Things have changed a lot since I was a kid. A friend showed me a photo from their childhood nursery. There were big, plush bumpers, blankets and stuffed animals all in the crib set up for a newborn. It was basically an advertisement parents would get today for what not to do. Now, there are tons of products on the market that prey on exhausted new parents who are desperate for their baby to sleep. Unfortunately, some of these products have risks associated with them; risks that most parents would not take if they were aware of them. The AAP has outlined some very clear guidelines on safe sleep for babies.
The safest way for a baby to sleep is as easy as ABC.
Babies are safest while sleeping in their own space. Room sharing is great, bed sharing is not. Be careful not to fall asleep with baby on a couch or chair while holding your baby. There should not be any blankets or toys in the crib.
It’s best to place babies on their backs to sleep. Once they learn to roll, they may choose to lay on their side or tummy, but you should always lay them down on their back. If you swaddle baby, make sure you stop once they start to roll.
Babies need a firm mattress in a safe crib, bassinet or play yard. There should be no bumpers, blankets or stuffed animals. Instead of blankets, you can dress your baby in a sleeper or sleep sack that is designed or baby’s age and size.
Why is safe sleep important?
The alternatives are grim. You can help prevent SIDS and accidental deaths from suffocation or strangulation by creating a safe sleep environment.
While there are many products available that claim to help monitor baby’s breathing, etc., they are not regulated and many doctors believe they create a false sense of security.
If you have questions, please reach out to your pediatrician.
ABCs of safe sleep – Cleveland Clinic