Soft Bedding - a Health Hazard for Babies

Aug 25, 2011
A baby surrounded by soft pillows may be a cute picture, but not when it comes to sleeping environment.

The study, conducted by Children's National Medical Center warns that soft bedding is dangerous for babies. Despite the numerous warnings many parents still think that pillows and blankets make babies feel more comfortable and protect them from injures. In fact, soft bedding is high-risk factor for accidental suffocation, strangulation and SIDS, scientists say.

Rachel Moon, one of the authors of the study, conducted a number of interviews and group discussions with 83 black women, who had a baby at the moment. While the research was conducted on black women, because there is a higher percentage of SIDS among black babies, the results can be easily applied to parents of all races.

The study revealed that nearly half of all women respondents used soft bedding and bumper pads for their baby to provide them with comfort and warmth. Many parents also misinterpret doctor's recommendations and do not really understand what should be a firm sleep surface.

Specialists note, that babies can sleep on any surface and it does not need to be soft to feel comfortable.

What is a safe sleep environment for a baby?

According to American Academy of Pediatrics, parents who want to avoid common dangers, such as suffocation, strangulation or entrapment need to follow these safety rules:

  • Place babies on their back for sleep during the day naps and night sleep.

  • Make you baby sleep on a firm sleep surface, like firm tight-fitting mattress

  • Do not use pillows, quilt, sheepskin and blankets under baby.

  • Avoid using positioning devices, pillows, crib bumpers, loose bedding and other soft bedding in an infant's sleeping environment.