All parents want to keep their babies as safe as possible, but it’s not realistic to keep an eye on them at all hours of the day. When the baby sleeps, Mom needs to sleep as well. Working to make a sleeping situation as safe as possible will give peace of mind and help both mom and baby sleep soundly during naps and at night. For Baby Safety Month we’ve put together baby safety tips from experts on how to keep your little ones safe and healthy while they rest.
Why Is It Important to Have A Safe Sleeping Space for Babies
Following these baby safety tips below and creating a safe and secure environment is one of the most important things parents can do for their babies. A safe space provides a sense of security, as well as a comfortable and familiar environment for your little one. It helps them feel safe enough to explore and learn, and can even help with the development of social skills and emotional regulation. Safer spaces can also reduce the risk of injury, as the environment is designed to be as secure as possible. Furthermore, being in a space where they feel safe helps babies develop a sense of trust and security in their primary caregiver, which is essential to forming healthy relationships.
Parents feel better and relaxed if babies have a safe place to sleep because it eliminates a major safety concern. A safe sleep environment helps prevent serious health issues like Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), suffocation, and entrapment. And knowing a parent has done as much as they can to make a safe space for their baby can give them peace of mind. It reduces the anxiety parents feel regarding their baby’s safety letting parents get a much better sleep themselves. Having a safe, secure place for their baby to sleep helps them relax and be sure that their baby is protected and secure all night long.
If the baby is safe and comfortable they’ll be getting the rest they need. A fully rested baby means a happy baby – one that can be enjoyed and bring love all around without stress and exhaustion to the parents. And a happy and healthy baby is really what everyone wants. It’s a win-win. Good sleep is so important for everyone – parents and babies – so anything that can be done to get better sleep is a win for the entire family.
An infant not having a safe sleeping space can result in several serious consequences. Unsafe sleeping habits and not following these baby safety tips can cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which is when a baby dies unexpectedly and no cause of death can be determined. Not having a safe sleeping space can also increase the risk of suffocation, entrapment, or strangulation for an infant. Other risks that can be caused by not having a safe sleeping space include an increased risk of respiratory illness, infections, and falls. To ensure an infant’s safety, it is important to provide them with a secure and comfortable sleeping space that meets all safety standards.
Baby Safety Tips 1: Use A Firm Crib Mattress
Unlike adult mattresses, you want to select a crib mattress that is very firm. Having a firm mattress for a baby to sleep on is an important factor in helping them to get a good night’s rest. Babies spend a lot of time sleeping, therefore it is necessary to provide them with a firm mattress that can support them through the night. Soft sleeping surfaces can create space for babies to roll and suffocate, increasing the risk of SIDS. It may seem like a firm mattress is uncomfortable, but that is not the case at all. Babies do not need the back support and contouring that adult bodies do.
Crib mattresses come in all price ranges with a variety of features. Since babies typically only use a crib for a couple of years, you may be able to save money by purchasing a foam mattress. Test the mattress before buying by pressing your hand to the center of the mattress. An indent should form but quickly go away upon removing your hand.
A firm mattress helps ensure that a baby does not sink into the mattress, which can create an uncomfortable and unsafe sleep environment for them. Additionally, it also reduces the amount of motion transfer that can occur between the baby and the mattress, which helps prevent them from being disturbed by any movement from other people or pets. With a firm mattress and the top baby safety tips, a baby can sleep more soundly and have a better quality of sleep.
Baby Safety Tips 2: Choose Safe Sleepwear
Selecting the appropriate sleepwear for your baby can keep them safe and healthy. As babies start to roll and are no longer swaddled, selecting a safe and comfortable sleepwear solution will help everyone wake up well-rested. The Zipadee-Zip from Sleeping Baby is our favorite safe sleepwear option! Specifically engineered to be soft and breathable, the Zipadee-Zip is perfect for babies with sensitive skin and keeps babies from overheating during the night.
The wide cut of the suit allows the legs and body to naturally fall while sleeping, preventing hip dysplasia that can cause long-lasting health issues later in life. As the baby grows and begins to move more, the Zipadee-Zip is designed specifically to allow your little one to push up, roll over, and wiggle. The suit should be fitted with a slight resistance at the arm to allow for proper movement.
