Winter Warning: Don't over-bundle infants

Baby in Crib

By By Ramon Ongkingco, MD

During cooler months, parents may be tempted to bundle their infants in lots of warm clothes and blankets to sleep. But over-bundling a baby increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. So does the use of blankets in the crib. Blanket-type sleeper pajamas are a safe alternative to a blanket. Babies don’t need extra help staying warm while sleeping. Dress them according to what you would be comfortable in. Dr. Ongkingco practices with CHKD Health System’s Hampton Roads Pediatrics.

The following guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS): The crib mattress should be firm and covered by a tight-fitted sheet.

Avoid overheating: The infant should be lightly clothed for sleep, and the bedroom temperature should be kept comfortable for a lightly clothed adult. Offer a pacifier at nap and bedtime. Don't put it back in the child's mouth once he falls asleep.

Infants should always be placed for sleep on their backs in cribs that meet Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. Avoid commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS. None have been tested sufficiently to prove they are effective.

There is no evidence that use of home monitors decreases the risk of SIDS.

Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the crib.

Bed-sharing during sleep is not recommended.

Make sure that everyone caring for the infant is aware of these recommendations.

By Ramon Ongkingco, MD practices with CHKD Health System’s Hampton Roads Pediatrics.