Infants -- Great Roommates?

AAP Recommends “Rooming In” with Infants to Prevent SIDS

Being a parent is exhausting enough without keeping up with a rapidly changing world! Following all the news concerning recommendations for children can be a tough task. All of us at Partnerships for Early Learners try to help by finding, condensing and sharing the newest information.  

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is bringing 2016 to a close with some major changes to their recommendations concerning infants and toddlers. Yesterday, the AAP released updated information on safe sleep for infants, including an approach that many families already embrace and others may be surprised by: rooming in with your baby.

 

AAP recommendations on creating a safe sleep environment include:

  • Place the baby on his or her back on a firm sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet with a fitted 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. Share the space preferably until the baby turns one, 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.

These changes may mean a little less sleep for families with infants, but they also go a long way toward implementing the practices that we know provide children with safe places to rest. These guidelines are focused on the first year of life, with special attention for the first six months that your little one is in your family. Some additional advice from the AAP includes:

  • Encourage families to breastfeed.
  • Avoid any soft surfaces like couches or cushioned chairs for nighttime breastfeeding or comforting.
  • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
  • Do not use home monitors or commercial devices, including wedges or positioners, marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations.
  • Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development.

Benjamin Planton is Partnerships for Early Learners’ Infant Toddler Outcome Specialist, which means that he devotes his workdays to ensuring healthy, positive starts for Indiana’s youngest citizens. With a background in working with early learners, including in infant and toddler classrooms, and a commitment to advancing the field of early childhood education, Ben brings a focus on high-quality, high-impact experiences for children, professionals and families. This post was originally published on the Partnerships for Early Learners blog.

Featured image by Flickr user Caitlin Regan, Creative Commons license.