Although researchers still do not know what directly causes Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), there are many ways that you can help to make your baby’s sleep environment as safe as possible. Guidelines are issued to help parents and families make the best decisions for their children, and it’s so important to be aware of them. This week we’re looking at creating a safe sleep environment for your baby- do let me know if you have any questions at all.
Guidelines state that your baby should always be placed on their back for sleep, with the feet at the end of the crib. No loose bedding, blankets or cuddly toys should be placed in the crib and take care to ensure that all care givers are following the same plan. Make sure that the temperature of your baby’s room isn’t too hot- around 65- 74 degrees F.Check on your baby regularly to male sure she isn’t over heating or too hot.
Choosing your crib
Make sure that your crib conforms to safety standards and is placed away from windows and heaters. Use a new, firm mattress and stay away from mattress toppers. Don’t use crib bumpers, and if you swaddle there is no need to use blankets too. Once your baby starts to roll, you can transition from the swaddle- read more about how to do it here. And read more about baby proofing your baby’s room here.
Safe sleep guidelines recommend sleeping in the same room as your baby for at least the first six months- read this post for more information on this.
The guidelines don’t recommend bed sharing, but lots of families find this is often the only way to get some sleep. My advice is to make sure you are doing it safely. Read this post and also this post for more information on how to do that.
Out and about
If your baby sleeps in a stroller, the same rules apply. Check regularly and make sure she isn’t too hot. Layer up blankets so that you can take some away if needed. Don’t let your baby sleep for too long in the car seat, and always remove layers when you go back inside.
If you’re sleeping away from home, make sure that your sleeping environment is safe. Playards are great to use for travelling, but only use the pad that is provided; don’t be tempted to add cushions or blankets to make it more ‘comfortable’.