SIDS: 9 Ways To Keep Your Baby Safe During Sleep
Studies show that more than 3,500 babies die each year in the USA while sleeping and in most cases, it is as a result of SIDS. As sad as this might sound it is a fact and the numbers are even worse in other countries. It is your obligation as a parent to make sure that your infant is safe while sleeping because this is the only way to prevent SIDS and many other dangers.
Although sometimes bad things can still happen even if you take all the precaution in the world, this does not mean that you should not try your level best to keep your kid safe. Infants spend most of their time sleeping, but you should not always be worried about their safety if you follow the following valuable tips.
1. Baby Should Always Sleep on Their Back
Some parents have a misconception that kids tend to tire a lot when they sleep on their back, and this is the reason why they do not sleep for long. However, this is just a misconception and pediatricians will tell you that this is the safest and most comfortable sleep position for your infant. Whether the baby is taking a nap or sleeping at night, he should always lie on his back because any other position increases the likelihood of SIDS.
2. Sleep Surface Should Be Firm
You should allocate as much time as possible to researching on the best sleep surface for your infant long before you give birth because it is one of the main things that determine their safety.
First, you should make sure that the regulatory bodies in your area recommend any bassinet, portable crib and crib that you buy. Secondly, make sure that the mattress you buy is not only tight fitting but also firm. To know whether the sleeping surface is firm or not you should check for any indentation when you place the baby on it.
3. Keep The Baby In The Same Room
Parents invest a lot of resources in ensuring that their child gets the best and in some cases, they will even modify their house so that the kid will have his room. Whereas this is a good idea, you should make sure that the infant sleeps as close to you as possible in the first six months or one year.
Your kid can have his room, but a good idea will be to share a room in the first few months of his life as this makes it easier to monitor him as he sleeps. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room sharing because it reduces the likelihood of SIDS by up to 50%. Apart from this, it will also make it easy to feed and soothe the infant.
4. Baby Should Never Sleep On Armchair Or Sofa
Sometimes mothers will leave their kids sleeping on the couch or an armchair as it is convenient when they want to watch the TV or have something to do in the living room. However, this is not a good idea, and it is dangerous for the baby regardless of whether he is taking a short nap or sleeping for many hours. You should always make sure that the infant sleeps in a crib or bassinet for safety purposes.
5. Swaddling Is Fine
The best swaddle blanket comes in handy when you have an infant, and this is more so in the first few days of their life because it provides them with womb-like conditions. Parents have varying opinions when it comes to swaddling, but most experts seem to recommend it as it has many benefits.
For example, it limits the ability of the kid to move his hands which is dangerous because he can pull some loose sheets over his face. But, to make sure the baby is safe as he sleeps you should ensure that he is on his back when swaddled and that the blanket is not too tight and neither is it too lose.
6. Give Him A Pacifier
Research proves that a pacifier can help to reduce SIDS risk and this is regardless of whether it falls out or not. If you intend to breastfeed exclusively, you should not use the pacifier until the baby is breastfeeding well. In most instances this will only take about three weeks but if you do not intend to breastfeed your kid you can start using it a couple of days after birth. If the child does not seem to like it, keep trying until he gets used to the pacifier.
7. Make The Crib Safe
Buying the right crib and a best baby mattress is one thing and making the crib safe is another. To make sure that the infant crib is safe for him as he sleeps, you should keep out any loose sheets and blankets to reduce or eliminate the risk of suffocation.
The many toys that you buy for your infant are good for keeping him entertained, but they do not have room in the crib when the child is sleeping. A good rule is to make sure that there is nothing else on the crib apart from the mattress that the child rests on and the swaddle blanket for covering him when he is sleeping.
8. No Smoking Around The Baby
Secondary smoking is very dangerous for infants, and so you should not expose your baby to unnecessary danger. Whether the child is sleeping or not, you should not smoke in the room that he sleeps in or allow anyone to do it. If you must smoke make sure that you never do it inside the house or near an infant because the different methods that you might use to dissipate the smoke are not very useful.
9. Take Him For All His Shots
Another important thing that you should do to keep your baby safe as he is sleeping is to make sure that he gets all his shots promptly. Although research is still not very conclusive, doctors will tell you that babies that get all their shots in a timely manner have a lower risk of SIDS compared to those that skip them.
Sometimes you might not be able to dictate what happens to your child as he slumbers but it is important to take as much precaution as possible. With the nine tips for keeping your baby safe during sleep above in mind, you should be able to do enough to protect your little angel.
Read more: How To Babyproof Your Home