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Safe Sleep Guidelines

I know many people who did not follow these guidelines, who swore that their daughter would only sleep on her tummy (and that mom was exhausted) who swore by their insert not CDC approved sleeping bed/pillow etc -and those kids are all, I am happy to report, very happy healthy two to ten year olds. 

And.  Read these, and if you read nothing else, read the bottom.

Being the parent of a newborn is wonderful-and hard!  The temptation to ignore these sometimes is real.  I get it.  But. You can follow them.  Get the support that you need. Follow them.

Safe Sleep Guidelines

  • The incidence of SIDS has declined significantly since the National Institute of Child Health started the Back To Sleep(now called Safe to Sleep) campaign.  Rates declined  from 130 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 35 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2017.
  • There is no immediately obvious cause for SIDS deaths, but there are obvious measures to avoid it as indicate by the numbers above.
  • SIDS in not suffocation
  • SIDS occurs when the 3 following components intersect.
    • the baby is in the critical development period, which is birth to 6 months.
    • there are outside stressors listed below
    • the third is a less clear component which may be a physiological glitch in an infant’s brain stem which cannot be seen.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics has set the following Safe Sleep Guidelines to prevent SIDS
    • Sleep position. Baby must be placed on their back to sleep.
    • Infants bedding should be firm and covered with a fitted sheet.
    • No soft objects, blanket, pillow, bumpers etc. should ever be in baby’s crib or bassinet during the critical development period
    • Cribs bassinets and play yards must conform with consumer product safety commission standards. Older cribs may not be safe, no matter how sweet.
    • There are studies supporting the idea that breastmilk indicates a decrease in SIDS, although if your baby cannot be breastfed, then your baby will not be breastfed, and following the other guidelines will be done. No stress. 
    • It is recommended that infants sleep in the same room as parent/s for the first 6 months of life, but not in the same bed as the parent/s.
    • Pacifiers are suggested to be considered as studies have shown that use of pacifiers during sleep may decrease the risk of SIDS
    • No smoking (cigarettes or weed, just sayin') while pregnant and no smoke in the baby’s home. Smoking while pregnant and smoke in baby’s newborn environment have been linked to an increased risk of SIDS. (This we assume to mean all smoke although there is no study that we have found on marijuana, but smoke is smoke.)
    • Avoid alcohol and drugs during pregnancy and after delivery
    • Avoid overheating an infant and avoid covering the head of a sleeping infant
    • Do not use any commercial product which are not consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics safe sleep recommendations. (Basically there are products on the market which claim to decrease SIDS, the AAP does not endorse or support any of these.
    • It is recommended that baby be placed skin to skin immediately after delivery.
Given that there is no way currently to know if your baby is a vulnerable infant-the glitch or whatever it is that makes an infant vulnerable-it is worth following the AAP guidelines as they have been proven successful at significantly reducing the incidence of SIDS.