Your baby’s safety during sleep is of paramount importance for you since they may get into uncomfortable situations. Infancy is the stage when babies spend most of their time sleeping, and you have to make sure they remain out of harm’s way as long as they are snoozing. Medical practitioners, pediatrics and doctors have long identified certain possible hazards when infants are sleeping, so it is extremely important that their sleeping area and position are absolutely safe.
As an unfortunate statistics, more than 3,500 babies in the United States die unexpectedly due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) while sleeping. In view of this fact, American Academy of Pediatrics (APA) has announced safe recommendations for the protection of babies. According to the APA statement, “Infants should sleep in the same bedroom as their parents – but on a separate surface, such as a crib or bassinet, and never on a couch, armchair or soft surface — to decrease the risks of sleep-related deaths”. Thus the AAP report recommends and encourages you to use a firm mattress, which is the safest place for your baby to sleep.
Why are cribs and bassinets right choice?
- Cribs and bassinets come in various combinations such as convertibles, bouncers, rocking bassinets, travel cots etc. Convertible cribs are the most obvious choice for you since they are wide enough to accommodate your baby. These are specious right from the moment your baby was born to even when she turns two. More importantly, a crib is a fixed bed that allows your baby to sleep comfortably and undisturbed. The main advantage of using convertible cribs is that they can also be transformed into older kids’ beds.
- Using bouncers might provide some form of entertainment to your baby. They are basically little chairs that can be used as effective sleep centers for your baby. They are often inexpensive, used anytime while doing your things and still keep a constant eye on your infants. Bouncers also help in developing muscles of your baby because once he or she starts growing; bouncers become nice rocking chairs for them.
- Bassinets are comfortable baby-beds that are meant for babies who are newly born to about five months old. They are basket-like cots made exclusively for the purpose for sleeping safely for the baby. Furthermore, a wide open crib may make your baby feel cold while bassinets give them a feeling of closeness and security.
What else safety measures should you take?
- Place your baby on their back to sleep
Ask child experts, and their first advice will be to place babies on their back to start with. You need to be extra sure that your baby needs to sleep on her back until her first birthday. This is a potent way of avoiding SIDS. Make sure that the baby is not tilted to the sideways because the problem with this position is that she can roll more easily onto her stomach. Whether you are using a crib or a bassinet, you have to make it extra safe by using a mattress that should completely overlap the crib area. This means the mattress should fit cozily in the crib so that there are no spaces left between the mattress and the crib frame.
- Keep your baby out of your bed
You shouldn’t let your baby sleep with you no matter how much you are tempting to cuddle with her as it could be dangerous for her. For example, if you fall asleep, you could roll onto your baby. So to avoid such an unfortunate turn of event, let her sleep in her own space. However, you should keep your baby’s sleep area in the same room where you sleep at least for the first six months.
- Dress her in one piece of clothing
It would be better for your infant if you dress her in a one-piece sleeper with a diaper tucked inside. You may also wrap her in a swaddle for extra warmth and comfort. But while doing so, make sure it is well below the neckline so that it doesn’t cover her face. Also dress her light sleep clothes and remove any strings and ties.
- Don’t let anyone smoke around the baby
Never allow anyone to smoke in the same room as your baby since babies exposed to cigarette smoke, or for that matter any other harmful smoke, after birth are at increased risk of SIDS. Some visitors at your house might want to have smoke out of craving; ask them to do it outside the surroundings where the baby is.
- Keep the right temperature
The safest temperature for your infant baby is preferably 16 degrees C to 20 degrees C, so try to keep it that way. Too much hot or cold is dangerous for babies in general. However, it is primarily dependent upon the outside weather, so alter the baby-room’s temperature according to how the weather is behaving. The thickness of the baby’s cot and blanket should also be according the season.
- Avoid sofa, couch or armchair
Never place you baby on these places or furniture for sleep because their surface is too loose that can make the baby roll on her face while sleeping. This could suffocate her.
Your baby’s safety is completely in your domain and you should understand what works and what doesn’t for them. The above tips could help you make your baby safe while sleeping.