Can infant sleeping bags be recommended by medical professionals as protection against sudden infant death syndrome?

Arch Dis Child. 2019 Mar;104(3):305-307. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2018-316093. Epub 2018 Oct 8.


Clinical scenario: A mother brought her infant to the hospital with bronchiolitis and incidentally asked if I would recommend the use of infant sleeping bags to protect against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome as several of her friends use them. Structured question: Can infant sleeping bags be recommended by medical professionals as protective against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome? Methods: A literature search was performed. Trials were included if they had an English version available and the papers examined the impact that sleeping bag use had on risk of SIDS or its risk factors. Cochrane Library search found eight trials, two of which were found to meet inclusion criteria. MEDLINE was searched using the search terms ((baby sleeping bag) OR infant sleeping bag) OR cotton sleeping sack. Forty-seven papers were found, two of which were found to meet the inclusion criteria, one of which had already been found in the Cochrane Library search. One further paper was found through searching citations of the papers included. Discussion: Sleeping bags are used in 48-95% of infants in the UK and advocated for by the Lullaby Trust for their safety in the prevention of SIDS. The case control studies included found that sleeping bags are as safe, if not safer than other bedding when examining SIDS as an outcome. For sleeping bags to be safe they must be well made and appropriately used, which includes the correct size, Tog, clothing and other bedding for bedroom temperature.

Keywords: SIDS; general paediatrics; paediatric practice; sleep; temperature regulation.