Ensuring A Safe Sleep Environment

As most parents know, there are plenty of opinions out there on the best way to put your baby down for naps or bedtime. But the safest method for putting your baby down to sleep is more than just a matter of personal preference. Research has shown that some methods carry serious risks, including accidental injury, suffocation, or SIDS. However, you can lower these risks by making sure your baby has a safe sleep environment.

Experts on child health and sudden infant death agree that the safest place for a baby to sleep during the first six months of life is on his or her back, in a crib in your room (which should be smoke-free). Having your baby close to you will make night-time breastfeeding easier, and may help reduce the risk for SIDS. It’s also safer than having your baby in bed with you, since bed-sharing has been shown to increase the risk of suffocation and SIDS.

Below are Current Sleep Safety Recommendations for a safe sleeping environment for infants.

Don’t Bed-Share

Sharing an adult bed, sofa, or other soft sleeping surface with your baby increases the risk of SIDS. Your baby is also at risk of becoming trapped, smothered, or suffocated.

Use a Crib

Place your baby to sleep in your room, in a crib, cradle, or bassinet that meets current applicable safety regulations. Your baby’s mattress should be firm, flat, and fit snugly in the frame. Strollers, swings, bouncers, and car seats are not intended for sleeping infants.

Place Your Baby on His or Her Back To Sleep

While babies should spend some supervised time every day on their tummies to help them develop their neck muscles, at naptime and bedtime, they should be put on their backs.

Keep Soft Materials out of Your Baby’s Crib

Don’t use sleep positioners, or place bumper pads, comforters, stuffed animals, pillows, or other items in your baby’s crib or bassinet.

Make Sure Your Baby’s Room Is Not Too Warm

Dress your baby in light sleepwear that’s comfortable at room temperature. If a blanket is needed, use only a thin, lightweight, and breathable one.

Keep Your Baby Away From Tobacco Smoke

Make your baby’s room and your house smoke-free, and choose a non-smoking caregiver. Don’t allow anyone to smoke around your baby.

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Pediatrician DR.PAUL Roumeliotis is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The information provided above is designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace the advice and care of your child’s physician, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect that your child has a medical condition always consult a physician.