A sleeping baby is beautiful. So, parents need the peace of mind that their baby is also safe while sleeping. According to the US Center for Disease control, there are about 3500 sleep related deaths among US babies every year. With these statistics, parents want all the reliable information they can get. Here are ten tips for baby safety.
- Make sure crib meets safety standards
Ensure that crib is properly assembled. No missing, loose or broken screws. The space between crib slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches so that a baby’s body cannot fit through the slats. Make sure that there no cutouts in the headboard or footboard to prevent the baby’s head from getting stuck.
- Use Firm Sleep Surface
The mattress needs to be firm enough that it does not conform to the shape of the baby’s head. Crib mattress should be between 8 to 10 on the firmness scale.
- Place baby on their Back
Placing baby on their back to sleep opens airways more and allows them to roll easily unto their tummies. The worry of choking and suffocation is prevented by gag reflex, so parents need not worry.
- Swaddle (if you choose or Doctor Recommends until baby can roll)
Swaddling helps baby sleep more comfortably as it mimics the feeling of being in utero. However, as soon as baby can move during sleep, stop swaddling to remove the risk of suffocation from loose blankets.
- Do not put anything in the crib other than baby
Absolutely nothing should be placed in the crib. Only baby, firm mattress and fitted sheet. No toys, blankets, or bumper pads. This removes the risk of suffocation, strangulation, and entrapment.
- Remove any cords and wires near the crib
Ensure that no electrical wires and window cords are near or in the crib. Keep an eye out for cords from the baby monitor so that baby does not tangled.
- Keep Baby’s Room Cool
Baby’s room should be kept between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Sleeping in a hot room increases the risk of SIDS by 4.5 percent. Keep an eye out for sweaty hair, flushed face, or rapid breathing.
- Have baby sleep in your room during initial months
This may seem a bit controversial to some. This is not necessarily an advocation for baby to co-sleeping. Baby can have their own sleeping area in parent’s room by bringing in crib or bassinet. According to the AAP, having baby sleep in the same room reduces the risk of SIDS by a whopping fifty percent.
- Only bring baby into bed for feeding or comfort
So, we are for room sharing but not bed sharing. We acknowledge that exhausted moms will fall asleep with baby after breastfeeding. The suggestion is to remove pillows and heavy sheets before breastfeeding, and if you fall asleep, place baby in crib as soon as you wake up.
- Strollers, car seats, swings and bouncers are not intended for infant sleep
Many mothers know that they cannot always control where baby falls asleep. Care should be taken however to make sure the baby does not stay in there.
We all want well-rested babies. And all mothers want their babies to be safe. Keep these ten tips in mind to keep them safe.
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