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Infant Sleep Recommendations

At Behavior By Design, we take pride in our ability to work with infants and their families to ensure that their little-one is developing appropriately and up-to-date with the most relevant safety recommendations. That’s just one of the reasons that many of our BCBAs (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) decided to pursue their CLC  (Certified Lactation Consultant) credentials as well! In an effort to share some of the current recommendations with more than just our current families, today we are going to share information that many families may find useful; the safest sleeping position and environment for your baby!

According to The US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the best sleeping position for an infant is on their back, as this allows for open airways. In fact, you should never place your baby on their stomach or side to sleep, unless instructed by your health care provider. Additionally, you baby should be placed in their own crib/basinet, not in a bed or crib with others. In their crib, there should be only a hard mattress and fitted sheet. There should NOT be any wedges, quilts, comforters, toys or loose items in the crib. The only item that is considered safe to place in the crib with you baby is a pacifier, if needed.

Why follow the recommendations above? It’s simple, doing so actually leads to a lower risk of SIDS and SUID (sudden infant Death Syndrome and sudden and unexpected infant death) which takes the lives of over 3,500 infants each year in the U.S.

Then why are so many parents co-sleeping or placing their baby on their stomach to sleep!? Keep reading for some common reasons and alternatives.

One of the most common reasons that parents put their baby on their stomach to sleep is due to the worry for brachycephaly (flattening of the back of the skull). However, there is no need to worry about this, as you can simply prevent this by increasing tummy time when your child is awake! Common reasons given for co-sleeping is due to the convenience and bonding element that parents feel with their baby while co-sleeping. To combat convenience, consider putting the baby’s crib or basinet in the same room as you or in rooms that you frequent often. In reference to the desire to bond with your baby, there are so many other ways to bond with your baby without putting them in a dangerous situation! Playing with your baby, talking to your baby, staring in your baby’s eyes, responding to your baby’s coos, and providing what your baby needs when he/she cry’s are all incredible ways to bond even further with your baby.

We hope you find this information useful. Below are some resources to learn more about sleeping positions and infant statistics.