7 Newborn Sleep Safety Precautions To Reduce The Risk Of SIDS

shot of baby sleeping

In the United States alone, there’s been a scary rise in numbers of young babies who’s lives were put in danger by circumstances that we could have otherwise prevented. And in most of these cases, they were both sudden and related to airway obstruction. We can always hope that it won’t happen to us, but the best way to reduce the risk of SIDS is to be informed about sleep safety.

First, we need to be educated about what could lead to asphyxia in a sleeping environment (again, these are what the baby shouldn’t have in her crib):

1. Soft, loose bedding such as a pillow or waterbed mattress that can suffocate her.
2. Overlay, such as another person, pet or heavy pillow that can overlay or roll on top of or against the baby.
3. Wedging or entrapment between two objects, such as a mattress and a wall, bed frame, or furniture that the baby can get caught in.
4. Strangulation risks, such as accessible crib railings where a tiny infant’s head can get caught between.

Finally, here are important precautions to help reduce the risk of SIDS for your baby:

1. Always place the baby to sleep on his or her back during naptime or bedtime at night. You can have all the tummy time you need during the day when the baby is awake.

2. Make sure that your baby’s crib, play pen or a play yard meets current safety standards (check www.cpsc.gov for more details) to ensure that it’s both sturdy and safe for your baby.

3. Make sure that you only use a firm mattress for the crib or your bed (if you’re co-sleeping) and is covered with only a tight-fitting crib sheet that can’t be pulled off by the baby. If it does get pulled off, the sheet will already count as a dangerous bedding that can strangle or overlap and suffocate your baby.

4. Get rid of all soft bedding and toys from your baby’s crib and any other sleep area. This includes loose blankets, bumpers and pillows. (If you’re just about to have your baby, this means you should wait a bit longer before shopping for crib beddings.) Experts suggest that you use jammies and/or a wearable blanket/tight swaddle to keep the baby warm, if needed.

5. Breastfeed. If you bottle feed, always do it actively instead of just propping the bottle on top of the baby as this can choke and suffocate her. Once finished feeding, put your baby back to sleep in the separate safe sleep area. If you co-sleep, remember to observe safe co-sleeping practices (Google is your friend).

6. As much as possible, keep your baby’s room temperature cool at 20 to 22 degrees Celsius and dress them comfortably (not too warm or too cold).

7. Never smoke around your baby. If you or anyone did, make sure to change your clothes, wash your hands and mouth before handling the baby. Similarly, never expose your baby to second-hand smoke.



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