Many sleep related death cases among babies occur each year. 30% of mothers interviewed reported not placing their baby on his or her back to sleep as recommended. Nearly half of new mothers do not receive correct and proper advice on safe sleep from medical healthcare providers
In summary here are some great tips that will help you avoid mistakes when it comes to helping your baby sleep safely.
- Place your baby on his or her back for all sleep times. Be it a nap or at night. This is recommended.
- Always use a surface that is firm such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib for baby sleep.
- Keep all objects such as pillows and loose bedding that are not needed out of the baby’s sleep area.
- Have a baby share your room, not your bed.
The safest way for an infant to sleep is alone in their own crib, flat on their back, in a safety-approved crib with a well-fitted sheet.
An infant sleeping on their tummy is considered unsafe. It increases the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
An infant sleeping on their tummy covered with a blanket increases the risk even further. Sleeping on the side is no longer considered safe, because the infant can roll from their side onto their tummy. Furthermore, putting a blanket on the infant and propping them into the side-lying position using a roll increases the risk for suffocation.
An infant sleeping on a pillow is considered unsafe. For this infant, his head is captured in the midline. This infant is covered with a blanket which he can dislodge and can cover his face which will increase the risk for suffocation as well.
This is unsafe sleep environment. This infant crib is cluttered with toys, pillows, blankets all of which increase the risk for suffocation for this infant.
Pacifiers have been shown to reduce the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. However, the pacifier should not be propped in the infant’s mouth. If the infant falls asleep sucking on the pacifier and it falls out of his mouth, it should just be left in the crib.
Understanding the risks of swaddling.
Swaddling is an age-old practice, which is currently causing much debate. Most hospitals tend not to recommend swaddling because it can cause problems with the hips, it can cause overheating, and in can give too much pressure through the chest.
If you are concern about keeping your baby warm, and would like to provide some containment, you can use the sleep sack that allow the arms to be free. This way, the baby will be able to bring their hands to their mouth, to be able to provide their own self-soothing by sucking on their fingers.
One of the concerns about the baby sleeping on their back is that they can begin to get a bit of a flat head. So, one way you can avoid this is that every time you put your baby in the bed, you can alternate at which end of the bed they go. They will immediately turn their head towards where all the lights and the sounds are because this is attracting their attention.
When you want to provide care such as dressing, undressing, diaper change, it is best then to put them in the middle so that their head is centered, and they will then have the ability to be able to look up to you and this will not then encourage a preference facing one way or the other.
This baby is now sleeping in a very safe sleep environment. Sweet dreams, don’t sleep tight but sleep safe!