How To Keep Your Sleeping Baby Safe
Putting your baby off to sleep in the right position, on the right surface, and in the right manner is very important. Here are a few tips from us on how to keep your baby safe while sleeping.
Do you know that more than 3,500 children every year die off SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), suffocation, and strangulation in the United States alone when they are asleep? Taking care of your baby’s safety is very important while they are asleep. You may have heard countless times that place your baby on her back while she is asleep to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. But your baby’s safety is more than just placing her on her back—it’s in the choice of surface, the choice of bedding, and many other things.
In an effort to reduce the risk of sleep-related infant accidents, we have prepared a guide on how to keep your sleeping baby safe. Here are a few tips that can help you in this quest.
1. Use a Firm Sleeping Surface
Parents should always put their babies to sleep on surfaces that are specially designed for babies. Other surfaces like cushions, armchairs, adult beds and recliners are not comfortable and safe options for your baby. Armchairs and recliners often have cracks between the cushions. Your baby can easily fall into these cracks, which can make it difficult for them to breathe.
Here are some options you can consider:
· Cribs are the safest options for your baby to sleep in. They come in a variety of sizes, so they can be suitable for your baby throughout the toddler years. But please check if your crib manufacturer follows the safety standards issued by your country's government.
· Co-sleeper is another good option for you to consider. It is basically an extension bed that can be attached to the side of the parents’ bed. Using this option, you can easily check in on your baby without getting up from your own bed.
· Cradles, Moses’ baskets, and Bassinets are excellent choices when your baby is a few weeks or months old. But these compact sleeping surfaces come with a weight limit. The downside? Your baby will easily outgrow them, and you will have to look for another option.
2. Choose The Right Sleep Position
Gently place your baby on her back while she is asleep. This position reduces the risk of SIDS and lets your baby breathe comfortably. So, if you see your baby sleeping on her side or tummy, gently roll them over.
Babies who sleep on their back are at minimal risk of suffocation, strangulation, or SIDS. So, no matter what your family members or care providers tell you, "On her back" is the only safe position for your little one to sleep in.
3. Share A Room, But Not a Bed
Have your baby sleep in your room until they are at least one year old. This reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome by almost 50%. And of course, keeping your baby close by gives you peace of mind, and makes for easier nighttime diaper changing or feeding.
But you should at all costs, avoid having your baby sleep in your bed. This is not only uncomfortable but dangerous for your baby. Your baby should always sleep in her crib, bassinet, or cradle. Your bed's pillows, cushions, and sheets can pose a significant danger of suffocation to your baby. Not only that, but your baby can also roll off the bed in the middle of the night or someone can accidentally step over the baby. Avoid these risks, and purchase a cradle, crib, or co-sleeper that you can easily place in your room.
Make sure to position your baby’s crib out of reach of any curtains, drapes, or hanging items. If you have placed a toy on your baby’s crib, tie it high enough, so your toddler couldn’t reach it.
4. Know a Little about Bedding
Make sure to keep your baby’s bedding as simple as possible. Here are a few items you must add:
· Firm and tight mattress
· Fitted mattress protector
· Fitted sheets
Your baby's bedding shouldn't easily come off and should be firmly placed. During winter or cooler months, dress your baby in sleeping suits and sacks instead of draping them in bulky blankets. Babies who don't crawl or rollover can feel suffocated and entangled in bulky clothing and puffy blankets, which can make it harder for them to breathe.
Apart from that, avoid placing sleep positioners, wedges, and bumpers in your baby’s crib.
5. Don’t Let Your Baby Overheat
What is the best way to dress your baby for sleep? Too many blankets? No! bulky clothing? A big no! Dress your baby as simply as you can. Overheating is a major issue in newborns. Parents are often unsure of how to dress their babies during the night, and usually wrap them in lots of clothes, which can lead to overheating.
Dress your baby in only one base-layer, such as a sleeper, and don’t put on hats, socks, gloves, and other accessories. Instead of a blanket, place your baby in a swaddle. This way, your baby will remain warm but not overheat.
Keep the temperature of your baby’s room between 17 to 21 degrees Celsius. To check the temperature of your baby, do not feel her fingers or hands, but feel the nape of her neck. If she is sweating there, she is probably overheating.
Hopefully, the above-mentioned tips will help you ensure your baby’s safety while they are asleep.
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