Will County Health Department (WCHD) Better Birth Outcomes program coordinator Sylvia Muniz said a key to preventing Sudden Infant Death is to “listen to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).”
“Improvements were made when the “Back to Sleep” movement was in full force in the late 90s and early 2000s," Muniz said in a news release from the Health department. But people just are not following other important recommendations that the AAP has made since then.”
Muniz said the AAP now recommends, in addition to having the baby sleep on his or her back, having the baby always sleep in their own bed (be it a crib or bassinet) and NOT in the parents’ bed, but in the same room with the parents, the release said.
She added these recommendations are especially important for the first six months, and/or until the baby can roll over on his or her own and hence get to a place where they are breathing comfortably, the release said.
The recommendation concerning having the baby in the same room is part of another very important factor to help avoid SIDS: making sure the baby is not too warm. Muniz said the recommendation is to use a sleep sack instead of a blanket, the release said.
A zipper sleep sack, which covers the entire baby from the legs to the chin, is recommended by the AAP as the best sleepwear to help prevent SIDS, the release said.
Another popular item from the past no longer recommended is crib bumper pads. Muniz says those were used in the past for decorative purposes or to cover up a certain fear the baby's head could poke through the crib bars.
In addition to sticking to the recommendations of the AAP when it comes to how their baby sleeps, there are other things that can be done to help reduce the risk of SIDS, Muniz said: breastfeed the baby for as long as both mother and baby are comfortable with it and don't smoke both during pregnancy and after the baby is born.