Sofa Sleeping Ups SIDS Risk for Babies

A new study found the most hazardous place in your home for your baby to sleep.

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The most dangerous place for your baby to sleep is the sofa, according to a new study. Of over 9,000 sleep-related infant deaths between 2004 and 2012, nearly 13 percent occurred on a sofa—most in babies under three months old, according to new research published in Pediatrics.

The study authors found several risk factors for the infants who died: They were more likely to be sleeping with another person on the sofa and also more likely to be placed face-down or on their side (the safest sleep position for babies is on their back). The researchers stressed that even for napping, the sofa is a dangerous place for babies to sleep.

To keep your baby safe and reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), follow these safe sleep guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  1. Always place your baby to sleep on his back for naps and at nighttime. (If your baby is old enough to roll over, don't worry if he rolls to his stomach while sleeping.)
  2. Infants should sleep on a firm, flat surface in a crib or bassinet that meets current safety standards. Never put your baby to sleep on a sofa or waterbed.
  3. Keep all soft objects, including toys, pillows, bumpers and blankets out of the crib.
  4. The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a crib or bassinet that's in the same room as you are.

Other ways to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS include: breastfeeding as long as possible, offering a pacifier during naps and bedtime, staying up-to-date on childhood vaccinations, keeping your baby's room at a comfortable temperature (so she doesn't overheat) and never smoking around your baby or exposing her to second-hand smoke.

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