GRAND RAPIDS (WOOD) — The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a new set of recommendations for where babies should sleep.
Experts say sharing a room with your baby can cut the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in half. However, parents should not share a bed with the baby. The baby should be placed in a crib or bassinet in the parents’ room for at least the first six months of life up until the age of 1.
Also, for the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth.
“We know skin-to-skin helps encourage breastfeeding, and breastfeeding is protective against sleep-related death,” University of Virginia School of Medicine Dr. Rachel Moon said.
Experts also say giving babies pacifiers while they sleep has shown to reduce the risk of sleep-related deaths.
In the 1990s, the “Back to Sleep” campaign of led to a decline in sleep-related infant deaths. Still, 3,500 babies die during sleep each year in the U.S.
The updated safe sleep recommendations released Monday are the first since 2011.