Guss Hansen - Wednesday, August 28, 2019 Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Among the challenges parents’ experiences is when, how, and where your baby should sleep. Various young parents spend real time researching this topic, discussing about nap schedules and who will do the middle of the night feeding. It is observed that almost all parents do lose a lot of sleep during those few months, especially the first 6 months.
It was just recently announced by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that a new recommendation eliminates some of the mystery around best practices for new couples especially couples with their first baby.

It states that ‘it is recommended that babies sleep in the parents’ room, close to the parents’ bed, but on a different surface. The baby’s crib, portable crib, play yard and the basinet should all be placed in the parents’ bedroom, perfectly for the 1st year, but at least for the first 6 months.

This new standard may be a little bit shocking to many parents and many questions may arise like why was this change made? , how will it impact families? , what is the scientific reasoning behind this new recommendation?


    The AAP are determined that this new guideline was very important for one basic reason and that is to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as well as sleep related suffocation such as asphyxia that is trouble breathing or choking and entrapment among babies.

    SIDS is also described as the sudden death of a baby under the age of one year when the cause of the death is not explainable after various investigations. Sadly, experts and researchers are still not sure what resulted to SIDS. Some may say it is associated to respiratory and cardiovascular control as well as failure of the baby to wake up properly. Research goes towards the direction of brain abnormalities, genetics, and dangerous environmental factors such as smoking households and loose blankets.

    Imprecise but close to 3,500 babies die every year in the United States (USA) from sleep related babies’ deaths such as SIDS. As at 1992, the ‘Back to Sleep’ campaign, though presently known as ‘Safe to Sleep’ campaign was launched. The effort made by this group really aided the reduction of SIDS by about 50 percent. Though after the improvement in the 1990s, the overall sleep related baby death rate did not have much change.

    In our present world, SIDS remains the leading cause of post neonatal death which happens within a period of 28 days to one year of age. 90 percent of SIDS cases occur before a baby is six months old, peaking between the months of one to four of age. The AAP has shown that parents sharing their room with their babies can reduce the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent; therefore they believe that this new guideline is very important to avoid future SIDS deaths.

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    With regards to several studies from around the globe, the AAP have so much believe that room sharing is safer than both bed sharing and solitary sleeping, or when babies sleep in their own room. The safest place for a baby to sleep is on a different sleep surface created for babies placed close to the parent’s bed. In addition, babies can be brought into the bed for more comfort or probably for feeding, but it should be noted that they must return to their own crib or bassinet when the parent is about to sleep again.

    Bed sharing, which are commonly known as co sleeping, sometimes look controversial. Several studies particularly the epidemiological studies that have proven that when a parent and baby share a bed, there is a high risk of SIDS because the baby is exposed to probably a resulting suffocation, entrapment, falls, strangulation and asphyxia.

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    Sharing rooms is beneficial because the closeness permits the parents to effectively watch their kids while they are asleep and respond to their needs during the night. Also, scientists explains that babies who sleep close to their parents have more chances for their senses to be stimulated either by noises in the room or a parent’s touch and so, spend more time in a lighter sleep to safeguard them from SIDS.
    When babies pass the night in separate rooms they tend to sleep for a longer period but they may not be as healthy as you think and could also be a risk factor and contributor to SIDS.


    It is expected that kids should pass the night in the same room their parents sleep until after one year but some parents may see it as a difficult task based on some reasons. These reasons can be listed below as follows; • Parents may be unable to sleep for a longer period which can affect their own health.

    • Parents may be too tempted to observe their kids during sleep.

    • Parents lose privacy and chances for intimacy when the baby sleeps in the same room

    • It may be difficult for the parent to change room for the baby after the suggested time frame of one year is over.


    Furthermore, the AAP clearly states the following guidelines and reminders associated to baby sleep conditions;

    • To decrease the risk of SIDS, babies should be placed for sleep in the supine position for each sleep period by each caregiver until it clocks one year. Side sleeping is not advised in this situation.

    • Babies should also be placed on a firm sleep surface like a mattress in a safety approved crib.

    • Soft objects such as pillows, comforters, quilts, loose bedding, sheepskins and pillow like toys should be kept where the baby sleeps rather using objects like blankets and non fitted sheets that may result to suffocation and strangulation.

    • Prevent overheating and head covering in babies

    • Consider offering a pacifier at bedtime.

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