BABY SLEEP SAFE TIPS
Tips for keeping your baby safe while sleeping. These tips are in alignment with the AAP suggestions for safe sleeping. These can help reduce SID and/or suffocation risk rates. Keep your little one safe!
1. BACK ONLY — Put the baby down on his/her back every time. When your baby rolls over by themselves it is ok. However still start them on their back every time for the first year.
2. BINKY/PACIFIER — Put your baby to sleep with a binky/pacifier. This has been shown to reduce the SIDS rate. Start with one style of binky and use after every feed in the beginning weeks. Some learn it quickly; others take a bit of time.
3. SWADDLE — Use a swaddle blanket that has closures (Velcro/Zipper) so hands pushed up cannot put/pull blanket over their face. At age 5–6 months or when they roll over in the swaddle, start swaddling 1 arm out. A few weeks later swaddle their body but leave both arms out.
4. SLEEP SACK — When finished with swaddling, use a sleep sack, not blankets. Layer as needed for warmth with sleep sack as the last item.
5. NO BLANKETS — No blankets or quilts in the bed until 12 months old. After child’s 1st birthday you may use one crib quilt with the bottom tucked under the edge of mattress so it cannot be pulled over the face.
6. NO STUFFED ANIMALS — At age 6 months you may add 1 small Taggie, “lovie” or small stuffed animal.
7. FAN — Use a fan in their room when sleeping (box fan toward the wall or a ceiling fan). This has found to reduce SIDS rates.
8. BUMPER PADS — Do not use regular fabric bumper pads. These are a suffocation hazard and not needed. If you want something to keep arms and binky’s in the crib get Breathable or Wonder Bumpers that allow for airflow.
9. SWITCH POSITION — Each night switch which end their head is at. It helps develop their neck muscles as they look out the crib rails from both sides.
10. MOTION MONITOR — Motion Monitors provide great peace of mind. Monitors do NOT make it ok to put the baby on their stomach. Use motion monitors only with your baby is on its back. It will not prevent SIDS, but alerts to issues. The SNUZA monitor has vibration that may startle a baby to breathe.
11. CRIB — Use a safe approved crib or playpen, with tight fitting mattress. Do not put your child on a regular bed unsupervised. When traveling take a pack n play with you. AAP recommends no bumper pads in the crib, as it may be a suffocation hazard.
12. TODDLER BED — Do not move your child to a toddler bed or twin bed until at least 18–24 months old. Then use a gate at their door so you know they stay in the room at night. Also use furniture brackets to attach the furniture in their room to the wall so they are safe. And use a bed rail in the early days of sleeping in a big bed.
NOTE: If co-sleeping with your baby, be certain the baby is not near or under any blankets or pillows. Pull the mattress away from the wall, headboard and night stand for safety. And do not leave the baby sleeping in the bed when you get up. Never leave a baby unsupervised on your bed. Practice safe co-sleeping which includes no medications or smoking.
Author Kay Green is a child safety expert, mama and Nana! She owned a child safety store for 14 years! She continues to teach child safety best practices.