According to Safe Sleep Kentucky, the state’s infant mortality rate is almost double the national average. Safe sleep practices can reduce the risk of any infant dying. What do parents need to know about safe baby sleep practices?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends infants should be placed on their backs for every sleep by every caregiver until the child reaches 1 year of age. Side sleeping is considered unsafe, and the AAP advises against it.
Erin R. Frazier, M.D., pediatrician with Norton Children’s Medical Group – Broadway, advises that parents should follow the AAP guidelines.
“It is important to make sure that any child under 1 year old is always sleeping by themselves, in a safe crib and on their back,” Dr. Frazier said.
According to Safe Sleep Kentucky, local babies are 70 times more likely to die from unsafe sleep than from a motor vehicle accident.
“We’re losing a couple babies a month in Jefferson County alone,” Dr. Frazier said. “The most common sleep-related risk factor identified was infants being placed on a surface not designed for infant sleep, such as a couch, recliner or in bed with mom and dad.”
Sign up for Norton Children’s Virtual Safe Baby Class
This free class is for families with babies up to 6 months old. Learn about safe sleep environments, the importance of tummy time, how to choose and use the right type of rear-facing car seat, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and preventing child abuse.
A computer or mobile device with internet and an email address are required. Registered participants will receive a Zoom link.
Other ways to keep baby sleeping safely
- Do not allow your baby to sleep with other children or adults at any time.
- Keep pillows, stuffed animals and other soft materials, including bumper pads, out of the crib.
- Do not cover your baby in the crib with blankets or comforters. Instead, use footed pajamas or a sleep sack.
- Keep the room temperature comfortable for a lightly clothed adult so that a blanket isn’t necessary.
- Do not smoke or allow others to smoke in your home.