New infant sleep guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics

Jun 21, 2022, 1:13 PM | Updated: Jun 22, 2022, 2:34 pm
Utah ranks one of the top ten states to have a baby, new study finds....
FILE: Utah ranks one of the top ten states to have a baby, according to a new study. (Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — There are new infant sleep guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and this is the first update from this group since 2016.

Some of the recommendations we have heard before, but they are repeated this year with emphasis. For instance, the report states that infants should sleep on their backs on flat surfaces without soft bedding or stuffed animals in the bed. 

The report also repeats previous recommendations against co-sleeping. The risk, the authors say, is that there is an increased danger of death to infants in co-sleeping situations.

Breastfeeding reduces the risk of sleep-related infant deaths. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breast milk for at least the first six months.

What’s new? No weighted blankets, no weighted anything

Dr. Jennifer Ashton spoke with Good Morning America about the new guidelines.

“For infants, no weighted blankets. No weighted sleepers. No weighted swaddling devices,” Ashton said.

No weighted anything. And no hats, even though they’re cute. Unless baby is in the neonatal ICU, no hats while baby is sleeping.”

Only place your baby down to sleep in a product intended for sleep. 83% of infant deaths were associated with babies sleeping in cluttered cribs, playpens, bassinets, infant carriers, and inclined infant sleep carriers.

‘Back to sleep’

A simple phrase could help the parents of newborns who may feel overwhelmed with all the newness.

“So the basics are ‘Back to Sleep.” Put your baby to sleep on his or her back on a firm, flat surface. You want to avoid any soft bedding, any overheating, any sharing of the bed, even though as parents – we’ve been there – falling asleep next to your infant. It is dangerous.”

One statistic is eye-opening — 3,500 babies die from sleep-related deaths every year in the United States. While experts don’t know exactly what causes Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS, these recommendations can help reduce the number of these tragic deaths.

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New infant sleep guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics