Safe Sleep for Newborns
Top Recommendations for Sleep Safety according to the AAP:
Place the infant on their back when sleeping
A baby on its back is in the safest position when going to sleep. Babies placed on their sides may roll more easily to their stomachs, increasing the risk of SIDS.
Use a firm, flat sleep surface
It is recommended to place your baby in a crib, bassinet, portable crib, or play yard that meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety standards. The sleep surface of the mattress should be flat and firm (it shouldn’t indent when your baby is lying on it and have no more than a 10-degree incline).
Never sleep with your baby
While this is a hot topic amongst parents, the AAP doesn’t recommend bed sharing with your baby under any circumstances based on the evidence that it increases the risk of sleep-related infant death.
Share room with the infant
Instead of sleeping in the same bed as your baby, keeping your baby’s sleep area in the same room as you for at least the first six months is recommended. The AAP recommends this because it has been shown to decrease the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%.
Avoid loose bedding and objects in the sleeping area
Do not place pillows, pillow-like toys, blankets, bumper pads, or other soft things or loose bedding in your baby’s sleep area because these objects can increase the risk of entrapment, suffocation, and strangulation.
Don’t let the baby get overheated
Make sure to check your baby for signs of overheating: sweating, hot chest, or flushed skin. According to the AAP, overheating in infants can increase the risk of SIDS.
As a sleep consultant, it is my priority to teach new parents the safest sleep guidelines for newborns. If you have any questions or concerns about the safety of your baby’s sleep space, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician or other medical professionals.