New infant sleep guidelines advise against hats and weighted swaddles, blankets

Weighted swaddles and blankets are popular with parents trying to get their infants to sleep, but they shouldn't be used on sleeping babies, according to new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
The AAP released updates to its safe sleep guidelines Tuesday for the first time in five years.
The updated guidelines are based on the review of nearly 160 scientific articles since 2015 that address risk factors and statistical trends for sleep-related infant death syndrome.
The new AAP's new safe sleep recommendations include that weighted blankets, weighted sleepers, and weighted swaddles should not be placed "on or near" a sleeping infant, and infants should not wear hats indoors except during the first few hours of life or in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
The AAP also recommends, as in the past, that caregivers should always place infants to sleep on their backs on a firm, level surface and never "add blankets, pillows, padded bumpers, or other items to an infant's sleeping environment. "
In addition, according to guidelines, caregivers should not use infant sleep products with reclined more than 10 degrees, and should not use infant car seats, bouncers, and other reclined products to sleep.
PHOTO: A baby girl sleeps in her crib in this undated file photo. (STILL/Getty Images)
According to the AAP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 3,400 babies die in their sleep from sudden and unexpected deaths in the United States each year.
In May, President Joe Biden signed legislation banning the manufacture and sale of crib bumper pads and sloped sleepers with a sloped sleeping surface greater than 10 degrees.
Crib bumpers are legally defined as "padded materials used around the inside of a crib and intended to prevent the occupant of the crib from becoming entangled in any part of the crib's openings."
MORE: President Biden signs law banning sale of crib bumpers and reclined sleepers for babies
Earlier this month, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission warned consumers not to let their children sleep in bouncers after at least 14 deaths were linked to certain Fisher-Price and Kids2 bouncers.
"Parents and caregivers should never use inclined products such as bouncers, glides, pacifiers and swings to sleep infants and should not leave infants unattended, untied or with bedding in these products due to the choking hazard," CPSC said.
MORE: US security agency warns of certain baby rockers after 14 deaths
The AAP offers these additional sleep safety recommendations for babies:
1. By their first birthday, babies should sleep on their backs at all times. “We know that babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to die from SIDS than babies who sleep on their stomachs or on their sides. The problem with lying on your side is that it makes it easier for the baby to roll onto his stomach. Some parents worry that babies will choke when lying on their backs, but the anatomy of the airway and the baby's gag reflex prevent this. Even babies with gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) should sleep on their backs."
2. Use a firm sleeping pad. “A crib, crib, portable crib or play area that meets Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety standards is recommended, along with a snug, firm mattress and fitted sheet designed for that particular product. Nothing else should be in the cradle except for the baby. A solid surface is a hard surface; it should not dent when the baby is on it. Bedside sleepers that meet CPSC safety standards may be an option, but there are no published studies that have examined the safety of these products. Additionally, some crib mattresses and sleeping surfaces are advertised as reducing the risk of SIDS. There is no evidence of this, but parents can use these products if they meet CPSC safety standards."
3. Keep baby's sleeping area in the same room as you sleep for the first six months or ideally the first year. “In your bedroom, place your baby's crib, cradle, portable cradle or play area near your bed. The AAP recommends sharing a room because it can reduce the risk of SIDS by up to 50% and is much safer than sharing a bed. Plus, sharing a room will make it easier for you to feed, comfort, and watch your baby."
4. Bring your baby to your bed only to be fed or comforted. "Put your baby back in his own bedding when you're ready to go to sleep. If there is a chance you might fall asleep, make sure there are no pillows, sheets, blankets, or other items that could cover your baby's face, head, and neck or overheat your baby. As soon as you wake up, make sure you put the baby in his own bed... Bed sharing is not recommended for all babies.
5. Never put your baby on a couch, sofa or armchair to sleep. "This is an extremely dangerous place to sleep for your baby."
6. Keep soft objects, loose bedding and other items out of the baby's sleeping area. “This includes pillows, quilts, duvets, sheepskins, blankets, toys, bumper pads or similar products that can be attached to the slats or sides of the crib. If you are worried about your baby getting cold, you can use infant sleepwear such as baby sleepwear. B. a wearable blanket. In general, your baby should only be dressed in one layer more than you are carrying.”
7. Wrap your baby securely. “Make sure the baby is always on their back when changing. The swaddling should not be too tight or make it difficult for the baby to breathe or move their hips. If your baby looks like this, try to roll over, you should stop diapering."
8. Try giving a pacifier before nap time and before bed. "This helps reduce the risk of SIDS, even if it falls out after the baby has fallen asleep. If you are breastfeeding, wait until breastfeeding is well established before offering a pacifier. This usually takes 2-3 weeks. When you are not breastfeeding baby, you can start the pacifier whenever you want. It's okay if your baby doesn't want a pacifier. You can try again later, but some babies just don't like him. If the pacifier falls out after your baby is asleep, you don't have to put it back."
New infant sleep guidelines discourage hats and weighted swaddles, blankets originally appeared on

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