Guidelines of Safe Sleep for Infants

As a new parent, the number one task is keeping the baby safe and secure, and that starts with sleep. Following are some sleep tips that need to be considered.

Keeping the crib safe
Going by the chief concerns of safety, the Pediatric Society and Public Health Agency of the country has guidelines recommending that babies sleep on a firm flat surface in their crib for all sleep periods – day or night. There is also a recommendation to avoid the use of soft materials in the crib, including blankets, bumper pads, comforters, stuffed animals, pillows, and other pillow- like items such as rolled up blankets and infant sleep positioners, which can prevent the circulation of air around baby’s face leading to suffocation.

Avoid bed-sharing
Bed-sharing, also referred as co-sleeping is not recommended due to evidence linking bed-sharing with accidental smothering and suffocation. Due to the same safety concerns, waterbeds, air mattresses, couches, rocking chairs, car seats, infant swings or baby carriers should also be avoided for sleeping, while opting for crib. However, room-sharing (making child sleep in a crib in the parental room) till the first six months of age is said to be associated with reduced risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Ensure the crib of the infant is as per currently required safety standards.

Sleeping on the back
Till the time baby is able to roll or move to another position on his own, the ‘back to sleep’ position is recommended by the Canadian Pediatric Society and Public Health Agency of Canada, as there is a connection with significantly reduced risk of SIDS. However, according to these guidelines, once babies are able to move to another position on their own, there is no need to reposition them or keep them on their back, unless compelled to do so due to medical reasons.

Maintenance of temperature
For the reason of not overheating the infant, it is better to keep the room temperature on the cool side of comfortable and it is better to avoid overdressing the baby. If one has to go by rule of thumb it is that if a temperature is comfortable for a lightly clothed adult, it would also be comfortable for the baby. While in the warmer months, a single light layer of clothing should solve the purpose. In the cooler months, depending on the temperature of the environment, if second layer of dressing is needed, a sleep-sack is recommended in place of a loose blanket, which can cover infant’s face. Avoid using heater in infant’s room.

opt for the ABCs of safe sleep
It is wise to put babies to sleep all by themselves, always alone, on their backs, in a crib. Place the infant on the back for every sleep whether nighttime or naptime.
Aforementioned guidelines should be helpful in putting the baby to safe sleep by the parents.

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