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New Guidelines for Sleeping Babies

New Guidelines for Sleeping Babies

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Dr. Kim Mulvihill ReportingFor years pediatricians have urged parents to put sleeping babies on their backs to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics says a pacifier may also help save a baby's life.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome kills more than 2,000 babies every year. That's why new moms follow the latest rules when putting their infants to sleep. But now moms and dads need to learn new rules. The American Academy of Pediatrics just issued updated guidelines.

Dr. John Kattwinkel, American Academy of Pediatrics: "Now that there are six studies, we're convinced there is enough evidence and the public clearly should know about it."

Among those new findings: Back sleeping is the preferred position. The Academy no longer recognizes side sleeping as an alternative. Babies should sleep in their parent's room, but not in the parent's bed. And grab a pacifier.

That's right, a pacifier. The academy now says pacifiers should be used during sleep after the first month. The Academy believes when babies suck on a pacifier, it keeps them from falling deeply asleep. That way, if the baby does stop breathing, the brain can more easily stimulate the lungs to breath again. However, if the infant refuses a pacifier, the Academy says don't force it.

Dentists say pacifiers won't harm the development of babies' teeth, as long as they're weaned by their first birthday.

SIDS cases have dropped 50-percent since doctors first started recommending babies sleep on their backs. Doctors still have no idea what causes SIDS.

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