Your baby needs extra care and attention, even while he or she sleeps. To ensure the safety of a sleeping infant, the caretaker must know the proper sleep safety protocol. Whether you’re a brand new parent, babysitter, or nanny, learn the ABCs of safe sleeping scenarios for baby’s health.
Never sleep in the same bed as your infant. As tempting as it may be to lie down for a nap with your baby, sharing a bed is dangerous. However, having baby sleep in the same room but on a different surface is a safe and functional alternative. Make sure your baby sleeps alone in the crib to avoid the risk of suffocation, entrapment, or strangulation.
While you may find sleeping is more comfortable on your stomach or side, you need to put babies to bed on their backs. When infants sleep on their side or stomach, the likelihood of rebreathing their exhaled air significantly increases, preventing them from getting enough oxygen. Placing a baby to sleep on their stomach doubles the risk of death. Make sure the baby is on his or her back with clear and open airways.
A baby must sleep in a safety-approved crib, free of blankets, pillows, and toys, with only a tight fitted sheet covering the mattress. The extremely firm surface is intentional. Soft surfaces pose the risk of conforming to the shape of the baby’s head and face, increasing the risk of suffocation. Save soft blankets, stuffed toys, and pillows for designated playtime. A clear crib is a safe crib.
While you may feel uncertain about how to take proper care of a new baby, your Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group pediatrician and OB/GYN can help answer any questions or concerns you may have. If you’re expecting, learn more about St. Luke’s Health's Family Birthing Centers.
Safe Sleep Academy | The ABCs of Safe Sleep
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