How to Ensure Your Baby Is Safe While Sleeping

Though I’m all for co-sleeping with my littles, safety is number one. You have to be aware of all of your surroundings and make sure your little one is out of harm.

Things you can do to make sure that your baby sleeps safely

Safe While SleepingThe best places for your baby to sleep that are even recommended by pediatricians are in either a crib or a bassinet. Remember, babies cannot share their cribs or bassinets with other babies hence if you have twins or triplets, you will buy for each baby her own crib or bassinet.

Below are the safety tips that you should adhere to so that your baby sleeps safely:

  • If you are using cribs, the crib mattress should be flat and firm. The mattress should fit the crib perfectly without leaving any spaces between the frame and the crib. The sheet used for the crib should tightly cover the mattress without any part of it left to hang loosely.
  • When putting your baby to sleep, she should be on her back. The bassinets and cribs should also meet the safety standards. Broken bassinets and cribs with drop side rails should not be used.
  • Toys, loose beddings, crib bumpers and pillows should not be used inside the crib. This is because they might suffocate or strangle your baby while she is asleep.
  • Never let your baby sleep in a car seat, carrier or sling. If she falls asleep in one of them, you should take her out and put her to sleep in her bassinet or crib. Usually, when babies are in one of these items, their backs are not usually straight hence if they fall asleep and stay for a long time in them, they might not be able to breathe properly which may lead to them suffocating while they are sleeping.
  • Dress the baby in light clothes so that she doesn’t get too hot while sleeping. Things you need to look out for to let you know that she is hot include; damp hair, sweating, rapid breathing and heat rash. You can also swaddle the baby to make her feel comfortable and warm.
  • You can also use pacifiers for bed time. The pacifier should be free of chords that may strangle the baby.
  • Avoid covering your baby’s face or head while she is sleeping to avoid suffocation.
  • Lastly, don’t even think about letting your baby sleep on a sofa or a waterbed. Soft mattresses should also be avoided.

Can I put my baby to sleep on her tummy?

Safe While SleepingNever put your baby to sleep on her tummy when it’s bedtime. She should always be on her back while sleeping. This is because when your baby sleeps on her tummy, she is likely to suffocate. However, pediatricians recommend that you should put your baby to sleep on her tummies while you are supervising her, usually during play time. Tummy time helps babies to develop strong shoulder and neck muscles.

Other infant sleep safety measures to take

  • Avoid using products like wedges and positioners that claim to reduce sleep-related causes of infant deaths. The truth is that it has not been proven scientifically whether their claim is true.
  • Some parents are usually too concerned that they go to the extent of using home heart and breathing monitors to monitor the heartbeat and breathing rates of their babies while they are sleeping. Do not go to that extent unless your baby has a serious medical condition of which you must consult your healthcare provider.
  • Ensure that your baby sleeps in the same room as you. This will enable you to watch her closely and attend to her in the case of anything. Research shows that room sharing with your baby reduces the risk of SIDS by half. However, avoid sharing your bed with your baby especially if she is below 12 months.
  • Do not smoke in the room where your baby sleeps.

When buying your baby her crib, you should ensure that you buy the right crib that meets all the safety standards. Here are the things you should keep in mind.

  • Whip out your ruler when you are out there shopping to make sure that the crib’s slats and corner posts are not more than 7cm apart. This is because your baby may get entrapped between if the spacing is larger.
  • The hardware of a safe crib should be firmly secured. There should be no loose bolts and screws. There should be no sharp edges or rough areas that can cut your baby.
  • When it comes to the color of the crib, watch out for lead-based paints which pose health risks to babies and young children.
  • Stay away from crib models that have footboards and headboards since the CPSC prohibits them.

By and large, babies are so cute yet fragile hence without proper care from us as mothers; they cannot survive. It is up to us as parents to always make sure that our babies sleep in a safe environment.

Since babies usually sleep for up to 16 hours in a day, if they are not put to sleep in an environment that meets all the sleep safety for infants, they will be at higher risks of forming part of the figures released by the AAP every year of babies who die as a result of sleep related issues. Approximately 3000 babies die every year in the United States alone, and the figure could be higher in other parts of the world.

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21 Comments

  1. Jessica taylor
    March 2, 2017 / 12:13 pm

    These are great tips! I remember being so paranoid as a first time mom. I would check on my daughter every hour!

  2. Robin rue
    March 2, 2017 / 12:29 pm

    My youngest was a belly sleeper. He just would not sleep on his back.

    • March 2, 2017 / 3:10 pm

      Mine was a side sleeper! lol

  3. March 2, 2017 / 1:17 pm

    This is so important to remember! My kids always slept in their rooms because I’m all about personal space, but I know many people co-sleep.
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  4. March 2, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    I remember being so scared as a first time mom when it came to sleeping. It can be stressful and scary to think about, but it is important.

  5. Amanda H
    March 2, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    Great tips. Crazy enough, I have had 2 that would only sleep on their tummies. It went against everything I knew, but I kept a close eye on them so they would sleep instead of cry.

  6. March 3, 2017 / 2:40 pm

    My niece just had a baby. I am going to share your article with her. Being a new mom can be very stressful.

  7. helene
    March 3, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    Great tips! There is so much to learn when you become a new mom.

  8. Samantha Broyles
    March 3, 2017 / 11:12 pm

    Both my kids have been belly sleepers. this is one reason we co sleep, so they can snuggle up to me and I can make sure they are safe all night long.

  9. March 4, 2017 / 2:12 am

    I never even entertained the idea of co-sleeping. With my first I did everything by the book and he is a great sleeper. With my second bub he was born 6 weeks early, in special care for 3 weeks, when he finally came home his sleeping habits went out the door. Would not sleep for any more than 20 mins during the day and only 2-3 hours overnight. I was at my wits end. Sometime between 3 and 4 months i started sleeping him on his tummy and it was magic. Started sleeping for 2-3 hour stints during the day and only woke up once or twice overnight. It was a really really tough decision but for my sanity I gave it a go and it paid off. For the first few times he slept on his tummy i hovered nervously outside the door with the monitor ready to pounce in case he started struggling. But he didn’t and he still sleeps on his tummy a year later. I would never recommend sleeping a baby on their tummy to anyone. But I was a stressed and tired mumma who was willing to try anything!!

  10. Hannah
    March 5, 2017 / 1:25 am

    Thanks for this safety tips. I should be more aware while my baby is sleeping.

  11. March 5, 2017 / 7:51 pm

    Great tips! I don’t have a baby or plan on having one soon, but this might come in handy.

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  12. Elizabeth O.
    March 6, 2017 / 8:14 am

    There are plenty of reasons that pushes you to make sure that your baby is safe when he or she sleeps. These are very good pointers especially for new parents.

  13. March 6, 2017 / 8:17 am

    This is very good information. I hope that expecting parents will have the chance to read this because it’s important to make sure that your infant is safe when sleeping. There are plenty of reasons to do so.

  14. March 6, 2017 / 3:31 pm

    Those are some really good tips. There’s nothing as important as child safety

  15. March 6, 2017 / 3:38 pm

    I co-sleep with my little one. I am too scared to leave him in the crib by himself. I know I am being too over protective. He also tends to sleep well on his tummy though he gets up every two hours. These are all great tips for ensuring baby safety during sleep.

  16. March 7, 2017 / 4:10 pm

    These are great tips and good reminders. Makes me wish my boys were little again!

  17. March 8, 2017 / 9:08 am

    Excellent article! Intuitively I would have done most of the things correctly but it’s good to have a list for guidance. Thanks for sharing this!

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