In a new study, "Nocturnal Video Assessment of Infant Sleep Environments," published in the September 2016 issue of Pediatrics, researchers looked at videos of 167 infants at ages 1, 3, and 6 months being put to bed in their own homes. Even though parents knew they were being recorded, unsafe sleep practices were still noted.
Among the unsafe patterns recorded by researchers: positioning infants on their sides or stomachs to sleep, or on soft surfaces, and with loose bedding. Other parents practiced bed-sharing, which is a proven hazard for small children.
Interestingly, babies who were moved in the middle of the night were more likely to be placed in an unsafe sleep environment. As a three-time mom who is all too familiar with late-night feedings, this makes complete sense. When you are exhausted, you definitely start to cut corners. But the most important takeaway from this study is that there's a huge correlation between practicing safe sleep habits and a baby's well being.
Ian M. Paul, M.D., M.Sc., study author and professor of pediatrics and public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, offered these tips to Parents.com for creating a safe sleep environment for babies:
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.