What's New: Safe Sleep Guidelines

The Internet is abuzz with the AAP new safe sleep guidelines that were released on October 24th. So what do these new sleep recommendations mean for Memphis families? safe sleep

The new safe sleep guidelines acknowledge the real-life experience of families with infants.

The ABC's of safe sleep encourage families to put their infant to sleep Alone, on their Back, and in a Crib that is free of clutter like blankets, positioners, toys, and crib bumpers. While sharing a room with your baby is recommended, sharing a bed is not, and falling asleep with your baby on a couch or recliner is the biggest no-no of them all. However, the AAP acknowledged in their safe sleep update that sometimes babies do wind up in the parent's bed and offered some advice. From the Healthy Children website:

Only bring your baby into your bed to feed or comfort. Place your baby back in his or her own sleep space when you are ready to go to sleep. If there is any possibility that you might fall asleep, make sure there are no pillows, sheets, blankets, or any other items that could cover your baby's face, head, and neck, or overheat your baby. As soon as you wake up, be sure to move the baby to his or her own bed.

At Doulas of Memphis, we are most excited about this update because it promotes vigilance without putting added guilt and pressure onto families who are trying the best they can to get the rest that they need. Who doesn't love a little nonjudgmental support? If you are struggling with sleep with your baby, our overnight postpartum doulas can help.

Safe sleep is possible without all of the extra bells and whistles. With all the products and sleep aids out there, many parents are left feeling confused as to what is safe and what is not.

Products that claim to "prevent SIDS" are a marketing ploy that preys on parent's fears. In reality, there is no definitive way to prevent SIDS and many of these products have not undergone the rigorous safety testing through organizations like the FDA, the CSPC, or the AAP. Home heart monitors may provide peace of mind, but are never a substitute for the advice of your pediatrician. In regard to co-sleepers, Healthy Children says:

There isn't enough research on bedside or in-bed sleepers. The AAP can't recommend for or against these products because there have been no studies that have looked at their effect on SIDS or if they increase the risk of injury and death from suffocation.

If your baby likes a swaddle, that's great, and the AAP encourages families to place swaddled babies on their back, in a swaddle that isn't too tight and allows free hip movement, and to cease swaddling once you suspect your baby will begin rolling over.

Our doulas will always follow the AAP Recommendations for Safe Infant Sleep, but we also trust that parents are able to do what's best for their families. Sleep safe and sleep well!