Think your infant should sleep in her own room? You may want to think instead about making him/her your new roommate to reduce the risk of SIDS. According to a new report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies should sleep in the same room as their parents for at least the first six months of life, and if possible, until the age of one. Studies show that having a baby share a room with parents can reduce SIDS risks by as much as 50%, and the AAP and other experts believe that the baby’s proximity to Mom and Dad make it easier for them to monitor the baby and the environment she is sleeping in, as well as to become aware of worrisome noises or behaviors while baby is slumbering. Being nearby also helps facilitate breastfeeding, which has been linked to a 70% reduction in SIDS rates. One key point to the AAP’s recommendations: share a room, NOT a bed. Loose fitting sheets, blankets, and pillows have all been identified as SIDS risks. If you do decide to co-sleep, make your bed like a crib and go without extra sheets, pillows, and comforters (and stock up on flannel pajamas for yourself). We’re huge fans of the infant Arm’s Reach co-sleeper (shown above) to make rooming together safe and easy. Other recommendations from the report echo previous statements including putting baby on her back to sleep and using firm bedding.
Lead image via flickr user sethbaur