New 2022 Safe Sleep Guidelines from AAP
When it comes to safe sleep guidelines, this blog is very concerned. For parents of very young children, particularly infants, sleeping can be one of two things. On one hand, a sleeping child is the most peaceful part of the day. On the other, it can be deceptively dangerous.
We’ve written about tips for safer infant sleep in the past, but there are some brand new rules to follow. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has just introduced some 2022 safe sleep guidelines. These suggestions are designed to minimize danger and put parents at ease. Read on to learn more.
Why Are There New 2022 Safe Sleep Guidelines?
When it comes to children, scientists and caregivers are always learning. For the first time in five years, the AAP has issued new safe sleep guidelines. These new safety suggestions are based on nearly 160 scientific studies. The goal of these safe sleep guidelines is to avoid issues like Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
In terms of SIDS cases, many deaths are due to babies sleeping in their parents bed or in a crib/device that isn’t properly prepared or secured. For more specific answers on some of these dangers, be sure to read our blog about the dangers of certain baby sleep products.
Education is critical, because as we have learned from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many parents are simply unaware of potential hazards.
Still, more problems have arisen from faulty products. In the next sections, we’ll give a brief overview of the new 2022 safe sleep guidelines that parents need to know about.
Sleep on the Back
When babies sleep on their tummies, their little airways can become blocked. This can cause them to suffocate or overheat. Instead, babies should always be placed on their back until they reach one year of age.
When a baby is put down to sleep, it should be on a relatively flat sleeping surface. Especially for young kiddos, don’t let them sleep on an incline beyond 10 degrees. This can accidentally cause them to turn onto their tummies.
Sleep Close to Parents but Not With Parents
The baby should not sleep in the bed with parents, since this can lead to trouble. Bed-sharing can accidentally end up with a parent rolling over and suffocating the baby. Instead, a little one should definitely sleep close to their parents. For the first six months of a child’s life, this means sleeping either in the parent’s bedroom (in a crib or bassinet), or in very close proximity.
Avoid Bedding Distractions and Weighted Blankets
One of the most important new additions to the 2022 safe sleep guidelines is that weighted blankets can become a hazard. A very young child does not have the strength to throw this type of blanket off during a struggle. Therefore, a weighted blanket can easily become a suffocation hazard. To avoid the danger, keep the weighted blanket and any other distractions out of the baby’s sleep space. The less obstructions there are, the better.
Sleeping in the Car Seat
Lots of parents rely on the lulling of a moving car to put a baby to sleep. That’s great, but a baby can get into trouble with the straps of a car seat. If a baby falls asleep while in their car seat, transfer them to a crib or bassinet as quickly as possible. For long car rides, take frequent breaks to give the baby a bit of respite.
Swaddling May Not Help
As of today, the AAP does not specifically recommend swaddling. There is no current evidence that swaddling works to reduce the risk of SIDS. Keeping this in mind, pay close attention when swaddling and take extra care to avoid potential danger.
A Pacifier Can Help
Take a lesson from Maggie Simpson: a nice pacifier can solve any issue. The AAP has recently announced that offering a pacifier at nap time can actually help to reduce the risk of SIDS. It is certainly worth a shot!
The above notes don’t cover every guideline from the AAP’s new safe sleep recommendations. We zeroed in on what we felt were most important to share, but there are actually a few more. We suggest that parents, grandparents or other guardians read through the full set of guidelines. For anyone who has further questions, be sure to ask your child’s pediatrician. Proper medical advice is given on a case-by-case basis. The doctor will know what is best for your unique situation.