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How To Make Sure Your Baby is Sleeping Safely


When you bring baby home from the hospital, it’s exciting, but it can also be challenging - especially when it hits you that you are responsible for this little bundle, who needs you all hours of the day and night. 

Even if your baby is a “natural sleeper”, it’s likely you will have a hard time resting since you will be worried and wanting to check to make sure your baby is resting safely.

It’s not likely that your baby will fall into a sleep routine immediately and they likely won’t be sleeping through the night for several weeks. Despite this, it doesn’t hurt to get a head start on a bedtime routine, and get into the habit now. A routine doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming - you can give your little one a bath, spend some time cuddling, singing a song, and give them one last feeding to assist in establishing healthy sleep patterns. Even if your little one isn’t sleeping through the night, they will learn when bedtime is and will easily go down with an established routine.  

Babies don’t know the difference between night and day naturally, so they will need our help to learn the difference. You can do things like turn on the lights and open the curtains to keep the room bright, play interactive games, and maintain the noise level at a normal level. When it’s night time set a different tone by talking in a low whisper, keep the lights off or as dim as possible, and place your baby back into bed to sleep after they have been fed and diapered.  

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death of a baby, and while it is rare, it’s something that most parents spend a good bit of time worrying about.  Parents can take steps to help reduce the risk of SIDS and help everyone rest a little easier.  

For a safer nights sleep try these tips:

1. Babies should sleep on their backs only

It doesn’t matter where your baby is sleeping- make sure you place them on their back for the first six months. Placing your child on their front or side increases their risk of SIDS.  When your baby begins to roll onto their tummy, but not to their back, you should turn them onto their back again. If your baby can roll from back to front and back again, you can let them find their own position.

2. Give your baby a smoke free environment

This includes anywhere your baby will spend time, including your car, home, or even a friends house. You will want to be aware of this during pregnancy and after birth. Smoking greatly increases the chances of SIDS.

3. Don’t let your baby get overly warm

Never fall asleep with your baby on the couch or in a recliner.  

4. Don’t share a bed with your baby

This becomes more important if you smoke, drink, take drugs or are extremely tired. Also, babies that were born prematurely or have low birth weight are also more at risk of SIDS when you share a bed.  
Make sure to keep things away from your babies face and head - never cover their face or head area, especially while they are sleeping.  

What is the right temperature? 

You don’t want your baby to get too hot, but you also want to make sure they are not too cold. When a baby gets overly warm, the chance of SIDS is much higher. Room temperature should always be between 68-72°F. You can use a light swaddling blanket or a lightweight well-fitting baby sleep sack that is comfortable and safe for sleeping babies. A thermometer for your babies bed room may be a good investment to ensure it’s the right temperature. Your babies hands and feet will be colder, so don’t use them as a gage for their temperature.  It’s better to feel their tummy of the back of their neck to see how their temperature is doing. If your baby is hot or sweaty, remove a layer and check on them again soon to see.  

What blankets should I use?  

The mattress your baby sleeps on should be a firm, flat, waterproof mattress. The sheets you place over it, should be tight fighting, and never lose.  If you need to need to cover your little one, use firmly tucked in sheets and blankets, or a lightweight baby sleeping sack. Don’t use any heavy blankets or things like, quilts, pillows or duvets. Don’t use crib bumpers, as they can pose a serious risk for your baby being “caught” underneath them. Don’t place any stuffed animals or other items in the crib as a precaution. 

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