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How To Make Sure Your Baby is Sleeping Safely

How to choose a safe blanket, choose a right temperature and reduce the risk of SIDS

 

Bringing a new baby home from the hospital is an exciting them, but it’s also a challenging time when you are now wholly responsible for another person who is completely dependent on you to meet every need they have - all hours of the day and night.

It’s likely going to be difficult for you to rest well, even if your new arrival is sleeping when you are worried about making sure that your little one is safe while you are sleeping.  

It's important to remember that your baby will not likely fall into a sleep routine, or sleep through the night right away. However, it doesn’t hurt to get a bedtime routine started at an early age. Bedtime routines don’t have to be complicated - you can give your little one a bath, have cuddle time, sing a song, and give them a final feeding to help them establish a healthy sleep pattern. Even if your little one isn’t sleeping through the night, they will learn when bedtime is and will easily go down with a healthy routine.  

Your little one will need to learn the difference between night and day. To help them, you can do things like open the curtains to keep the room bright, play more interactive games, and maintain the noise level at a normal everyday level. During the night, whisper, keep the lights low, and place them back into bed to sleep as soon as their feeding and diapering needs have been met.  

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death of a baby, and while it is rare, that doesn’t keep parents from worrying about it happening. The good news is that parents can take steps to help reduce the risk of SIDS and help everyone rest a little easier. 

Here’s a few tips for a safer night’s sleep

  • Place your baby to sleep on their backs, only. It doesn’t matter if you are laying them down in a crib or bassinet, in the same room or not- make sure they are laying on their back whenever you lay them down for the first six months. Placing your child on their front or side increases their risk of SIDS. If your baby can roll onto their tummy, but not to their back, you should turn them onto their back again. Once your baby can roll from back to front and back again, on their own, they can be left to find their own position.
  • Make sure your babies environment is smoke-free. This includes anywhere your baby will spend time your car, home, a friends house. It’s important to be aware of this even during pregnancy and after birth. Smoking both during pregnancy and after your baby is born greatly increases the chance of SIDS.
  • Make sure your baby doesn’t get overly warm.
  • Do not fall asleep with your baby on the couch or in a recliner.  
  • Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby. This is especially important if you smoke, drink, take drugs or are extremely tired. Babies that were born prematurely or have low birth weight are also more at risk when you share a bed.  
  • Keep things away from your babies face and head - never cover their face or head area, especially while they are sleeping.  

How warm is too warm? How cold is too cold? 

It can be difficult to know what the right temperature for your baby is.  You want to be vigilant so your baby doesn’t get too hot or too cold. When a baby gets overly hot, the chance of SIDS is higher. Room temperature should be between 68-72°F, with light swaddling blanket or a lightweight well-fitting baby sleep sack that is comfortable and safe for sleeping babies. You may want to invest in a thermometer for the room, to put your mind at ease. 

You can also check your baby by feeling their tummy or the back of their neck to see if they feel too hot or too cold. Hands and feet will usually be cooler, so it’s not a good gauge of temperature. If you find that your baby is hot or sweaty, remove a layer and check on them again soon to see if that helped them to cool off.  

What blankets are safest to use?

The mattress you use should be a simple firm, flat, waterproof mattress.  Any sheets should be tight fighting, and not loose. To cover your little one, use firmly tucked in sheets and blankets, or a lightweight baby sleeping sack. Avoid using heavy blankets and things like, quilts, pillows or duvets. Crib bumpers can pose a serious risk for your baby being “caught” underneath them, so keep those out of the crib as well. Keep the crib clear of any stuffed animals or other items as a precaution.

 
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