Friday, May 20, 2011

AAP Surprises

There are a few things you may not know are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Some people get outdated information and others simply misunderstand the language. Here are a couple things that are not considered mainstream (but should be!) that the AAP, who is supposed to be the mainstream 'go-to' (especially for pediatricians) recommends.

The first thing that comes to most minds when they hear "cosleeping" is baby in the parents' bed. But really, that's just one type of cosleeping, referred to as 'bed sharing' to be specific. Another form is to have baby in a crib or cosleeper attached to the bed and yet another is to have the crib in the parents room. The AAP actually recommends that babies spend the first six months of life in their parents' room, in a separate sleeping area (a bassinet, cosleeper or crib). This benefits both the research that cosleeping is better for babies and crib manufacturers, who hate those studies. "Mother and infant should sleep in proximity to each other to facilitate breastfeeding."

Rear-facing for Two Years (and beyond!)

Her chest clip needs to be adjusted a little bit here, but this is Lilly, rear-facing at 2 1/2.
The AAP advises parents to keep kids rear-facing as long as possible, up to the maximum limit of the car seat. The current (new) minimum recommendation is now 2 years. Most people aren't aware that this is the recommendation, because they have been following the minimum law (if at all), much to the potential detriment of their children. Children under 2 who are rear-facing are 75% less likely to be fatally injured in a car accident.

Feed On Cue, Not Schedule
Feeding the wild
There are repeated comments on this in the official AAP guidelines, from "Crying is a late indicator of hunger," to "During the early weeks of breastfeeding, mothers should be encouraged to have 8 to 12 feedings at the breast every 24 hours, offering the breast whenever the infant shows early signs of hunger such as increased alertness, physical activity, mouthing, or rooting."
Breastfeeding Past the First Year

The AAP's official stance: "There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer."

So there you have a few things you may not have know that the AAP recommends.

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