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Safe Sleeping Tips
By two years of age, a child will have spent more time asleep than awake. A healthy amount of sleep is essential for babies as it directly impacts their mental and physical development, as well as happiness. Just as you ensure your baby has a safe play environment, it's important to establish a safe sleep environment. Proper sleep conditions will help your baby rest better, longer, and safer...so you can sleep better too.
- Sourced from the National Sleep Foundation
- Place your baby on her back. Babies up to one year of age should always be placed on their backs while sleeping.
- Make sure your baby sleeps on a firm surface. Cover a firm mattress with a fitted sheet. Clear the area of pillows, blankets, and stuffed toys.
- Swaddle your baby. A swaddler not only eliminates blankets and loose fabric from the sleeping area, but also helps keep your baby safely on his/her back. Stop swaddling once your baby can roll on his/her side or stomach to prevent suffocation.
- Ensure your baby is at a comfortable temperature. Keep his/her room slightly warmer during the day and cooler at night. Do not overdress your baby.
- Verify that your baby's crib complies with current safety standards. Check to make sure your baby's crib isn't on the recall list by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.cpsc.gov). Do not use a crib that is older than 10 years. Many older cribs may not meet current safety standards and can have a variety of problems.
- Place crib in a safe spot. Distance cribs or playpens away from windows, window covering cords, and baby monitor cords to avoid strangulation hazards. The AAP recommends your baby sleep in the same room, but not in the same bed.
- Sourced from the American Academy of Pediatrics
What is SIDS?
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden, unexplained death of a seemingly healthy infant younger than 1 year of age. The death usually occurs while the baby is asleep. Approximately 90% of SIDS deaths occur before 6 months of age, specifically between 2 and 4 months old. The cause of SIDS remains unknown. Though recent studies indicate there may be a biological predisposition that puts some babies at a higher risk.
Since the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) launched a nationwide safe sleep campaign in 1994, the incidence of SlDS has declined by more than 50%. Despite the successful campaign, SIDS is still the leading cause of death for infants less than a year of age, claiming the lives of approximately 2,000 babies a year. Help reduce your baby's risk of SIDS by taking precautionary measures.
- Sourced from the National SIDS Resource Center
The practice of swaddling a baby has been used for centuries by many different cultures due to its various benefits.
- Swaddling mimics the structure of the womb and helps ease a baby’s transition into the world.
- Newborns need extensive nurturing during the first 3 months of life, which swaddling can provide; this time is commonly referred to as the fourth trimester.
- Swaddling helps babies spend more time in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is thought to be necessary for the extraordinary development happening in their brain. Since REM sleep is lighter than non-REM sleep, and more easily disrupted, swaddling helps prevent baby from waking during this valuable sleep time.
- Research demonstrates that when swaddled correctly, babies are safer since they are more likely to stay asleep on their backs and less likely to get caught in loose blankets.
- Swaddling produces a calming effect that soothes a baby.
- Swaddling helps regulate baby's body temperature.
- Swaddling helps prevent scratching.
- Sourced from the 2002 Medical Journal of Pediatrics