With the aim of reducing the number of cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the American Academy of Pediatrics recently announced that parents should sleep in the same room as their children at least for the first six months to a year after they are born. Although, it is also advised that the parents and infants should not share the same bed, the children can sleep in their own crib. The studies have further shown to reduce the risk of SIDS by around 50%, according to an AAP report released in San Francisco recently.
General Facts About SIDS
Although there is no complete knowledge of what exactly is responsible for SIDS, infants who have passed because of SIDS usually suffocate and are asleep.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that annually the US faces close to 3500 deaths of infants due to SIDS, making around 40%. While other miscellaneous deaths take up around 25%, for reasons such as sleeping-related mishaps, accidental suffocation and more.
SIDS commonly occurs among infants aged between a month to 6 months old.
It can happen due to some apparatus which the infants are sleeping with or next to, in their sleeping area, such as soft pillows, toys, little parts, furnishings, etc., which somehow obstructs their breathing passages due to asphyxia.
Can occur due to certain genetic defects or physical traits, which the kids may be born with, making their nasal passages more vulnerable to obstruction or difficulty of breathing.
When mothers fall asleep during breast-feeding, inevitably because they’re tired, this has also led to a few infant deaths due to SIDS. The most dangerous was when mothers were breast feeding their kids in an arm-chair, with no surrounding support or cushioning on the surface below in case they fall.
How Sharing A Room Is Said To Keep SIDS Away?
Although there are only some suppositions to its effect at this point, there are a few theoretical points of view on why this could be effective:
Parent Senses Alerted:
The parents can keep an eye on their children if they’re sleeping nearby and may be alerted if the baby is making certain odd noises or crying, so they can immediately tend to them, possibly saving their life too, as opposed to having the kids sleep alone in another room.
Baby’s Comfort Zone
As a newborn or pre-year old, babies will probably feel safer if they’re not alone and have that physical sense of comfort with someone nearby to tend to them.
Cautions Besides Sharing A Room
Separate Sleeping Space:
The parents and babies are advised not to share a bed or sleeping space as the adult bed is not made for the little ones, which includes the dangers of the blankets, pillows and duvets that could inadvertently rest upon the baby, besides the parents’ bodies’ themselves. It is better if the kids are kept in a crib in the same room.
The Baby’s Sleeping Surface:
Infants are best kept in a crib, not a sofa or chair where they can roll off. They also need to be placed on their backs on a firm sleeping surface which provides adequate back support, with a tightly set sheet, not one that can unravel when they roll around. It is also advised not to keep any pillows, blankets and bed furnishings in the crib, that could make them feel too hot or suffocate them.
It is better to breast feed the infants in the parents’ own beds, with someone else around to keep watch, so in case mothers do fall asleep, then there will be someone to make sure the baby is not suffocated or falls.