Nesting is one of the best parts of welcoming your little one! From painted walls, cute stuffed animals, and blankets galore all to match the perfect theme that you’ve been dreaming of. But when it comes to preparing baby’s sleep area, is it safe?
There are lots of sleep safety guidelines for babies since improper sleep habits could lead to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Although no one knows the cause of SIDS, the American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to follow these safe sleep habits to help prevent SIDS or other sleep-related infant deaths.
Share a Room
The recommendation is to share a room with your baby for at least 6 months, but ideally for a 1 year. Keep the baby close on a separate sleep surface, like a bassinet. It is important that you do not sleep with baby in your bed. Sharing a room with baby can reduce the risk of SIDS by 50%.
Always put baby to sleep on their back! Yes, even if they like to sleep on their tummy better. Make sure that baby will have a firm surface with a tight-fitting sheet to sleep on. Avoid using crib bumpers as they pose a risk of suffocation. No pillows, toys (even soft ones), or blankets. It may be hard to resist putting all those cute baby items in the crib but it is the safest choice. When the baby is 12 months of age, you can begin adding safe crib items.
Pacifiers are recommended to help reduce the risk of SIDS as well. They keep baby occupied, even while sleeping, to ensure that they do not fall into a deep sleep and forget to breathe. Researchers believe that a baby without a pacifier has a 2.5 times greater risk of SIDS.
Marketed to Keep Babies Safe
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to avoid using home monitors or commercial devices, as well as wedges or positioners, that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS. These products actually create a risk of suffocation. The FDA validates this warning by stating that they never have approved these sleep positioner that claims to reduce SIDS.
A proactive way to make sure baby stays safe in their crib is to do tummy time! This allows them to build their muscles. Muscles that they need to have to support themselves and eliminate risks of accidental suffocation.
There are a lot of rules to keep baby safe but it is best to follow them! You will hear, “Our baby slept in our bed and he was fine.” “Back in the day we put you to sleep on your tummy and you lived.” Remember, that times have changed. New, safe sleep procedures have reduced SIDS tremendously, but 4,000 babies still die each year of sleep-related accidents and SIDS. Do what you can to reduce your babies risk.