When it comes to your baby or infant’s sleepwear, safety is of the utmost importance. Some other baby safety tips for sleepwear? Opt for sleepwear made from breathable materials, such as 100% cotton, that don’t include drawstrings or other loose parts that could be a hazard. Additionally, tight-fitting sleepwear like onesies or sleep sacks can be a safer option than blankets or quilts, as they reduce the risk of suffocation or entanglement. To ensure comfort and safety, look for sleepwear with soft, elastic bands and no zippers or buttons. Make sure the fabric is lightweight and breathable so that your little one can sleep in comfort.
Baby Safety Tips 3: Never Use Bumpers, Bedding, or Toys In the Crib
In 2007, a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics concluded that crib bumpers are unsafe. Bumpers create a suffocation hazard, either by allowing the baby to place their face against the bumper or become tangled in the cords. Bumpers can also create a gap between the bumper and the mattress or can slide down and create a gap between the bumper and the crib wall, creating a risk for entrapment. Even if the bumper is breathable, it can still lead to suffocation if the child becomes wedged between the bumper and the mattress. Additionally, as no crib bumper has been proven to reduce the risk of SIDS, it is best to avoid them altogether.
Toys and bedding such as blankets and pillows can suffocate an infant too if they are placed too close to them and cover their face. Unfortunately, parents often make the mistake of not following the latest baby safety tips and placing toys and excess bedding in the crib when their baby is sleeping. This can be extremely dangerous, as this can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Toys and excess bedding can block airways and increase the risk of suffocation, so it is best to keep the crib as empty as possible.
A baby’s nursery should be kept at a comfortable temperature too. During the summer months, a baby’s body temperature is more sensitive than an adult’s, so keeping the temperature a few degrees cooler can help them stay comfortable and avoid heat-related illnesses. In winter months, babies should be kept warm but not too hot, as overheating can increase the risk of SIDS. Additionally, a comfortable temperature can help promote good sleep and create an environment conducive to naps and restful nights. So while not one of the top baby safety tips, check the nursery temperature too!
READ MORE: 6 Things To Do With Babies on a Day Trip
Baby Safety Tips 4: Place Baby To Sleep On Their Back
Each generation has had their own baby safety tips and way of teaching mothers to put their babies to sleep. And while our grandparents may have done one thing and babies may appear to be more comfortable sleeping on their stomachs, they may not be able to wake when in danger of suffocation or lift their heads to prevent it. Research has shown, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that placing baby to sleep on their back is the safest sleeping position until 1 year old. It’s also important to note that babies who sleep on their backs tend to spend more time in deeper, more restful sleep. So that’s a win for all parents!
Babies have weaker neck muscles which can cause them to roll onto their stomachs while sleeping. If you find that your baby likes to roll over onto his stomach while sleeping, it is best to reposition him onto his back, despite that doing so may briefly wake him. Creating a habit of back sleeping will help ensure that position is the most comfortable for the baby as he continues to grow and learn.
Baby Safety Tips 5: Use a Pacifier When Sleeping
While some parents don’t want to start using pacifiers because they know of the struggle with pacifier use during the toddler years, as the parent of a newborn or infant, a pacifier is your new best friend. When it comes down to it pacifiers are a great resource for soothing a fussy baby. However, researchers have also found that pacifier use can reduce the risk of SIDS by 90 percent. That’s an incredible statistic.
A pacifier helps keep the baby’s airways open and less likely to be blocked, which prevents them from choking and suffocating while sleeping. The pacifier also helps the baby to establish a regular sleeping pattern, allowing them to sleep for longer periods of time and decreasing the number of times they wake up throughout the night. The fewer times they wake up in the middle of the night, the less the chances of them rolling over in their sleep and becoming stuck in an unsafe position. How’s that for some baby safety tips?
A few other baby safety tips? If breastfeeding, it is best to wait until the baby is 3 to 4 weeks old before introducing a pacifier. Some babies use a pacifier to fall asleep and will drop it after they are fully sleeping. If the pacifier falls out of the baby’s mouth, there is no reason to put it back in.
Keeping a baby safe while they sleep can be a difficult task for any parent. By following the baby safety tips in this article, parents can ensure that their little one’s sleeping environment is as safe and comfortable as possible. Providing a clean, hazard-free space for your baby to sleep in is essential implementing a routine and setting regular bedtimes can help ensure your baby is well-rested and getting the best sleep. With the right precautions in place, parents can be confident that their babies are safe as they sleep.
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