Most Dangerous Spot for Baby to Sleep Revealed

sleepping baby

Laying baby down on the sofa may seem a lot easier than taking them all the way to their crib for a midday nap. But the latest news on baby sleep may change the way you handle nap time for good. A new study, published in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics, looked at infant deaths and found that a shocking number of babies are dying during their naps -- more specifically, dying when they nap on the couch

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After looking into data from 2004 to 2012, researchers determined that 12 percent of infant deaths were sofa-related. That means that just about one in eight SIDS and infant sleep-related deaths occurs right there in the living room!

Throughout the eight years of research, scientists found that 1,024 deaths were attributed to the sofa. Infants who died sleeping on a couch were nearly twice as likely to die from suffocation or strangulation as babies who died sleeping elsewhere in the house.

But why are sofas so dangerous? The research showed that there are four main causes. Most often, infants were found to have either changed their entire sleep location or were found sleeping on their side. Other times, SIDS occurred because they were sharing the space with another person. And finally, prenatal tobacco exposure, which is already a predominant risk factor for SIDS, was linked to sofa sleeping.

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When all of those are compounded, the risk for SIDS is even higher.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants should sleep on firm and flat surfaces. Sofas, on the other hand, are the exact opposite of that. The fluffy cushions (which are great to recline on during family movie night) are often packed with pillows and blankets. And the rounded curves of the seating cushions (and the back ones too) mean that babies can easily roll into dangerous spaces. These can lead to breathing problems for babies, especially if they've rearranged their position or moved from their original place.

And if you thought that co-sleeping with your baby on the sofa was safer, it's not. A large portion of the deaths in the study occurred when babies were wedged between the cushion and another body, multiple cushions, or under an adult. No matter the form, it's all bad news.

So moms and dads, watch out! The crib is there for a reason. It may seem cozy to have the baby snooze on the couch, or to join them for a little siesta, but let this serve as a warning. A properly arranged crib really is the way to go.

Where does your baby take naps? 

 

Image © iStock.com/KristinaGreke

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