To swaddle, or not to swaddle? Arms in or out? Co-sleep or bassinet? Is back really best? No doubt new mums are bombarded with safe sleep insight for babies, and it’s hard to sift through what’s legit.
As a former RN, we have put together the top tips and best practices to keep your baby safe when sleeping.
*Always place your baby on his/her back at night and naptime on a firm sleep surface to reduce the risk of SIDS. Even if your baby can roll over on their own, start them off on their back.
*To prevent smothering or suffocation, always lay your baby down to sleep on either a firm mattress, crib or bassinet. Only include a fitted crib sheet.
*For the first three months, it’s helpful to keep baby’s sleep area near where parents sleep, preferably within arm’s reach of a parent. This has been shown to help reduce the instances of SIDS.
*Keep baby’s sleep area free of loose items, such as toys, crib bumpers, pillows and blankets. While crib bumper pads have always been customary, they are not recommend using one as they do pose a suffocation threat.
*Dress your infant in light, comfortable clothes for sleeping and keep the room temperature at a level that’s comfortable for an adult. Overheating raises the risk of SIDS. If you’re worried that your baby will be cool, paediatricians recommend the use of wearable sleepers, like the Woombie.
*Make sure baby’s room is well ventilated and the temperature is right around 70 degrees. Use a fan or open a window to keep air fresh and well-circulated.
*Make your house a non-smoking environment. It’s unhealthy for babies to breathe in smoke-filled air as it makes them more prone to colds and asthma as well as chest and ear infections. In addition, it increases the risk of SIDS.
*Share these baby sleep safety tips and best practices with your baby’s other caregivers, including family, friends, babysitters, nannies etc. so the practices are consistent no matter who is taking care of your baby.