St. Louis doctors weigh-in on new infant sleep guidelines - KMOV.com

St. Louis doctors weigh-in on new infant sleep guidelines

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(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File). FILE - In this May 6, 2016, file photo, Keyshla Rivera smiles at her newborn son Jesus (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File). FILE - In this May 6, 2016, file photo, Keyshla Rivera smiles at her newborn son Jesus
CLAYTON (KMOV.com) -

Doctors in St. Louis are weighing in on new guidelines about where newborns should sleep.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new guidelines this week stating infants should sleep in the same bedroom as their parents, but on a separate surface, like a crib. They recommend that arrangement for the first six months to a year of age.

"The reasoning is studies show babies die less often if they are in the same room as parents than if they are down the hallway," said Dr. James Kemp, Washington University pediatric sleep specialist and co-director of the Sleep Lab at St. Louis Children's Hospital. "I don't think there is a specific explanation for that. I think the assumption is if the baby is in distress the parent will be able to sense that or hear something."

This is the first time the guidelines have been updated since 2011. A few things that have not changed including "back-sleeping” still being standard and co-sleeping not being recommended.                a

All of this is an effort to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The AAP says 3,500 infants die each year from SIDS.

The authors of the new guidelines also included new insight into how breastfeeding can help.

"Exclusive breastfeeding can reduce the risk of SIDS by as much as 70 percent," Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter, one of the authors and a physician at Cooper University Hospital told CBS.

But, health professionals are still stressing mothers avoid breastfeeding on a couch if they are tired.             

"The people who make the guidelines want you to realize mothers do in fact fall asleep while breastfeeding their babies. So there may be better places for mothers to fall asleep. The bed they suggest is not one with pillows and comforters. It's a stripped down bed," said Dr. Kemp.

The AAP stresses it is best to move your baby to its own bed after feeding.

While the AAP recommends the same-bedroom arrangement the first six months to a year, Dr. Kemp said there isn't a lot of evidence that supports that past six months so parents should not feel guilty about moving their child down the hall after that.

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