To prevent sleep-related deaths due to unsafe sleeping environments, Cribs for Kids®, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Consumer Products Safety Commission and most safe sleep experts recommend these guidelines:
The safest way for your baby to sleep is on the back, alone in a safety-approved crib with no pillows, no bumper pads, no stuffed animals, and no comforters.
The baby’s crib should be in the parents’ room, if possible. It should have a firm mattress that is closely fitted to the sides of the crib, and a tight-fitting sheet.
Take care of yourself and your baby – eat well and see your doctor regularly; get all required immunizations for your baby.
Do not overheat your baby – if you’re comfortable, baby is comfortable.
No smoking around baby – this goes for you and anyone else around your baby; smoke increases the risk of an unsafe sleep environment and other health problems.
Breastfeed your baby if you can – breastfed babies have less colds and ear infections.
Consider offering a pacifier – at nap time and bedtime once breastfeeding has been established.
Your baby’s crib should have:
- Railings that are not more than 2⅜ inches apart. (You should not be able to fit a soda can through them.)
- A firm mattress that fits snugly in the frame.
- A fitted sheet that is tight around the mattress.
- No quilts, comforters, duvets, heavy blankets, stuffed animals, bumper pads, sheepskins, etc. These items can obstruct the baby’s breathing. A wearable blanket is recommended.
More than 3,500 sudden, unexpected infant deaths occur each year. Research shows that up to 90% of these deaths are accidental due to placing babies to sleep in unsafe sleeping environments. THESE DEATHS ARE PREVENTABLE.
DO NOT BEDSHARE – the act of bringing an infant into a sleep environment with adults, other children, or pets puts the baby in danger of suffocating, either by being smothered in bedding; by positional asphyxia, which occurs when a baby’s position prevents them person from breathing adequately; or by being accidentally rolled over by a sleeping companion (overlay).
ROOMSHARE – Babies should sleep on a close, but separate, surface in the same room as the caregiver.
A BABY WHO BEDSHARES IS AT 40 TIMES GREATER RISK OF DYING.
If you would like to discuss this issue further or have any questions, click <HERE> to visit our ‘Ask the Pediatrician’ page.