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This Month In Life
  • Sleep Safely, Baby
    How much your baby sleeps at night determines how much you sleep, your energy level the next day, and your overall mood. After all, when baby sleeps, mom and dad can sleep. But tired parents will try anything to get their baby to sleep, sometimes unknowingly putting their baby’s life at risk.  Read >>
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Health and Fitness News

Sleep Safely, Baby

Protect your baby with these safe sleeping measures.

After nine months of preparation and anticipation, your baby has finally arrived. Now what? Unfortunately, babies don’t come with an instruction manual. And something as simple as sleep seems more complicated than you ever knew.

Through the first few months of life, a baby’s sleep habits are a big deal. How much your baby sleeps at night determines how much you sleep, your energy level the next day, and your overall mood. After all, when baby sleeps, mom and dad can sleep. But tired parents will try anything to get their baby to sleep, sometimes unknowingly putting their baby’s life at risk.

From day one, you want to protect your baby from all harm. This includes practicing safe sleeping habits and avoiding sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which takes the lives of thousands of babies each year. Want to help your new little one sleep safe and sound? Here’s how.

Sleep Location

Many parents are tempted to put their infant in bed with them, but this is dangerous. For at least the first six months of life, a baby should sleep in a separate crib or bassinet while in the same bedroom as mom and dad. Sleeping in the same room as your infant reduces the risk of SIDS by 50 percent. While in the same room, never place your baby on a couch, a cushioned chair, or other soft place to sleep, even if you’re right next to him.

Sleep Position

Yes, your baby may feel more secure or sleep for longer periods of time if she’s sleeping on his belly, but this position greatly increases SIDS. Until 1 year of age, lay the baby down on her back for naps and bedtime. Even babies who’ve been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) are safest sleeping on their backs. If a baby rolls over to her stomach during sleep, it’s okay to leave her be.

Sleep Bedding

Moms may envision their baby’s nursery with a crib filled with soft blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, and a stylish bumper pad, but these are all safety hazards and increase the risk of suffocation, strangulation, and entrapment. In fact, soft bedding continues to be a risk for babies even when older than 4 months.

Instead, make sure your baby sleeps on a firm mattress in a crib, play yard, or bassinet, without pillows or stuffed animals. The sheet on baby’s bed should fit snugly around the mattress. On cold nights, dress your little one in a wearable blanket or sleep clothing to help him stay warm.

When baby falls asleep in the car seat, swing, sling, stroller, or carrier, move him to his bed as soon as you can.

Sleep Recommendations

Want to further lower your baby’s risk for SIDS? Have her use a pacifier during naps and bedtime; breastfeed as long as possible; give her scheduled immunizations; and help her avoid smoke, alcohol, and illicit drugs, before and after birth.

And tempting as they may be, monitors, devices, or sleep positioners that claim to reduce the chance of SIDS likely don’t work. Avoid them.


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