Five Tips for Safe Sleep — Celebrating Baby Safety Month
What’s that sound? That’s the sound of your baby (and hopefully you!) sleeping soundly so everyone wakes up well-rested and feeling refreshed.
Being well-rested is not the norm for a new mom. Babies are a lot of work — and it can be extremely exhausting at times.
A big part of that is the constant worry.
Are they safe? Is that mom at the park doing a better job than me? Did I scar my baby for life when I got frustrated because I’m so freaking tired?
The worry never stops. But, it’s all worth it.
In celebration of Baby Safety Month, we’d like to share five tips for safe sleep that can help you to have less worry.
1. Back to Sleep (sleep position and the ultimate goal)
Formerly known as the Back to Sleep campaign, Safe to Sleep recommends infants be placed flat on their backs to sleep unless your child’s pediatrician says otherwise. It can be tempting to place your little one to sleep on their tummies, especially if they are prone to spitting up.
The reality is that little babies' heads and necks aren’t strong enough to change positions if they end up face down and unable to breathe.
When baby is sleeping safely, mom can sleep more soundly.
2. Clear out the clutter (from the crib, that is)
Along with being placed on their backs to sleep, babies should be in a crib that is completely empty outside of a snug, fitted sheet and (if desired) a waterproof mattress pad.
It’s tempting to doll up baby’s sleep space with crib bumpers, soft quilts, and favorite stuffies. But don’t. Lose the lovies. Drop the decor. Those are a suffocation hazard.
Also, while you are clearing the crib clutter, make sure the baby’s bed is moved a safe distance from drapes and blind cords.
And as much as we love to see their cute little mugs on camera, keep baby monitors at least three feet away from the crib and baby’s curious hands. Strangulation is a danger here. Keep baby’s sleep space clear and clutter-free.
3. Play it cool (and sleep better)
Most people sleep better in a cool room. That’s pretty common knowledge.
That goes for babies too. Keeping the temperature low and a fan going is a great way to make sure everyone is comfortable and sleeps more soundly.
It’s tempting to think though that when the house is that cool that we should be covering our babies with a warm blanket. But, as said above, that is a suffocation hazard.
Instead, dress little ones in light layers and then either swaddle them or put them in a sleep sack. This will keep baby snug AND safe.
4. Sharing is caring (room-sharing, of course)
Room-sharing for the first year offers many benefits for mom and baby both.
Middle of the night feeding, diaper changes, and even cuddles are made much easier when mom and dad aren’t trekking through the house to fetch the little one every two hours.
Aside from convenience, it’s nice to be able to take a peek into baby’s crib and be assured they are safe under your watchful eye.
5. Movin’ on up (to a toddler bed)
As baby grows and develops, you want to make sure they continue to stay safe in their crib. When your little one can pull up to a standing position, it’s time to move the crib mattress to the lowest possible setting and remove anything they might use as a step to climb out.
The US Dept of Health and Human Services recommends that once your little one is climbing out of the crib or has reached a height of 35 inches, it’s time to transition them to a toddler bed.
While that comes with its own set of challenges, your big kid will love that newfound independence!
Are these steps magic?
As much as we wish it were true, following these steps alone won’t ensure our babies sleep through the night or we can rest without worry. Contacting a sleep consultant is also helpful (we have a list of affiliates we can share if you contact us). And like we said above, worry comes with the territory.
But knowing you are doing your best to ensure a safe sleep space for your little one can do a lot to put your mind at ease.
And that’s what counts!
Below we’re also sharing some great resources and reminders from JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association) that offer helpful information to arm you with the knowledge you need to keep your little one safe.
Please share this blog with your friends and family. Often grandparents or other temporary caregivers (baby sitters, etc.) may need a refresher.
We care about safety and hope you find this information helpful.Here’s to more nighty nights!
JPMA Baby Safety Month — resources