Study: Half of U.S. Infants are Still Placed to Sleep with Potentially Hazardous Bedding

For the second time in just a few months, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is warning parents about unsafe sleeping conditions.

baby sleeping crib

Currently, the AAP recommends that babies sleep in a crib with no loose bedding or soft objects, which can pose a suffocation risk.  According to a new study that will appear in the January 2015 issue of Pediatrics more than half of U.S. infants are still placed to sleep with potentially hazardous bedding.

For their research, the AAP investigated bedding use from 1993 to 2010 from the National Infant Sleep Position study. Blankets, quilts, and pillows can obstruct an infant’s airway and pose a risk for suffocation and a recognized risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

From 1993 to 2010, it was found bedding use declined, but remained a common practice. The rate of bedding use was very high between 1993-1995 averaged nearly 86 percent, but declined to 55 percent in 2008-2010. The team found that prevalence was highest for infants of teen mothers (83.5 percent) and lowest for infants born at term (55.6 percent).

They also found that bedding use was highest among infants who were sleeping in adult beds, placed to sleep on their sides, or shared a sleep surface. Study authors conclude that while the numbers have improved significantly, more than half of infants are still being put to bed with blankets, quilts, pillows, and other hazardous items.

Often when parent start to decorate their nursery – after the crib, the next purchase is the bedding set.  These sets normally include many pieces that look nice but are unsafe for new babies.  When you are creating your nursery all you need is a fitted sheet and wrap or sleep bag to keep the baby covered.


About the author

Lisa Arneill

Mom of 2 boys and founder of and World Traveled Family. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

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