How parents put their infants to sleep has changed over the last couple of decades, reducing the number of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome cases.
According to The Huffington Post, in 1994 only 27% of babies were regularly placed on their backs for sleep, which contributed to more than 4,000 babies losing their lives from SIDS. However, in the United States, 73% of babies are sleeping on their backs today, which in turn has helped cut the number of SIDS cases in half.
Currently, there isn’t a known way to completely prevent SIDS, but there are things parents can do to reduce the risk. The national Safe to Sleep campaign works diligently to educate the public as much as possible on safe sleep practices for babies and here’s what it recommends:
1. Always place babies on their back for sleep, including at nap times.
2. Make sure your baby sleeps on a firm surface covered by a fitted sheet such as a crib, bassinet, or play yard.
3. Share your bedroom with your baby, making a sleep area near your bed.
4. Keep soft objects, loose bedding, crib bumpers, and toys out of their sleeping area.
5. Don’t smoke during pregnancy, and don’t smoke or allow smoking around your baby.
6. Breastfeed if you can.
Putting babies to sleep is often a big decision and worrisome time for parents. However, it’s best to ask your licensed physician for advice and go with what’s best for your family. To find how much sleep the National Sleep Foundation recommends for each of your loved ones, click here!