17 Tips For Safe Sleep For Your Baby
What is safe sleep for a baby?
Safe sleep for your baby means putting your little one to sleep in conditions that help protect him/her from various dangers. These could be choking, suffocation, falls, and even sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.
There are a number of steps you can take to help ensure that your baby is sleeping in a safe environment.
How much sleep does a baby need each day?
Babies need a lot of sleep, however, that doesn’t mean they will sleep for extended stretches at a time.
A newborn typically needs around 16 hours of sleep a day. But they also get hungry and need to feed frequently those first few months. This has those 16 hours broken up into 3-4 hour periods of time. It’s no wonder mom feels like she can’t get any rest.
Mom and baby both can get a bit cranky if they don’t get enough sleep. Eventually, your baby will fall into a sleep pattern. This pattern includes sleeping for longer stretches, including through the night.
Where and How To Put Your Baby To Sleep
The safest place for a baby to sleep is by themselves in their own crib or bassinet. Even if you have twins, they should each be in their own bed. Here’s some great DO’s and DO NOT’s to help you ensure safe sleep.
- DO place your baby on his/her back when putting to bed until they are a year old
- DO use a flat firm surface, such as a crib mattress that is made for your crib
- DO ensure that the crib mattress fits snugly in your crib with no gaps between the mattress and the crib sides.
- DO use a fitted crib sheet that fits tightly on the mattress
- DO place your baby in their own crib or bassinet
- DO room share- place the crib or bassinet in your room for the first 6-12 months
- DO double check to be sure your crib or bassinet meets all current safety standards per the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
- DO keep the room at a comfortable temperature
- DO dress your baby in light sleep clothing without ties or strings
- DO use a blanket sleeper or swaddle (only until they show signs of rolling over or can break free) if there is concern it’s too cool in the room
- DO give your baby a pacifier, after the age of 3-4 weeks, as it may help protect them from SIDS.
- DO remove mobiles from crib when baby can push up on their hands and knees
- DO lower the crib mattress to the lowest setting when your baby can pull themselves into a standing position
- DO NOT put your baby to sleep in a carrier, car seat, sling or stroller. If they fall asleep in one, remove them as soon as possible and place in their crib or bassinet.
- DO NOT bed share with your baby as this is the most common cause of death in babies younger than 3 months
- DO NOT use sleep positioners, nests or anti-roll pillows as these may cause suffocation
- DO NOT put your baby to sleep on a soft surface such as a couch, cushion, soft mattress, comforter or waterbed
- DO NOT keep loose bedding, blankets, toys, pillows, crib bumpers or other soft items in the crib
- DO NOT use a drop side crib
- DO NOT overdress your baby for bedtime
- DO NOT place crib or bassinet near a window as curtains, cords from blinds can get tangled with your baby
- DO NOT have the baby monitor in the crib, place at least 3 feet from crib and ensure cords are tucked away out of reach
What About That Really Cute Baby Bedding?
We know, you have that adorble baby bedding that we just told you NOT to put in the crib. So what do you do with those beautiful quilts, pillows and blankets?
Baby bedding can make really great baby room decor as well as serve some other great functions.
Here’s some great ideas to consider:
- Quilts look great hanging on a wall as a beautiful way to brighten up and tie together your decor.
- Quilts and blankets look great draped on the glider or rocker. Plus they make for great cuddle time while reading a bedtime story. Or keeping you warm during middle of the night feedings.
- Pillows are adorable in the glider, window seat or rocker as an accent piece. Plus they can help support your back or arms during feeding time.
- Quilts are great for tummy time on the floor to give your baby a soft comfy area to play
- Quilts and blankets can also be used for stroller and car seat blankets when the weather is cool