Most new parents worry about SIDS as well as other things that can happen when a baby sleeps. But, most of these fears are a little overblown. At the same time, there are risks, so here’s what you need to know and how to make sure your baby’s crib and bedding is safe.
Use a Firm Mattress
Babies don’t have your back problems so don’t give them a soft mattress. A firm one will prevent them from sinking in too much, which creates a risk of suffocation. Babies who sleep on a soft surface are more likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on a firm one.
Use a Crib, Bassinet, or Co-Sleeper
Babies who co-sleep, or sleep next to mom, are 4 times less likely to die of SIDs than babies who sleep alone or in a separate room. Babies also don’t have to wake fully during the night (and neither do moms) to tend to baby’s needs.
Aside from crib beds, you’ll need good crib bedding. Check out these crib bedding collections for ideas.
When you sleep next to baby, you can also make sure that baby doesn’t stop breathing in the middle of the night.
Use Fitted Sheets Only
Fitted sheets will keep the bed covers nice and tight – just the way you want them. If you use straight sheets, the problem is that baby is more likely to get caught up in them if he rolls around. Or, he could pull the sheets on top of him. Not good.
Keep Baby Out Of Your Bed
While co-sleeping is great, sleeping right next to baby could be risky. If you accidentally roll over on baby, or baby rolls into you and you don’t notice, you could suffocate the little one. Use a co-sleeper.
Use One Piece of Clothing
A bodysuit isn’t just cute, it’s functional. By not having multiple layers of clothing, you won’t risk suffocating baby. If you wrap baby in swaddling clothing, or a blankie, make sure it’s below the neckline so that there’s no risk of baby pulling the clothing or blanket up over his face.
Check the Thermostat
A hot baby doesn’t sleep well. Use the air conditioning, and keep the temperature comfortable. If it’s winter, keep the heat on enough to keep baby from getting too cold. Sometimes, temperature regulation can seem tough to get right.
Basically, if you’re comfortable, your baby probably will be too. But, you should always check by feeling baby’s body and inspecting for signs of overheating (e.g. sweat, redness or flushing, and shortness of breath).
Place Baby on Her Back
When you do put baby down, keep her on her back. Babies sleep best this way, and there’s little risk of suffocation or SIDs. If you turn baby over, you can easily block her airways. While some babies like to flip over, the best position will be on her back.
So, if she fights you on this, just be patient and try to get her back on her back until she dozes off.
Karen Brown is a home economist. She loves to write about family life and home living. Her posts are available on many living and family blog sites.