How to Keep your Sleeping Baby Safe: AAP Policy Explained

By: Dr. Rachel Y. Moon, MD, FAAP, Chair of SIDS Task Force
Click here for the complete article

Two Important bullet points from the article:

  • Until their first birthday, babies should sleep on their backs for all sleep times—for naps and at night. We know babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on their stomach.
  • It is fine to swaddle your baby. However, make sure that the baby is always on his or her back when swaddled. The swaddle should not be too tight or make it hard for the baby to breathe or move his or her hips. When your baby looks like he or she is trying to roll over, you should stop swaddling.

Q & A with Dr. Rachel Moon, MD, FAAP

Q Is it your goal that all hospitals remove all receiving blankets from their L&D units and NICUs and replace them with wearable blankets?

A We do not have a stated goal of removing all receiving blankets and replacing them with wearable blankets.

Q Do you intend for all newborns in hospitals to be put into wearable blankets starting at birth?

A That is certainly fine, but we do not have any stated or unstated intention in this regard.

Q Is it okay for nurses to swaddle newborns with a receiving blanket in the hospital and demonstrate hip healthy swaddling with a blanket to new parents
    if the nursing staff emphasizes and models back to sleep and other key messages of safe sleep environment?

A Yes, this is fine.

Q The majority of nurses we spoke to feel it is appropriate to swaddle with a lightweight receiving blanket in the hospital and for baby’s first two months,
    and then transition baby to a wearable blanket without arm restraints. Would you agree with this approach?

A Yes, this is fine as well.


  About Dr. Moon:
Rachel Y. Moon, MD, FAAP is a pediatrician and SIDS researcher at the University of Virginia. She is also the Division Head of General Pediatrics and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Within the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), she is chair of the Task Force on SIDS and Associate Editor for the journal Pediatrics. Dr. Moon is also the editor of Sleep: What Every Parent Needs to Know.