NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There are important new guidelines for parents about how to put a baby to sleep.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has revised and updated its recommendations on sleep position and location.

As CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez explained, about 3,500 babies a years die from sleep-related deaths — including what it known as SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Studies have shown that there are ways to reduce that risk and also to help a baby develop — some you may have heard of, some are new.

Anna Elizabeth Scarola is not even three days old and today she is getting ready to go home, but not before her parents get some lessons on how to keep her safe when she’s sleeping.

It’s all right in step with new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, to help decrease the chances of SIDS and other sleep related deaths.

The surprising addition is that the group recommends share a bedroom with their parents for at least the first 6 months, but ideally for the first year.

“The studies that were done looking at the reduction in risk of SIDS really were done throughout the first year of life, and we know that reduction can be as much as 50 percent,” Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter, Guideline Author, Cooper University Hospital, explained.

Baby should sleep on a separate surface from mom and dad, and parents should be very careful about letting a baby into bed.

“Be mindful, don’t fall asleep with baby. As so as you wake up, put baby back,” Fran Shayowitz, Huntington Hospital said.

There are now handy co-sleeper type cribs that attach to regular beds keeping the baby nearby, but safe from being rolled over on.

Other recommendations include pacifiers at nap and bedtime, do not use monitors or devices marketed to reduce SIDS, and babies should get plenty of supervised awake tummy time to promote development.

The most important recommendation hasn’t changed — babies should be placed to sleep on a firm mattress in the crib of bassinet, and there should be no bumpers, blankets, pillows, or toys.

The academy also recommends skin to skin contact between mom and newborn within the first few hours after birth. Breast feeding has also been shown to protect against SIDS.

 

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