SAFE SLEEP: 6 ways to keep your baby safe
There is one thing that universally binds all new mums – exhaustion. New motherhood brings with it joy, pride, confusion and fatigue.
Every new parent longs for a night of uninterrupted sleep…
And this can take a while.
So it’s really important to create a safe sleep environment for your baby from the beginning.
For every sleep and every nap.
When a baby dies unexpectedly and for no obvious reason, it’s often described as sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI). SUDI is a broad term that includes SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents.
So what exactly is a safe sleep environment?
Simply put, a safe sleeping environment means that all potential dangers have been removed and the baby is sleeping in a safe place for both day and night sleeps
Here are 6 ways to keep your baby safe:
1. Put babies to sleep on their backs
Let’s start with the way babies sleep. Always put them to sleep on their backs. This is the safest position for healthy babies. The research shows that babies are more likely to die of SUDI including SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents if they sleep on their sides or tummies. Once your baby can roll over continue putting your baby to sleep on their back, but let your baby find their own sleeping position.
2. Use a firm mattress
Make sure there are no gaps between the mattress and the edge of the cot, where your baby’s head could get jammed. If you’re using a portable cot, use only the firm, thin, well-fitting mattress that comes with it. Don’t ever put another mattress on top.
Couches and armchairs are dangerous for babies. Sleeping on these soft surfaces places your baby at risk of suffocation through entrapment. It’s easy to become drowsy holding your baby on a couch so be sure to place bubba in their cot/moses basket before you nod off.
3. Make sure babies’ heads can’t get covered while they’re sleeping
Put your baby low down in the cot, so their feet are near the bottom end. Use a safe infant sleeping bag instead of blankets. Ensure it is the correct Tog rating for the temperature of your nursery.
4. Do not leave cushions or blankets in the cot while baby is sleeping.
Same goes for soft toys. They may look cute, but they should be removed when baby is sleeping. Better still, just don’t have them in there at all. Babies can suffocate or overheat by rolling into or being covered by these soft objects.
5. Share a room but not a bed
It is recommended that your baby sleeping your room, close to your bed, but on a separate surface, ideally for the first 12 months, but at least for 6 months. Having the cot/bassinet close to the bed and within view and reach can also help with feeding, comforting and monitoring your baby.
And yes, babies are quite noisy sleepers. The grunting, wheezing and snuffling can be quite loud, but you’ll get used to it.
6. Dress your baby in clothing that’s warm, but not hot.
Overheating is a risk factor for SUDI including SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents. A handy tip is to think about what you’d wear to bed and use that as a guide. If you use an infant sleeping bag that’s appropriate for your baby’s sleep environment, you don’t need sheets or blankets over the top. Keep your baby’s head and face uncovered – this allows your baby to cool and not overheat. Don’t worry if your baby’s hands and feet feel cool – that’s normal.
Safe sleep for babies is serious, but it doesn’t have to be scary. By following the expert-recommended safe sleep guidelines, you can keep your baby both safe and comfortable.
Knowing your baby is sleeping soundly and safely will give you peace of mind and allow you to rest a bit easier yourself.
And if your baby isn’t sleeping soundly, then let me know about it. You don’t need to do this alone. Book in a free 15-min chat with me here.
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