat – not inclined – surface during sleep and strongly discourages bed-sharing."

  • Dr. Moon prefaced her statement with, "A baby’s death is tragic, heartbreaking and often preventable."
  • One of the main takeaways of the AAP recommendations is their stance on bed-sharing. Based on specific data regarding sleep-related infant deaths, AAP states they "are unable to recommend bed-sharing under any circumstances,” and instead recommend infants sleep in the same room but in a crib or bassinet for the first six months of life.
  • Other recommendations (click here for the entire list):
    • "Sitting devices, such as car seats, strollers, swings, infant carriers, and infant slings, are not recommended for routine sleep in the hospital or at home, particularly for infants younger than 4 months."
    • "Pacifier use is associated with reducing risk."
    • "Avoid the use of commercial devices that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS or other sleep-related deaths. There is no evidence that any of these devices reduce the risk of these deaths."
    • "Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended to facilitate infant development and to minimize development of positional plagiocephaly."
  • AAP's guidelines were just released on Tuesday; as there is more reaction to these guidelines, we will update this report.

News Release – American Academy of Pediatrics Updates Safe Sleep Recommendations: Back is Best (AAP.org)

New safe sleep guidelines for babies include flat beds and no bed-sharing (Washington Post)

by Jenna Lee,

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