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Safe Sleep 101. Everything new moms need to know about preventing SIDS

Steps to Take to Prevent SIDS

Did you know the average newborn baby sleeps up to 20 hours a day? With all that growing going on, baby needs all the rest they can get. It is important for us to know how to make sure baby is getting the safest sleep possible.

SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby, typically in their sleep, under the age of 1-year-old. The CDC reports that there are around 3,500 sleep related deaths among US babies each year.

Start with Creating a Safe Atmosphere

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently came out recommending babies room share with their parents’ for at least the first six months, and optimally, for the first year of life. If this is something you plan to do, there are many options for baby.

There are multiple bassinets on the market, safe baby co-sleepers and even side bed attachments.

If you choose to start baby off in a crib, go as simple as possible. The mattress should be firm and covered in a fitted sheet. The crib shouldn’t contain any extras like crib bumpers or blankets. Although it is tempting to add in extra items into the crib, the only thing in the crib should be baby. This means no blankets, sleep positioners, boppy pillows or stuffed animals.

Just baby.

Another safety tip, is using a fan in the room that baby sleeps.The added air flow creates a safer environment to reduce SIDS.

Prepare Baby for Safe Rest

Now that you have the environment prepared, it is time to focus on baby. Babies don’t need to be bundled up to sleep well. If you are concerned about keeping your little one warm, dress baby in one extra layer than what you are wearing. Since you won’t be using any blankets on the baby, consider using a sleep sack.

There are a wide variety of options and they will help keep baby safely warm while sleeping. We love the Halo Sleep Sacs that also swaddle baby.

Baby should always be placed on his or her back to sleep. It may be tempting to lay baby on their side or belly because they seem cozier or perhaps they sleep in longer stretches this way, but the absolute safest position for baby to be in is on their back.

Once baby starts to roll independently, they will be able to decide their position of sleep.

Spread the Word

Now that you have all of the knowledge to keep your little bundle safe, it is important you spread the word to any and all caretakers of your infant.

Be sure to ask anyone who will be taking care of your baby, where your baby will be sleeping.

Leave instructions on safe sleep requirements for your baby. You can never be too over protective when it comes to safe sleep.

Other Tips to Prevent SIDS:

  • Avoid exposure to second-hand smoke
  • Breastfeed your baby
  • Immunize your baby
  • Give baby a pacifier

Following these guidelines will help to ensure you are reduce any possible risks of SIDS. And, once you are given the peace of mind baby is sleeping safely, you’ll be able to get some shut-eye, too.

If you would like more information on SIDS, please download the CDC Fact Sheet on safe sleep. It’s a great way to spread the word with caregivers on the best safe sleep practices.


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