As a new mom, you will soon discover that a lot of your time in those early weeks is spent thinking about sleep – how to get your baby to sleep, how to keep your baby asleep, baby’s safety when sleeping. There are a few things you can do to ensure safe sleep for newborns.
One of the risks to newborns is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). One way to reduce the chances of this happening is to make sure that when you place your baby down to sleep, they are on their backs. Placing them on their back is one of the safe baby sleep positions. This is much safer than placing them on their stomach or the side, as this increases the chance of suffocation.
Avoid putting things inside the crib
You might want to add cute soft toys or comfort blankets into the crib for your baby but avoid doing this to ensure safety sleep for babies. Keep the crib clear of all toys, pillows, blankets, and any other loose items that could suffocate your baby.
These toys and lose items can end up covering your newborn’s face and, as a result restricting how they breathe. If you have a sheet on the mattress, make sure it is tucked in securely and won’t pop off. Let babysitters and grandparents know not to place anything inside the crib.
Avoid pillows until 18 months
Pillows are not recommended to be placed into a cot or crib until your baby is at least 18 months of age. The main reason for this is that your baby will move while they sleep, resulting in the pillow moving around. This means that your child runs the risk of covering their head while they sleep, and this can affect how they breathe.
There is no reason your baby needs a pillow, as cute as they may be, avoiding it until your little one is bigger. Safe sleep for toddlers can include a toddler pillow.
Conditions in room
Spend some time making sure the conditions in the room are optimal for your baby to sleep. Ensure your room is well ventilated, but the temperature needs to be comfortable so that your baby does not get too hot or too cold while they sleep. Swaddle your baby with an extra blanket or place them in a sleep sack to keep them warm rather than turning the heat up too much. Avoid smoking in the room or near your baby in general.
Pacifier & Swaddle baby if can
When your baby is a newborn, swaddling them firmly is a great way to get them to sleep soundly and safely. While you want the Swaddle to be firm, it must not be tight. Your baby needs room for their chest and hips to expand. Use a lightweight cotton or muslin blanket to swaddle your little one in. As they get older, you will need to change how you swaddle them to start moving more. You can also offer your little one a pacifier to get them to sleep.
When you start looking for a place for your little one to sleep, it is essential to check the standards of the items you are buying. This includes everything from the crib to the mattress and blankets. Check that the crib and mattress meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission standards and, if possible, avoid buying secondhand items. It is important to make sure your baby is lying on a firm, flat surface and that the mattress fits securely into the crib so that it is not rolling around or leaving gaps.
As your little one gets older, checking safety standards for toys is a must. Learning about when your baby is old enough for certain toys is key too. For example, briskybaby.com offers some great options and advice for when your little one can use a baby walker.
Sleeping in the same room
Having your baby sleep in the same room as you offer many new parents peace of mind. Place their crib next to your bed so you can pick them up easily when they need to be fed or comforted. Once your newborn has been fed or soothed back to sleep, place them back into the crib. As far as possible for your baby’s safety, avoid bringing your little one into your bed as this can increase the risk of sleep-related deaths.
More breastfeeding & Tummy time
Research says that breastfeeding your baby reduces the risks of SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents by 50%. If it is possible to breastfeed, then continue as long as you can but if you are bottle-feeding your baby, follow safe sleeping practices and never prop a bottle up in the cot. Tummy time and other “playtime” are also recommended as this helps to ensure your baby is tired and will sleep soundly.
Obvious but often mistake
When your baby is awake, take them out of their crib. You want them to associate the crib with sleep, not playtime, so make sure you only use it when they are sleeping. Avoid placing your little one down to sleep on a sofa or any surface that they could fall off from.
- What are the things I can do to prevent SIDS? Place your baby to sleep on their back. Use a firm sleep surface that is free from toys, blankets, etc. Do not overheat your baby’s room.
- Are pillows and blankets safe when the baby is sleeping? Babies do not need to sleep with pillows until they are 18 months old (or even older). Use lightweight blankets and make sure your baby is swaddled securely and the blanket won’t cover their face.
- How can I make sure my baby sleeps safely in a crib? Make sure your crib and mattress meet the required safety standards and that you follow the safe sleep guidelines we have outlined.
Your baby’s safety when sleeping is paramount not only for their safety but for your peace of mind. Follow the steps we have outlined, and you can rest assured your little one will be safe while they sleep. If you found this helpful article, please share it with your family and friends.