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Safe sleeping practices for your baby

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The CDC says more than 4,500 infants die suddenly each year of causes that aren't immediately clear— a phenomenon called 'sudden unexpected infant death.'

It can happen for many reasons, and accidental suffocation is one of the major culprits. America Now's Leeza Gibbons met with Kate Carr, the president of Safe Kids Worldwide, to find out how to keep a sleeping baby safe and sound.

Stuffed animas, pillows and baby toys seem to overpopulate the modern-day crib. Gibbons and Carr discussed the crowded crib syndrome.

"When my babies were little, I had every little bumper and pillow and blankie that I could imagine," says Gibbons.

Carr says, "I'm scared to think of what I subjected my children to, because I had all of this and today we just don't want to see it in a crib. And there's a real reason for that. That's because suffocation is the number one killer under the age of one. And how do they suffocate? They can get caught in a blanket. They can roll against a bumper. They can smush up into a stuffed animal. So the best thing to do is put the baby down on the sheet, if it's cool, put them in a sleep sack, but no blankets, no bumpers, no bed toys."

Some parents prefer to have their baby sleep in the same bed with them.
"I certainly understand that, especially for nursing moms who are waking up quite regularly throughout the night and they're struggling to get a good night's sleep. Still, the best thing to do is to have baby sleep alone and sleep alone in a crib or a bassinet on their back,"  says Carr.

Research has not yet shown when it's completely safe to have pillows, quilts and stuffed animals in the crib, but most experts agree they pose little risk to healthy babies after 12 months of age.

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