While blankets, pillows and quilts may feel comfortable to the eyes of parents, but studies have shown that cozy beds can be dangerous in an infant’s crib.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says, parents should avoid using soft objects and loose bedding’s for infants because they can lead to suffocation. Furthermore, bedding has been associated with sudden infant death syndrome, the leading cause of death for infants 1 month to 1 year old.
A survey of nearly 19,000 parents with infants younger than 8 months found about half of families are still using soft bedding in their infants’ cribs.
The encouraging news is that there has been a decline in the use of soft bedding. The average number of infants exposed to the risky bedding dropped 31 percentage points — from 86 percent in 1993 to 55 percent in 2010.
Declines were most dramatic in the 1990s, when the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Institutes of Health issued recommendations that infants be put to sleep on their backs, without blankets or soft objects. The recommendations were driven by worries about SIDS and other sleep-related causes of death.
It’s a message that Saucedo puts out. It has been six years since Ben’s death, she has turned her grief into a campaign to make sure that no other mother commits the mistake saucedo once committed.
Saucedo campaigns on Facebook with Benny Bears, a nonprofit foundation, she and her family created to spread the word on safe sleep practices recommended by the AAP:
1. Babies should sleep on their backs for all naps and at night until they are one year old.
That applies even to babies who struggle with gastroesophageal reflux or GERD. ” Some parents worry that babies will choke when on their backs, but the baby’s airway anatomy and the gag reflex will keep that from happening,” the AAP says.
2. If a baby falls asleep in a car seat, stroller, swing, infant carrier, or sling, move your child to a firm sleep surface on his or her back as soon as possible.
3. Make sure the surface of the crib, bassinet or play yard is firm — so firm there are no indentions when the baby is lying on it. Look for one that meets the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and only use a fitted sheet designed for that specific product.
4. Nothing else should be in the crib except for the baby. No decorative bumpers, no cute toys, no pillows, nothing but the baby. “If you are worried about your baby getting cold, you can use infant sleep clothing, such as a wearable blanket. In general, your baby should be dressed with only one layer more than you are wearing,” the AAP says.
5. Only bring your baby into your bed to feed or comfort. Bed-sharing is not recommended for any babies.
6. Never place your baby to sleep on a couch, sofa, or armchair and do not allow a baby to fall asleep on nursing pillows or pillow-like lounging pads.