The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are about 3,500 Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (or SUIDS) in the U.S. every year — enough to give it an official name, instead of just the worst thing that could ever happen. All of these deaths are either due to SIDs, accidental suffocation or strangulation in bed, or an unknown cause and the American Academy of Pediatrics has stepped in with a number of recommendations to reduce your baby’s risk (sup, supine position). Unfortunately, their new research reveals that way too many parents aren’t following them.
To avoid the variables involved in self-reported studies, researchers from Penn State examined video footage of 160 newborns sleeping for the night at ages one, 3, and 6 months old. During all 3 stages, anywhere from 10 to 21 percent of babies were on a non-recommended sleep surface, 14 to 33 percent were in non-recommended positions, and a whopping 87 to 93 percent had were sleeping with potentially hazardous items — aka the enemy.
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To get your kid to sleep you might sometimes have to call an audible, but the AAP found that changing the play can be a part of the problem. About 12 to 28 percent of the babies studied changed sleep locations over night, often moving into more dangerous conditions, such as a bed with a parent. When this happened, about 36 to 78 percent were placed in non-recommended positions in the second location, and 67 to 81 percent were on non-recommended surfaces.
Experts suspect that parents were prone to moving babies because they thought they would sleep more comfortably for a longer period. Still, the extra sleep is not likely worth the added danger, so consider that move carefully. As risky as it is to tell co-sleeping parents to knock it off, that’s a chance the AAP is willing to take …. so you don’t have to. There’s no way you’re getting enough rest for that battle.