By Serena Gordon
MONDAY, February 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Parents have long been told that babies should sleep in their own crib to reduce the risk of sudden unexpected death (SUID), but almost 1 in 5 babies He still sleeps in his parents' bed, finds a new study.
To reduce the risk of SUID or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents share their room with their baby for at least 6 months, and ideally up to 1 year. The AAP also advises against sharing the bed, but new parents may be receiving varied advice from their pediatricians about the shared use of the bed, the study suggested.
About 59% of new moms said they intended to share rooms without sharing the bed. But only 45% of those who said they planned to share a room had only done so in the last two weeks.
"We found that many mothers share the bed despite the recommendations of the AAP to share the room without sharing the bed," said lead study author Dr. Ann Kellams, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia.
Kellams said there are several reasons why parents can still choose to take the baby to bed. "There is a subset of people who really feel that sharing the bed is necessary to breastfeed and, culturally, babies who routinely share the bed are sometimes the social norm," he said. And he pointed out that there are some families that simply do not have a separate safe place for the baby to sleep.
Why is it so important to keep the baby out of bed? "We are concerned about accidental asphyxiation. In our western society, we love the soft mattresses with pillow-type cover and the comfortable and thick comforters and pillows. Those things pose a risk of suffocation and strangulation. People think they will wake up, but when Babies suffocate, it is generally a very silent and silent event, "Kellams explained.
Dr. Jillian Parekh, a pediatrician at Montefiore Children's Hospital, said that sharing the bed is one of the biggest risk factors for SUID. She did not participate in the study.
"Adults who turn around or something that covers the baby's mouth can suffocate, but even sleeping next to other people leads to lower levels of oxygen that put babies at greater risk," Parekh said.
The study included almost 3,300 new mothers from 32 US hospitals. UU. They completed a survey when their babies were between 2 and 6 months old, most were between 8 and 11 weeks. The moms answered questions about the babies' sleeping places during the last two weeks and the places planned to sleep during the next two weeks.
Two thirds of the mothers reported that they shared rooms at least part of the time. Fifty-one percent of mothers said they shared a room exclusively with their babies. Another 11% said their babies slept exclusively in another room.
Twenty percent of the mothers said they shared the bed with their baby at least part of the time. Ten percent exclusively of shared bed and 18% of shared room and shared bed.
When asked about the sleep habits they intended to practice in the next two weeks, a little more mothers were going to sleep their babies in another room, and about 24% of the mothers said they intended to share the bed .
Black and Hispanic mothers were less likely to plan for their babies to sleep in another room compared to white mothers.
When doctors told the women to share the room without sharing the bed, they were less likely to plan to share the bed.
Kellams said he hoped the study would highlight the possible differences between what parents plan to do and what they really do. "Pediatricians should be experts in these conversations to discover what the barriers to safe sleep are. Ideally, he wants these conversations to happen before parents have the exhaustion and stress of having a new baby," he said.
"We spend so much time preparing mothers for childbirth, and that lasts from a few minutes to a couple of days. But we hardly spend time preparing people to be fathers," said Kellams.
Parekh agreed that having a plan is key. "The study showed that even with the best intentions, it can be difficult to follow the best sleep practices. Start thinking about this and sleeping safely before the baby is here, and commit to a safe plan. Have a crib or a bassinet in space to help make breastfeeding more accessible, "he said.
If the cost is a problem to have a separate bed for the baby, Parekh said to speak with a pediatrician. She said there are programs that provide safe cribs to parents.
The study was published on February 7 in Pediatrics.