Recent research has shown that 50% of parents who tuck their infants into a crib at night are actually placing their kids in a dangerous and risky sleep environment.
In 1994, a campaign entitled Back To Sleep was launched; encouraging parents to put their children to sleep on their backs (face up). The campaign was so successful that the rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) dropped by 50%. However, it seems that our compliance and focus on safety has been declining – between 2000 and 2010 we have seen a doubling of accidental deaths due to suffocation, entanglement and SIDS.
This is because while parents are putting their children to sleep on their backs, it is the other elements in the crib that are putting children at risk.
Just to review, the safety recommendation from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are:
A baby should be put to bed in a crib on a firm safety-approved mattress with a fitted bottom sheet and nothing else! The only exception is an approved pacifier if your child is using one.
- No bumper pads
- No pillows
- No bottom or top blankets
- No cushions
- No stuffed animals
- No devices designed with the intention of keeping the baby on their back.
- No extra bodies! (this includes siblings and parents)
All you want in the crib is the baby – sleeping on their back, in their sleep clothes.
In order to ensure that your child is sleeping comfortably, you can purchase sleeping clothes that are papoose like with enclosed feet or change the ambient room temperature so that sleeping in a onesie is comfortable. If you have an infant, please check their sleeping environment and ensure you are not putting them in harm’s way when you are tucking them in at night.