Today, the new safe sleep recommendations were released by the American Academy of Pediatrics. On Thursday the Consumer Products Safety Commission’s new federal rule goes into effect that states the only products that can be marketed for infant sleep are cribs, bassinets, play yards and bedside sleepers. And last month President Biden signed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act which makes it unlawful to manufacture, sell, or distribute crib bumpers or inclined sleepers for infants.
We know this amount of information can be confusing in regard to what is safe and unsafe. Additionally, the AAP guidelines are written for their members, pediatricians, and not parents and caregivers. We support the guidelines and want to be sure that parents, caregivers, and community members understand them as well as how to use infant products safely and as intended. Our new Safe Sleep page, which you can access here, lists the AAP recommendations, the reasoning behind them, and some clarifying points from us.
While new legislation and guidelines are a promising step in reducing the rate of SUID, we know that even more important is the delivery of messaging that respects the lived experiences of families from trusted community members, recognizing that each family situation is unique.
Care providers such as doulas, social service agencies and faith-based leaders must be the ones leading the way in having authentic conversations with families, educating, and supporting them while acknowledging their cultural beliefs, socio-economic obstacles, and family traditions.
The new guidelines as well as information on the proper use of infant products will be incorporated into our Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep program, which trains health care providers including nurses, doulas and social workers on safe sleep and explores how implicit bias impacts education of families.
The guidelines are also central to our Let’s Talk Community Chats initiative, which partners with community leaders and advocates to address racial disparities in SUID rates, through extended conversations with families about safe sleep, breast feeding and the proper use of infant products.
If you know someone who has a baby or is expecting, please share this e-mail with them so they too can learn about the safe sleep guidelines.