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Bedding Use for Infant Sleep Remains Common

Despite recommendations against using bedding in infant sleep environments, a new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics finds that nearly 55 percent of infants nationwide are put to bed with soft blankets or covered by a comforter. The use of such bedding raises an infant's risk for suffocation or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).  In Baltimore, many infants die in unsafe sleep envrionments each year. 

The study found predictors for this practice included young maternal age and non-white race or ethnicity. Of the teenaged mothers questioned, over 80% reported using bedding in their infants' sleep environment. The study also found that two-thirds of black and Latino parents still use bedding that is both unnecessary and unsafe.

When parents or caregivers place these items in an infant's sleep environment, it is often because they are concerned about the comfort of the infant. However, babies are able to sleep comfortably without soft bedding, which poses a safety hazard. If concerned about warmth, infants can be dressed in a sleeper (see photo). 

Infants should always sleep alone, on their back and in a crib, no exceptions. This includes making sure the following items are not in the crib:

  • Pillows
  • Comfortors or blankets
  • Stuffed animals or toys
  • Bumpers

Find out more about keeping your infant safe and comfortable during sleep in the safe sleep section of our website

For more information about the study, read this NYTimes article or view this piece from Good Morning America.



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