Following baby sleep safety tips can dramatically reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), so it’s really important that every new parent is aware of the latest information as soon as their little one arrives. Here are five things you should be looking out for…
THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP POSITION
According to safe baby sleep charity The Lullaby Trust, placing your little one on their back greatly reduces the risk of SIDS. Unless your doctor has advised you otherwise, you should never position them on their front or side. Putting them to sleep on their back also sets a good routine in place for when they start to roll on their tummy. If they do roll onto their tummy or side when they reach this stage, you can gently reposition them onto their back.
IS CO-SLEEPING SAFE?
Co-sleeping is a divisive topic as in many cultures it is the norm to sleep with your baby in your bed, but experts also argue that it can increase the risk of SIDS. There are many benefits to keeping your baby close – such as easier access for night time feeds (especially if you are recovering from a c-section) and bonding. The Lullaby Trust advises that babies should have their own clear sleep space, so if you like the idea of co-sleeping, but are concerned about the risks, it might be worth considering a co-sleeper crib. The roomie glide from Joie, for example, can be tethered to your bed and has a sliding side panel which can be lifted and lowered with one hand. The clever design allows you to sleep close to your baby without worrying about the dangers of pillows, duvets or rolling on them in the night.
WHAT SORT OF BEDDING SHOULD I CHOOSE?
A second-hand mattress could increase the risk of SIDS, so it’s usually safer to buy a new one. The Lullaby Trust advises that mattresses should be firm, flat and protected by a waterproof cover. You might also want to consider an organic cotton sheet, as it won’t have been treated with harmful chemicals that could irritate your little one’s skin. Duvets, blankets, cot bumpers and soft toys in your little one’s bed also increase the risk of SIDS. For this reason, a crib with mesh walls is a good option, as it will not only provide ventilation, but also a soft, comfortable and most importantly safe sleep environment for your little one.
GETTING THE ROOM TEMPERATURE RIGHT
The risk of SIDS is higher in babies who overheat, so it’s really important to make sure your little one’s sleeping environment isn’t too hot (or cold!). The Lullaby Trust recommends a temperature of 16-20 degrees. A well-fitting sleeping bag is safer than a blanket or duvet, and you can get different togs depending on the season. A room thermometer is also worth investing in. Make sure you check your little one regularly to make sure they are not overheating.
SLEEPING IN THE SAME ROOM
A large study of evidence from across Europe found that the risk of sudden infant death was greatly reduced when babies slept in the same room as their parents. This is why The Lullaby Trust recommends keeping your little one close by for the first six months, even for day time naps. We would suggest looking out for a crib on wheels, so that your baby can sleep in your room at night and then you can easily move them around the house during the day time. The roomie glide from Joie has lockable wheels to make it easy to move your little one from room to room. The wheels are also rubber covered, so there’s no need to worry about scratching your floors!
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