The parents or guardians of children in your care look to you as a child safety and development expert. If family members have questions about safe sleep practices in their homes, the following are some messages you can share. Parents or guardians can also share this information with the family members or friends who also provide care for their infant. Infants love consistency!
Breastfeeding and Pacifier Use
Breastfeeding helps reduce the risk of sleep-related SUID/SIDS. Breastfeeding helps to develop breathing and swallowing coordination. Pacifier use helps infants wake from sleep more easily, which is important if their breathing becomes blocked.
Room Sharing versus Bed Sharing
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants sleep close to the parent or guardian’s bed – in the same room, but not in the same bed.
Bed sharing is not recommended. Bed sharing increases the risk of suffocation, entrapment, and other sleep-related causes of infant death. An adult bed is not designed for infants, and there are no safety standards for adult beds.
Although it is NOT recommended, Oregon Health Authority and AAP recommends some precautions to consider that can be found here:
If a parent or guardian chooses to have their infant sleep in their adult bed, here are some precautions to consider:
- Wait until the infant is older than four months old;
- Remove pillows, quilts, or comforters;
- Do not have pets or other children in the bed at the same time as the infant;
- Avoid sleeping on soft surfaces such as a waterbed, old mattress, sofa, couch, or armchair; or
- Avoid co-sleeping if the adult is actively smoking, has consumed alcohol, taken sleep aids; or if they are overly exhausted, and there is a chance that they will not awake in an emergency.