Local nurse discusses importance of updated infant sleep guidelines

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 10:34 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The American Academy of Pediatrics has added new infant sleep guidelines for the first time since 2016.

The guideline encourages parents to put their infants to sleep on a flat firm mattress with a snug fitted sheet, instead of a blanket.

Registered Nurse Kayla Cannon explains why this is so crucial.

“Sleep-related deaths increase by 67 percent when they are not sleeping alone on a firm mattress, so it is crucial that moms and dads are not sleeping with their babies in their bed,” Cannon said.

Thousands of infants die annually from sleep-related deaths and co-sleeping significantly raises the risk.

“Co-sleeping is the baby sleeping with anybody but themselves alone in a crib, if a baby is sleeping with a parent, a caregiver, whether it’s in a bed, a couch or a chair, whatever that looks like,” Cannon said.

In addition to the new guidelines, the agency recommends that parents avoid using incline products or crib decorations.

“It seems really fun to make everything look Pinterest, but anything in the crib that the baby’s face can get lodged in between, suffocation is a really big deal in infants,” Cannon said.

Cannon says there’s no shame in still needing help after you leave the hospital and there is no shame in asking for help.

“I always tell moms, motherhood is hard enough, lets not add shame into it,” she said. “So, if you feel like you don’t know what to do, please reach out because reaching out is so much better than actually not doing the right thing and something bad coming out of that.”

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