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newborn 411

SIDS: THE IMPORTANCE OF “BACK” TO SLEEP

In 1992 the “Back to Sleep” Campaign was launched and it has decreased the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by 50%. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends putting your baby to sleep on his/her back and not on the stomach or side. 

The safest place for your baby to sleep is in his/her own crib. Co-sleeping is discouraged, especially during the first 4-6 months of life, when the risk for SIDS is the highest. As early as 2 weeks of life, an infant is at risk for falling out of your bed at night (if you get up to use the bathroom, or fall asleep with the infant on your chest).

Your baby’s crib mattress should be firm with a snug fitting sheet and free of loose bedding that could obstruct the baby’s face (blankets, stuffed animals, pillows). It is best, even at this early age, to help your baby learn to fall asleep on his/her own, or to self-soothe. Put your baby down while he/she is still partially awake and allow him/her to fall asleep on his/her own. Rocking your baby to sleep does not teach him/her how to self-soothe and is a very hard habit to break, especially as the baby becomes older.

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