by Bud Spoerl, owner of Baby’s Room & Kids Too
Providing a safe sleep environment is one of the most important steps in reducing your baby’s risk of SIDS or other sleep-related accidents. And the safest sleep environment is not necessarily one with the most stylish crib or the cutest six-piece bedding set. Let’s look at some safe sleep guidelines:
- Always place your baby on her back to sleep. Once she is able to roll over it’s alright to leave her in that position.
- For the first six months your baby’s crib should be placed in your room close to you. It’s alright to bring her into your bed to nurse or bond, but when it’s time to sleep, always put her in separate sleeping quarters.
- Never put your baby to sleep on a soft surface. Adult beds, sofas, cushions, beanbags, sheepskins or comforters are not safe sleeping surfaces and can greatly increase the risk of SIDS or suffocation.
- Always use a firm mattress that is covered with a tight fitting sheet, and make sure the mattress fits snuggly in the crib.
- Anything loose, soft or fluffy in the crib can be dangerous. Remove all comforters, blankets, stuffed animals or other pillow-like objects when putting your baby down to sleep.
- Use a wearable blanket or other type of sleeper to keep your baby warm. Avoid overbundling. If a lightweight blanket is necessary, place baby near the end of the crib and tuck the blanket in the end and sides of the crib to keep it snuggly in place.
- Do not allow any cords or low-hanging mobiles in the crib, especially as your baby gets older and starts grabbing for everything. For this reason, cribs should also not be placed near draperies, blinds or other wall-mounted decorations that could be within reach.
- Be sure that any person providing care for your baby, including relatives and baby sitters, is also fully aware of these safe sleep guidelines.