Safe Sleep for Newborns

Understanding the guidelines for a safe sleep environment is crucial for parents with newborns to help prevent SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. SIDS occurs from 0-12 months old and is the sudden death of an infant without a known cause. A parent or caregiver can help prevent SIDS by following the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations to ensure that a newborn has a safe environment.

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.

 

Rajneesh Kaur
Rajneesh Kaur
The founder of Mommy and Cradle Pediatric Sleep Consulting, Rajneesh, is a mom and a nurse. When Rajneesh first became a mom, she saw the struggles of an infant who didn’t sleep enough in the first few months of her life. She then saw all the benefits once the infant was sleep trained. With her dedication to caring for people over the span of her career as a nurse and her new life as a mother, she dedicated the next portion of her life to helping babies, toddlers, and parents get well-rested sleep. That is when Mommy and Cradle was born.

 

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