As a parent, one of your most significant responsibilities involves keeping your little one safe. Now, during the day, when they are awake, this is easy enough. Making sure they are safe and healthy while sleeping, however, is an entirely different matter.
It is estimated that over a thousand babies are affected by SIDs each year. While this number is far lower than in past decades, it is still a worrying statistic. Fortunately, you can do plenty of things to ensure that your baby is safe every time they go to sleep.
Always Use a Firm Sleep Surface
If your baby falls asleep in his or her car seat or another spot, you may be tempted to leave them there. After all, who wants to risk waking a sleeping baby? Nevertheless, your child should always be placed on a firm, flat surface when they are sleeping.
This is something you should pay attention to when selecting a baby mattress or any other surface. When your baby is placed on the surface, there should be no indentation. Instead, the surface should fully support the weight of your baby.
As a bonus, firm mattresses are better for your little one’s body as well. Keep in mind that babies have softer bones that are still developing. Thus, a firm surface will properly support them and perhaps even reduce the risk of injuries.
Place Your Baby on Their Back
Another habit that you need to get used to is putting your baby down to sleep on their backs. Never place them on their side. Similarly, it would help if you didn’t use pillows or cushions to position your infant on their side either.
There is a strong link between sleep position and SIDs. Thus, by making certain that your little one is always on their back, you can greatly reduce the risk of fatalities. Now, experts aren’t certain why sleep position is quite so important. However, they do have some theories.
Some findings show that when babies sleep on their side, a small pocket of bedding is created in front of their nose. As a result, they end up re-breathing the air that they are exhaling. This means that babies get less oxygen and breathing in a greater amount of carbon dioxide.
There is also some evidence to show that in some babies, certain parts of the brain are underdeveloped. Thus, these parts will not be activated if a baby faces a harmful situation while sleeping. The unfortunate result is that they won’t be able to wake up to remove themselves from these circumstances.
Let Your Baby Sleep in Your Room
Many families set up nurseries for their little ones. However, babies who sleep in the same rooms as their parents are found to have a lower risk of SIDs. Therefore, you should consider letting your little one sleep in the same room as you.
When you are in the same room as your baby, it is easier to pick up on subtle changes in their breathing and behavior. As such, you can readily intervene if you feel like something is wrong. This can go a long way in keeping your baby safe.
One thing that you should never do, though, is to let your baby sleep in the same bed. Numerous exhausted parents have accidentally rolled over on their babies while sleeping. Due to this, your baby should always have their own sleeping place.
Of course, if you are keeping your baby in your room, there may not be enough room for an entire crib. If this is the case, do some research on the best baby bassinet on littleonemag.com. These take up far less space but still offer a firm sleeping surface for your little one. You can also position these close enough to your bed, making it easy to check on your baby.
Regardless of whether you buy a crib or a bassinet, make sure it meets the right safety requirements. Everything you purchase should have passed stringent testing processes.
Avoid Pillows and Blankets
Pillows and blankets may seem like the most basic addition to your baby’s crib or bassinet. However, they can be rather dangerous for your little one. There are considered to be strangulation and suffocation hazards!
Not to mention, your little one doesn’t need a pillow, despite what you may think. They only require pillows when they’re ready to transition to a toddler bed—until then, sleeping on the mattress alone is fine.
So, what about blankets – doesn’t your baby need one to keep themselves warm? If you are worried about your baby being cold, dress them in warm layers. You can also look into sleep bags – they act like blankets but stay close to your baby’s body, cutting down on the risk involved.
An easier option would be to monitor the temperature in the room. Make sure it is just right for them. This way, they won’t require any additional layers.
Ditch the Décor
Let’s face it. It’s cute to dress up your baby’s crib. These add color and personality to your baby’s sleep station. Unfortunately, these are considered hazards as well. These include, but aren’t limited to, crib bumpers, stuffed toys, or loose sheets.
These days, you may also find mesh crib bumpers that claim to be more breathable. However, you should steer clear of these as well.
All your baby’s sleep spot need is a fitted sheet. Yes, this may look bare and uncomfortable, but your little one doesn’t require anything else. Although it may not appear to be the case, you can guarantee that your baby is quite comfortable.
This is what you need to do to ensure that your baby remains safe while they sleep. It can seem like a lot of information to absorb. Nevertheless, these tips may help to keep your little one healthy and happy. It will be far easier to put these into practice once you are aware of the most basic elements.