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Child & Teen Health

Why some parents don’t follow the “safe sleep” recommendations for babies

September 28, 2015

About the Author

photo of Claire McCarthy, MD

Claire McCarthy, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Claire McCarthy, MD, is a primary care pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. In addition to being a senior faculty editor for Harvard Health Publishing, Dr. McCarthy … See Full Bio
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Gregory Walter MD
October 6, 2015

Hi Dr. McCarthy, really an interested article. for more information read my profile i m Dr Gregory Walter MD board-certified podiatric surgeon has moved his orthotics and podiatry practice to Bloomington.

October 5, 2015

It is as simple as the click of a mouse to find a reason not to follow co-sleeping reccomendations. I would like to see a study where parents are educated on safe co-sleeping practices with follow up SIDS/suffocation rates. It would be more beneficial to be able to use all evidence based practices as opposed to picking and choosing because we think parents can only follow hard set rules. When attending a seminar on breast feeding we were challenged to look and find a baby who was exclusively breastfeeding following safe co-sleeping practices with out a evident congenital issue that suffered from SIDS no one could find one. It is not just convenience that makes some parents choose to co-sleep it is believing it is the best option.

September 30, 2015

It’s exceedingly rare for children to asphyxiate on their vomit while sleeping on their backs…and just as rare to die while sleeping on their stomachs. All of my kids and patients are told the stomach is fine provided their are no smokers in the house and th crib is bare. The scientific evidence (either way) is not convincing enough to say one way is better than the other.

Amy sapsford
September 30, 2015

When can a blanket be used?

Claire McCarthy
September 30, 2015

The highest risk time for SIDS is between 2 and 6 months, so by later in the first year of life a blanket is probably okay. But really, if pajamas are warm enough a blanket isn’t necessary!

September 30, 2015

Hi Dr. McCarthy, I really enjoyed reading this article. Very informative safe sleep recommendation. I understand the importance of keeping the crib bare. I use baby sleep-sacks/sleeping bags. They are very effective.

September 30, 2015

Good information for child health and i think you are right about child health.

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