13 baby sleep safety tips from the CSPC

Baby sleep safety is a primary concern of new parents. An article by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) answers 13 common questions parents ask about using baby blankets, pillows, and other items in baby's sleeping environment.

Nearly half of the infant crib deaths and two-thirds of bassinet deaths reported to CPSC each year are suffocations caused by pillows, thick quilts and/or overcrowding in the baby’s sleeping space.” (Full article link below)

We're not talking SIDS here. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden, unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year of age that doesn’t have a known cause even after a complete investigation” (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, link below). (Bold emphasis is mine)

Rather, we are talking about the sudden and unexpected deaths of infants that can be explained by evidence of causes related to sleep, including soft, loose bedding.

Is baby sleep safety really an issue?

We all know how comfortable a soft, cozy blanket makes us, and we want that comfort for our babies so they will sleep well (and so new moms and dads can get a little shut-eye too!). But for infants under 12 months, these items can increase the danger of suffocation.

"CPSC staff estimates that between 1992 and 2010 there were nearly 700 deaths involving infants 12 months and younger related to pillows and cushions placed in or near a baby’s sleep environment." (CPSC online safety article, Full text link below)

Now, we all realize that millenia have passed in which most babies have been sleeping and surviving in all sorts of unsafe situations. But these days we track the data, investigate the causes, and recommend ways to minimize infant risk while sleeping. And we do this because the death of a baby is always a cause of heartwrenching grief, especially if it could have been prevented.

Some of the questions answered by the CPSC

  • I use a pillow, why shouldn’t my baby?

The biggest risk is during baby's first three months, however CPSC recommends not using a pillow for baby until 18 months.

  • No thick blankets? My baby will be cold.

If the temperature concerns you, CPSC recommends dressing the baby in warmer clothing.

  • Should I use a ‘sleep positioning’ device?

CPSC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration share a resounding NO to this question. Even back in 2010 they issued a warning to stop using these devices because of the hazard of infant suffocation. 

Conclusion

The primary purpose of the CPSC article is to inform and encourage all parents and infant caregivers to take security measures to improve the safety of their infants during sleep. The delightful cozy baby blankets that we make and use here at BabyBlanketCentral should be used with very close supervision for tiny ones. Our handcrafted, personally-chosen blankets of love are to bring warmth and joy to babies and their families!

Read the full article here:  http://onsafety.cpsc.gov/blog/2012/09/18/safe-sleep-bedding-pillows-safety-and-more/

Another great reference for baby sleep safety:  https://www.nichd.nih.gov/sts/Pages/default.aspx

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