About 2,500 babies die annually from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In order to reduce that number, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued a set of recommendations in an effort to reduce sleep-related deaths in infants.

A recent Wall Street Journal article breaks down the new advice.

  • The AAP recommends against all bumper pads. According to the guidelines, there’s no evidence that bumper pads prevent injuries. They might actually pose a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment.
  • Pacifier use has been shown to reduce SIDS. The academy also recommends breastfeeding. While breastfeeding is encouraged for other reasons, the AAP says there is evidence that it also lowers the risk of SIDS.
  • Parents are advised to let the baby sleep in the same room with them but not in the same bed. This lowers the risk of suffocation and also allows the parents to be in close proximity to monitor the baby.
  • It’s also recommended for babies to be placed on their backs to sleep. Most importantly, there should be nothing else in the crib. Having other items with the baby might cause suffocation or entrapment.

The academy is expected to release the expanded set of recommendations soon.

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