New safe sleep recommendations for infants

The American Academy of Pediatrics says infants should sleep in the same room as parents for at least the first six months.

That's just one of the new recommendations announced Monday to ensure the safe sleep of infants and to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

There has been a lot of progress over the years. The rate for SIDS has dropped, but sadly, thousands of babies still die every year.

So there are some new updates and reminders for parents.

Registered Nurse Karen Angiolillo helped Delaware County Memorial Hospital receive "Bronze Safe Sleep Hospital" status, a national recognition for their work in educating parents about safe sleep for infants.

She says it's best to lead by example.

"Parents learn from what they see, not necessarily what we talk to them about, so we try to demonstrate it so they actually see it's the baby on their back," Angiolillo said.

They're also in a firm crib or bassinet that's clutter-free with no blankets, pillows, stuffed animals or bumpers.

"It really should just be a fitted sheet with the baby on their back," Angiolillo said.

Neonatalogist Dr. Cynthia Dembofsky says they've also already implemented new recommendations - including skin-to-skin contact between mom and baby as soon as possible after birth for at least an hour.

Also, babies should sleep in the crib in the parent's room for the first six to 12 months.

"There's all these wonderful monitors that you can keep an eye on your baby, but nothing is as good as yourself and your instinct," Dembofsky said.

Keeping up with all recommended vaccines also helps prevent SIDS.

And no smoking.

"There should be no smoking anywhere in the house, especially the bedroom but even smoking in the car, anywhere around the baby, on clothes with smoke on it, all of that can increase risk for SIDS and should be avoided," Dembofsky said.

Angiolillo says the biggest mistake parents make is thinking it won't happen to them. Then either sleeping with the baby in the same bed or putting blankets in the crib.

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