“Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID), which includes Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), is the leading cause of injury death in infancy. Sleep is a big challenge for families with babies, but following safe sleep recommendations can prevent many SUID fatalities.” – American Academy of Pediatrics
Ensuring your child gets a good night’s sleep is essential for their growth and development. However, it’s equally important to prioritize their safety during sleep. Over 3,500 babies in the United States die of SIDS each year. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides valuable guidelines on creating a safe sleep environment for your child, to prevent as many infant deaths as possible and help you have peace of mind while your child sleeps.
And I want every family to have all of the tools they need to ensure their munchkins can sleep safely. That is why I’d like to touch on a few simple ways you can create a safe sleep environment at home in this blog, and help you avoid some of the most common mistakes families make when it comes to safe sleep.
Back to Sleep: The AAP strongly recommends placing your baby on their back for all sleep times – naptime and nighttime. This reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Always ensure your baby’s head and face are clear of obstructions, and they’re positioned on a firm sleep surface.
Crib Safety: Use a safety-approved crib with a firm mattress and fitted sheet. Avoid bumper pads, pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, or any other loose objects or materials inside the crib.
Avoid Bed Sharing: The AAP advises against bed sharing, and encourages everyone in your family to have their own sleeping space. It is recommended that infants sleep in the parents’ room, close to the parents’ bed, but on a separate surface designed for infants, ideally for at least the first 6 months of their life.
Temperature: Keep the room at a comfortable temperature, usually between 68-72°F (20-22°C), and dress your baby in lightweight, breathable layers.
Tummy Time: While awake and under supervision, give your baby plenty of “tummy time” to strengthen their neck and upper body muscles. This helps prevent flat head syndrome.
Use a Firm Sleep Surface for Naps: During daytime naps, always place your baby on a firm and flat surface, such as a crib or bassinet, to sleep.
Avoid Overheating: Overheating is a risk factor for SIDS. Ensure your baby is dressed appropriately for the room temperature and avoid using too many layers or heavy blankets.
Breastfeed: If you are able to breastfeed, do so. Studies have shown that infants who are breastfed have a reduced risk of SIDS
Creating a safe sleep environment and taking other safety precautions for your child is essential for their well-being. These are just some of the guidelines provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and you can read more on their website. Following safe sleep recommendations can significantly reduce the risk of SIDS and ensure your child enjoys a comfortable and secure sleep. With the right precautions and care, you can provide your little one with a safe and restful sleep environment that supports their healthy development.
Not sure if your child’s sleep environment is safe sleep approved? Wondering if your child’s room or crib could be the reason they aren’t sleeping well? I can help assess your space and make recommendations to help you create a safe, comfortable sleep environment that helps your munchkin get the restful, restorative sleep they need each night. Book a free Sleep Evaluation to get started!