The AAP Just Released New Safe Sleep Guidelines: Here’s What you Need to Know

The recommendations for your baby to get their safest sleep have been recently updated.. . From the Safe Cribs Act to the banning of inclined sleep products, it is important for parents to stay up-to-date on the latest recommendations when it comes to safe sleep. Like the ones just released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Sleeping in a crib or bassinet only with nothing in the crib and without an incline is one of the newest guidelines. And perhaps one of the biggest changes they just released is their stance on weighted sleep sacks–and it’s a no.

The general consensus is that sleeping on their back is the best for your baby. By why? And what are you to do if you’ve relied on one of these other products? 

Summarization of Changes for Safe Sleep

Here are the latest updates in a series of changes made for babies to get safer sleep. 

Safe Cribs Act

The Safe Cribs Act was passed by the Senate in March 2022 and made it illegal to manufacture, sell, or distribute crib bumpers. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 113 fatalities have been reported due to crib bumpers. Babies can press their face against the bumpers, resulting in suffocation.

Moreover, standard cribs are now manufactured with slats at about 2 ⅜ inches wide preventing babies from getting their heads stuck.  

Dangers of Inclined Sleep Products

In addition to the Safe Cribs Act, President Biden signed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021 into law. This law prohibits the manufacturing and marketing of inclined sleep products for babies. Any surface on an incline greater than 10 degrees could restrict your baby’s airway and lead to suffocation. Babies could also fall out of these products.

This includes car seats outside of travel time. We know, it’s so tempting to let your baby finish their nap in their car seat. And if you’ve ever carried your car seat inside with your sleeping baby we get it and we’ve been there. But, the reality is, that this incline isn’t a safe space for sleep. 

Weighted Sleep Sacks

Since weighted sleep sacks arrived on the scene the AAP hasn’t released its official stance. But these new reports have stated that weighted swaddles, sleep sacks, and clothing is not recommended by the AAP. They state that there has been no evidence that these products will reduce the likelihood of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). They can also lead to an increased risk of suffocation if they roll onto their tummies while swaddled in one of these weighted products.

The American Academy of Pediatrics Weighs In

The AAP is clear on its position: babies should sleep on flat, non-inclined surfaces without the use of any soft bedding. They should be sleeping on their back in a crib or bassinet without toys, pillows, or blankets. They should not be co-sleeping with a parent as this can lead to suffocation.

This means that parents shouldn’t be using any of the following products for routine sleep, particularly for babies under four months old:

  • Car seats

  • Strollers

  • Swings

  • Infant carriers or slings

  • Incline rockers or seats

The AAP does recommend short periods of tummy time for your baby to encourage development but these should always be supervised. By seven weeks of age, babies should have about 15 to 30 minutes of tummy time daily based on the latest recommendations. This can cut back on the likelihood of sleep-related infant deaths.

What to do now

While it may be challenging right now, it’s actually a good thing that we are learning how to give our babies the safest sleep possible. With that said, what are you supposed to do if even one of these options was the only thing that worked? Taking turns holding your baby while they sleep is a good way for you and your partner to navigate those long nights. While this isn’t a long-term sustainable solution, it is something you can do in moments of desperation. Safely holding your baby for a nap or two is also something that is completely fine, especially in the first few months of life. But, every baby is different so it might take time to find the right solution for you. 

That’s why we’re here!. We can help you get much-needed sleep without unsafe products that could jeopardize your little one. Whether you need one-on-one coaching, or learn best through online classes, or group coaching, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you and your baby get your sweetest sleep yet!