Daily, I have the opportunity to assist excited new moms with their questions in regards to various child safety topics. One of the topics that comes up most frequently is safe sleep. Here in Tennessee, too many infants under the age of 1 year lose their lives due to unsafe sleep conditions. (According to the Tennessee Department of Health, there were 131 sleep-related deaths in 2010). Take a look at the tips below to ensure your new bundle of joy is sleeping safely.
Remember the ABC’s of safe sleep: All babies should sleep Alone, on their Backs and in the Crib.
Never allow other children or pets to sleep in your baby’s crib. In addition, keep toys, pillows, bumper pads and fluffy blankets out of your baby’s crib as well. Consider using a sleep sack to replace the use of blankets.
Your baby should always be placed on his/her back to sleep during nap time and at night. Once your baby is able to roll from back to stomach and stomach to back, they may be allowed to remain in whatever sleep position they assume during the night. However, all infants should be placed to sleep on their back until 1 year of age.
Always place your baby to sleep in their own crib, bassinet, or play yard that meets current safety standards. It is important to note that these standards have recently changed. The once popular drop-side cribs are no longer acceptable for use and cannot be sold by retailers. Your baby’s crib should have a firm mattress with a tight fitting sheet. Do not allow your baby to sleep with you in your bed. Learn more about crib safety from our website and get the latest information about current safety standards or product recalls from the Consumer Product Safety Commision.
- Avoid secondhand smoke and smoking during pregnancy.
- Breastfeed your infant as long as possible. Breastfeeding can help to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
- Do not overheat your baby’s room. The recommended temperature is 65 – 72 degrees.
- Make sure to teach all individuals who may handle your infant about the importance of safe sleep.
You can read more about the American Academy of Pediatrics’ safe sleep guidelines here.
So, is your baby sleeping safely?