Newborn Sleep Safety

Newborn Sleep SafetyNewborn sleep safety is critical for new parents. While we were still in the hospital after my daughter was born the medical staff stressed the importance of safe sleeping habits.

Unsafe sleeping conditions is a prime contributor to death from SIDS. SIDS is the leading cause of death for babies between one-month and one-year old. To protect our daughter from SIDS my wife and I were determined to learn about newborn sleep safety.

Newborn sleep safety recommendations fall into many broad categories:

Cribs should purchased new whenever possible to ensure they meet the latest consumer product safety recommendations. If you buy a used crib be sure to inspect every component to test for structural defects. Also measure the space between the crib slats (no more than 2 3/8 inches) to prevent your baby from becoming trapped. The crib should be completely free of stuffed animals, blankets, and pillow to prevent suffocation. Make sure the crib is in an environment completely free of cigarette smoke.

Any mattress should fit snug into the crib with no space on any side. Always put babies to sleep on their backs in their cribs. Avoid crib bumpers as these can lead to accidental suffocation.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sleeping in the same room as your newborn, but not in the same bed. Adults can crush babies to death or suffocate them with adult blankets and pillows.

Keep the area near your baby’s crib a comfortable temperature. Newborns who are too hot die of SIDS more often. If a newborn is too cold do not use blankets to cover them as these may get trapped in the baby’s nose. Adjusting the thermostat to the appropriate temperature is always preferable to bundling your baby with more blankets or clothing.