Safe Sleep Environment for Babies – Lesley Kelly with Our Baby Sleeps – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Example of an unsafe environment

Expecting a new baby is so exciting! One of the biggest things parents look forward to is decorating the nursery, getting it all ready to bring their beautiful bundle of joy home. Beyond what paint color to choose, there are an overwhelming amount of cribs, crib accessories, rocking chairs, monitors, sound machines, lights, mobiles, and general decorative items to make the nursery a little magical wonderland for their little one.

Unfortunately advertising and retail crib displays often promote infant sleep environments that go against the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines.

A sleep environment that promotes a safe and good night sleep consists of the following:

1. Always place your baby on his/her back to sleep.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), healthy babies up to one year of age should be placed on their backs for every sleep. This includes nap times. However, if your baby has rolled onto his stomach on his own, and can roll from tummy to back, you can leave him in that position. If your child falls asleep in a swing, car seat, stroller, etc., he should be moved to a firm sleep surface as soon as possible. Remember, every sleep counts.

2. Place your baby to sleep on a firm surface.

All cribs, bassinets, portable cribs and/or play yards should meet current safety standards. Check to make sure that there are no product recalls, and that there are no broken or missing pieces. Drop rail cribs should not be used. Use a firm mattress that is compatible with the product you are using, and cover it in a tight-fitting fitted sheet. For more information about crib safety standards, please visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website.

3. Keep loose objects out of the crib.

Loose objects such as stuffed animals, toys, loose bedding, blankets, pillows and bumper pads can all increase the risk of entrapment, suffocation, overheating or strangulation. While research has not shown when it’s 100% safe to add these items into the crib, most experts agree that after 12 months of age, these objects pose little risk to healthy babies.

4. Share your room, but not your bed.

Room sharing (keeping your baby’s sleep area separate from your sleep area in the same room) is recommended by the AAP as a way to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death. Babies should not be placed on adult mattresses to sleep. If you bring your baby into your bed to feed her, make sure she is put back into her separate sleeping area when you are finished.

5. Don’t let your baby get too hot.

Keep the room temperature where your baby sleeps at a comfortable level between 68-72 degrees.Don’t overdress your baby. A good rule of thumb to follow is to put on one extra layer of clothing than an adult would wear to be comfortable. Do not cover your baby’s head. Use a sleep sack or one-piece sleeper if you’re worried your baby is too cold.

6. Add a pacifier

Not only are pacifiers soothing and helpful for falling asleep, but they may also reduce the risk of SIDS.

Other things to use to create an environment conducive to a good night’s sleep:
*muted, calm colors on the walls with very minimal pictures and decorations
*blackout shades on windows
*white noise machine

Example of a safe environment

If you have any questions please feel free to send me a message on my website