To swaddle, or not to swaddle? Arms in or out? Co-sleep or bassinet? Is back really best? No doubt new moms are bombarded with safe sleep insight for babies, and it's hard to sift through what's legit.
September is Baby Safety Awareness Month, and now that I'm becoming a mom for the third time around, the concern of keeping my newborn safe is overpowering. I've faced it...I'll never really, truly sleep again. Even when my baby does fall asleep, I prefer watching him breathe.
Because I'm no safety expert, I've turned to my friends at DockATot, the popular baby lounger brand on nearly every mom's wish list. DockATot founder and mom-of-two Lisa Furuland created the array of comfortable baby loungers when her first child was born; she was unable to find the perfect multitasking lounging product to fit his needs and wanted something more snug and versatile that mimicked the womb.
While DockATot is an awesome product, it is not recommended for overnight sleeping accomodations. Here are Lisa's top tips to keep your baby safe when sleeping:
- Always place your baby on his/her back at night and naptime on a firm sleep surface to reduce the risk of SIDS. Even if your baby can roll over on their own, start them off on their back.
- To prevent smothering or suffocation, always lay your baby down to sleep on either a firm mattress, crib or bassinet. Only include a fitted crib sheet.
- For the first three months, it’s helpful to keep baby’s sleep area near where parents sleep, preferably within arm’s reach of a parent. This has been shown to help reduce the instances of SIDS.
- Keep baby’s sleep area free of loose items, such as toys, crib bumpers, pillows and blankets. While crib bumper pads have always been customary, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend using one as they do pose a suffocation threat.
- Dress your infant in light, comfortable clothes for sleeping and keep the room temperature at a level that's comfortable for an adult. Overheating raises the risk of SIDS. If you’re worried that your baby will be cool, pediatricians recommend the use of wearable blankets or a sleeper.
- Make sure baby’s room is well ventilated and the temperature is right around 70 degrees. Use a fan or open a window to keep air fresh and well-circulated.
- Make your house a non-smoking environment. It’s unhealthy for babies to breathe in smoke-filled air as it makes them more prone to colds and asthma as well as chest and ear infections. In addition, it increases the risk of SIDS.
- Share your safe sleeping strategies with your baby’s other caregivers, including family, friends, babysitters, nannies etc. so the practices are consistent no matter who is taking care of your baby.
For more on Baby Safety Awareness Month, click here.