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Health & Baby

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Make Sure Your Baby Is Sleeping Safely While You're At Work


Compared with infants who died at home, infants who died in child care were twice as likely to be found on their stomachs, and were five times as likely to have been placed on their stomachs before their deaths. The survey also found that 82% of infants who died during their first week in child care were found on their stomachs.

Although some people still advocate putting babies to sleep on their sides, Moon says sleeping on the back is always preferable.

"What I tell parents is that until the baby can roll over, put your baby on the back," Moon says. If a baby is placed on his side, the lower arm should be brought forward as a brace to stop him from rolling over onto his stomach.

The American Academy of Pediatrics' campaign to raise awareness about the need to put babies to sleep on their backs has been extremely successful in reducing rates of SIDS in the last decade, says John Kattwinkel, MD, chair of the Task Force on Infant Positioning and SIDS. The National Center for Health Statistics indicates that the percentage of infants who sleep on their stomachs decreased from 70% in 1992 to 24% in 1996.

"The campaign has been very successful, but it's leveling off," Kattwinkel, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center in Charlottesville, tells WebMD. "The SIDS rate is leveling off, as is the number of babies sleeping on their stomachs. This continues to be a matter of education."

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development offers these additional recommendations to keep babies safe during sleep and curb the risk of SIDS:

  • Make sure the baby sleeps on a firm mattress or other firm surface.
  • Avoid using fluffy blankets or covering.
  • Do not place pillows, sheepskins, blankets, or comforters under the baby.
  • Do not put babies to sleep on waterbeds.
  • Do not put soft, stuffed toys in a crib or near a sleeping baby.

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