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New infant sleep guidelines can help parents, caregivers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A local children’s doctor wants parents to know about the new sleeping guidelines for infants.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its recommendations for the first time in eight years.

The academy is warning parents against cosleeping, says Melissa Klitzman, a pediatric hospitalist at Riley Children’s Health.

“Cosleeping of any kind is not safe for your infant,” Klitzman said. “Around 3,500 infants die from sleep-related deaths each year.”

Klitzman saysparents and guardians should follow the ABC Rule:

  • Alone
  • Back
  • Crib

“Your infant should sleep in the same room with you for the first six months, but not in the same bed. They should also be on their back and in their crib,” Klitzman said.

According to Klitzman, an infant is 67 times more likely to die if they sleep on an unsafe surface, like a couch, with an adult.

“If the adult is impaired with any type of pain medication or substance, the infant is 10 times more likely, regardless of the sleep surface, to have an infant-related death.”

The academy says parents should not use products for sleep that aren’t specifically marketed for that purpose. The updated guidance says the only products marketed for infant sleep are cribs, bassinets, play yards, and bedside sleepers.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also recommends against keeping toys, blankets, pillows, and crib bumpers out of an infant’s crib.