A new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics says infants should sleep in the same room with their parents (but not in the same bed) for at least the first six months to help avoid SIDS.

In fact, the AAP suggests sleeping in the same room for a year and says doing so could decrease the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent. The AAP also released a list of other  recommendations to avoid strangulation or suffocation during sleep. Here’s what else you need to know:

  • There shouldn’t be anything in baby’s crib other than a tight-fitting sheet. That means no toys, blankets or crib bumpers.

  • Exposure to smoke, drugs and alcohol can give increase the chance of getting SIDS.

  • Offer a pacifier to the infant at nap time or bedtime.

  • Make sure babies have all their recommended vaccinations.

  • Supervise tummy time when a baby’s awake so she develops properly.

  • Do not use home monitors or commercial devices, including wedges or positioners, marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.

It’s estimated that about 3,500 babies die from sleep-rated causes annually, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The good news? The number of deaths from SIDS is dropping each year.

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