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Study: New Parents Still Use Soft Bedding for Newborns, Despite SIDS Risk

Raphaël Büchler

Recent studies have found that those beautiful baby blankets and that super-cute crib bedding you got at your baby shower are actually no-nos in the crib, due to the fact that they pose a SIDS risk. But a new study put out by the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. concluded that not all new moms are aware of this, particularly African-American moms.

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Dr. Rachel Moon, who is one of the authors of the study, said that some new parents think softer is safer, and that a baby would be uncomfortable sleeping on a firm crib mattress. "But when it comes to babies' sleep environment, soft is not safe, it's actually dangerous," said Dr. Moon.

According to statistics, African-American babies are twice as likely to die from SIDS or accidental suffocation than white, Latino and Asian babies. Dr. Moon said that while some of that may come down to genetics, it might also be because African-American parents use bedding or bumpers in the crib (which the CPSC is considering outlawing).
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To find out more about this, Dr. Moon and her team conducted the study (published in September issue of Pediatrics), where they asked 83 black moms in the D.C. and Maryland area with new babies if baby bedding or crib bumpers were safe to use. More than half said that they used bedding or bumpers—due to a combination of wanting their babies to be comfortable and hoping to avoid their baby's head hitting the railings.

"The only thing that should be in the crib is the baby," said Dr. Moon in a press release announcing the study's results. The AAP also recommends a baby sleep on a firm surface, free of blankets, bumpers and toys.
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This study examined a minute portion of one segment of the population, but the results are a good reminder to all new parents to keep the crib free of everything (except the baby!).

Do you (or did you) use bumpers in your baby's crib?