A.A.P. updates recommendations on Safe Infant Sleep.
In case you haven't heard, the American Academy of Pediatrics has updated their stance on Safe Infant Sleep Recommendations to prevent against SIDS and other sleep related infant deaths. The have published a Technical Report, as well as a Policy Statement on the topic.This is changed from their most recent update from 2011.
In case you don't want to read through all of the pages to figure out what's different, here's the big one: The A.A.P. now recommends that the baby stay closer to mom for sleep. The new recommendation is to bring the baby in the room, as close to the bed as possible, while on a different surface. The is different from old recommendation in that before the baby was only recommended to be in the same room as the parents. They also go on to add that this should be done until the baby is 1 year old, and at least 6 months. Why is this so?
Many studies have found that having the baby close to mom while sleep has so many benefits, including more stable heart rate and provides for a better breastfeeding relationship. Most mothers are so in-tune with their baby that they even have the same sleep patterns when close together. This can make for better sleep as both mother and baby are coming out of a deep sleep at the same time, meaning that when baby wakes up, it is easier for the mom to wake up as well. She is also more aware if the baby is having trouble breathing or something is causing problems with the baby. All of this leads to lower sleep related deaths among infants of which happens before 1 year of age.
The A.A.P. has also changed its stance on co-sleeper devices. The last recommendation stated that co-sleepers were considered unsafe. Now they have agreed that that there is not enough evidence to prove that it is dangerous and consider it to be okay. And as far as bed-sharing, they recognize that there could be both benefits and risks, and that overall they need more evidence.For those who do bed share, make sure you are making the sleep environment as safe as possible.
It's great to see that the A.A.P. is updating its stance and recommendations as new studies are done on the topic. Hopefully this can help to put your mind at ease about your baby's sleep.