Create a Safe Sleeping Environment for Your Baby

SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is probably the One issue just about every new parent is concerned about. It’s a worrying issue to think about, but an unfortunate reality which has devastated many families.

This doesn’t mean you have to spend endless sleepless nights worrying about your baby. By following a few simple rules, you can create a safe sleeping environment for your baby. Not only will you be taking measures to prevent SIDS but you’re also helping your baby get a more peaceful and restful night’s sleep.

1) The first thing you should do is make sure your baby’s crib conforms to regulation standards. If you’re crib is second-hand try this simple test: see if you can fit a can of soda through the slots. If you can, then the crib may not be safe for your baby.

2) Check and make sure the mattress fits tightly and that there aren’t any visible gaps. The mattress should be firm but still comfortable.

3) Don’t use a pillow or fluffy blankets or comforters. Use a flat tightly fitted sheet on the crib and tuck in any sheets used for covering tightly around baby to avoid her slipping under any of them. Alternately, you can use a baby sleeping bag for added safety. Make sure anything that could pose a potential danger such as stuffed animals or decorative pillows are removed from the crib before placing your baby in it.

4) Place your baby to sleep on her back to avoid SIDS. Medical experts and researchers suggest the best position to put your baby to sleep on is on her back. Placing a baby to sleep on their stomach increases the risk of SIDS by up to 50% according to research.

Also, place your baby in the crib with her feet touching the bottom of the crib to avoid her slipping under any bedding.

5) Be careful not to overheat your baby. Place your hand on your baby’s neck to make sure she’s not too cold or warm. Check for sweating or rapid breathing. Get a room thermometer and keep the temperature at around 65 degrees F (ask your pediatrician for their recommended temperature level).

6) Don’t place your crib near any dangling items like a blind cord. Such things can cause a potential strangulation danger. Make sure there are no lamps or other items that may be pulled down. Don’t overlook small items on a crib side table which your baby could reach over and grab which may become a choking hazzard.

7) Don’t smoke or allow others to smoke around baby. If someone in your family smokes make sure it is done outside. Smoking near your baby or simply in the same house can significantly increase the chances of your baby developing SIDS, it may also cause a number of other health related issues. Don’t put your baby’s health or life at risk and don’t allow anyone else to either.

8) Breast feed your baby. New research has shown a link between breast feeding and reduced incidents of SIDS. This may be in part because a lot of breast feeding moms will tend to co-sleep with their babies. Several studies have shown that co-sleeping reduces the risk of SIDS because it allows mothers to respond quickly to any changes in their baby’s sleeping patterns or breathing. However, new research has shown that sleeping with your baby at a very young age can actually increase the risk of SIDS.

The best thing to do is speak to your pediatrician for individual advice on what’s best for you. If you do decide to co-sleep please make sure that neither you or your partner have had too much alcohol or are taking heavy medications that would induce heavier sleep.

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