Safe Sleep: New AAP Sleep Recommendations

Earlier this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics released their new updated recommendations for safe sleep practices for infants one year and younger. I wanted to be sure and share them with you here- as many parents often ask, “what’s the safest way for me to put my baby to sleep?”

Step one- read the guidelines linked above. These are the current recommendations to prevent SIDS. Basically, baby is placed to sleep on his or her back, in a crib/bassinet with no bumpers, blankets or pillows, in the care providers bedroom. Introduce a pacifier once breastfeeding is established (2-3 weeks of age). Use a swaddle if needed until baby is rolling over. No smoke/drugs/alcohol exposure.

From AAP:

 Place the baby on his or her back on a firm sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet with a tight-fitting sheet.
Avoid use of soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys. The crib should be bare.
 Share a bedroom with parents, but not the same sleeping surface, preferably until the baby turns 1 but at least for the first six months. Room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.
Avoid baby's exposure to smoke, alcohol and illicit drugs.

Real talk- what if you have your baby in bed, during a night time breast feeding session- and before you know it, you’re both asleep and you wake up two hours later, PANICKED! For breastfeeding mothers, if this hasn’t happened to you yet… it probably will some point in your breastfeeding relationship, cause let’s be honest… you’re exhausted!

So while it’s not recommended, I like to give my clients information on safe bed sharing practices from Europe- **just incase** mom falls asleep while breastfeeding. First, don’t panic! Next we have the Safe Sleep Seven. Check out these 7 items to keep in mind if you fall asleep with your baby in your bed. When you wake up you can move your baby back to their crib/bassinet. Also many families enjoy co-sleeping together in one bed. While co-sleeping isn’t supported by the AAP guidelines it is a reality for some families- and the Safe Sleep Seven can help.