When you put your baby down for a nap, you expect your baby will be safe. However, tragedies can happen. Sometimes the cause is unknown, as with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In other cases, such as unsafe sleep, the cause of SIDS is clear and preventable. Parents and caregivers who thought they were doing the right thing can put a baby in harm’s way if they don’t know current safe sleep recommendations. As a parent, you have the power to help keep your sleeping baby safe. Here’s what you need to know about safe sleep for babies.
Where should my baby sleep?
The safest place for your baby to sleep is by themselves in a bassinet or crib. If you have multiples, put each baby in their bassinet or crib. Here are some do’s and don’ts about making your baby’s sleep space safe:
- Do put your baby to sleep on her back until she’s one-year-old.
- Do place your baby on a flat, firm surface, such as a crib mattress covered with a tightly fitted sheet.
- Do make sure your baby’s bassinet, crib or play yard meets current safety standards.
- Do remove hanging window cords or electrical wires near where your baby sleeps.
- Do keep the room at a comfortable temperature.
- Do give your baby a pacifier. However, if you’re breastfeeding, wait until your baby is four weeks old before giving her a pacifier.
- Do room share during baby’s first six months, and ideally, for the first year.
- Don’t use sleep positioners, such as mats or wedges with pillows on either side to help keep your baby in place.
- Don’t let your baby sleep in a carrier, sling, car seat or stroller. If your baby falls asleep in one, take her out and put her in her crib as soon as you can.
- Don’t put your baby to sleep on soft surfaces, like a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress or cushion.
- Don’t keep loose bedding, crib bumpers, toys or other soft objects in your baby’s crib.
- Don’t use cribs with drop-side rails.
- Don’t attach the pacifier to your baby’s clothing or a stuffed animal.
Are there other ways I can reduce my baby’s risk of sleep dangers, including SIDS?
- Make sure your baby gets all her vaccinations.
- Don’t smoke and keep your baby away from other smokers and secondhand smoke.
- Don’t smoke, drink alcohol or use harmful drugs during pregnancy.
- Go to all your prenatal care checkups during pregnancy.
Safe Sleep for Babies References
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