Safer Sleep For 0 To 6 Months Olds
It’s important to spend some time considering how to implement safer sleeping strategies for your new-born. The decisions we make about where and how we place our babies to sleep can impact their health and safety. Some common practices of the past are no longer considered to be the safest way to support your baby to sleep. The advice listed here is from the evidence-informed information provided by the Lullaby Trust: a leading UK Charity who aim to reduce the number of SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome) deaths by providing safer sleep advice.
It is important to make sure that your baby is at a comfortable temperature – not too hot or too cold. The chance of SIDS is higher in babies who get too hot.
A room temperature of 16-20°C – with light bedding or a lightweight, well-fitting baby sleep bag– is comfortable and safe for sleeping babies.
It can be difficult to judge the temperature in the room, so use a room thermometer in the rooms where your baby sleeps.
Regularly feel your baby’s chest or the back of their neck (your baby’s hands and feet will usually be cooler, which is normal). If your baby’s skin is hot or sweaty, remove one or more layers of bedclothes or bedding.
Babies who are unwell need fewer, not more bedclothes.
Babies do not need to wear hats indoors, nor sleep under a duvet or quilt.
We recommend using sleeping bags once baby is over 9lbs but please ensure you check the tog rating for the temperature of the room.
Swaddling is a great comfort for baby’s, especially newborns, but please bear in mind the swaddling dos and don’ts.
Sleep Location For 0 – 6 Month-Old Babies
The safest place for your baby to sleep is in the same room with you for the first six months.
Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months, even during the day.
Some parents choose to co-sleep with their baby. See the advice listed below specifically for safer co-sleeping.
Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby. Sleeping on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby is one of the most high-risk situations for them.
The chance of SIDS is lower when babies sleep in a separate cot in the same room as their parents
Sleep Position for babies
You should always place your baby on their back to sleep and not on their front or side.
Sleeping your baby on their back (known as the supine position) every night is one of the most protective actions you can take to ensure your baby is sleeping as safely as possible.
There is substantial evidence from around the world to show that sleeping your baby on their back at the beginning of every sleep or nap (day and night) significantly reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
You should always place your baby on their back to sleep and not on their front or side (unless your doctor has advised you of a medical reason to do so)
Sleeping a baby on their front or side greatly increases the chance of SIDS
It is important that you always put your baby on their back as part of their regular sleep routine – the chance of SIDS is particularly high for babies who are sometimes placed on their front or side
Once your baby can move themselves from their back to their front and back again by themselves, they will be able to find their own sleeping position.
The first few times they roll onto their tummy, you might like to gently turn them back, but do not feel you have to get up all night to check. Give them some time to play on their tummy while they are awake to help their development, but make sure you supervise them while they are on their front.
How to Set Up Baby Cot safely / Moses Basket Contents
Remove soft toys from your baby’s sleep area before each sleep period. Babies should be slept in a clear sleep space, which is easy to create in a cot or Moses basket.
Sleep Pods Or Sleep Nests Are NOT Safe For Baby to Sleep In
There are some items that I would not recommend
• pods or nests
• pillows, duvets or thick heavy bedding
• cot bumpers
• sleep positioners
Parent And Baby Co-Sleeping
Sharing your bed with your baby is called co-sleeping.
For safer co-sleeping:
Keep pillows, sheets, blankets away from your baby or any other items that could obstruct your baby’s breathing or cause them to overheat. A high proportion of infants who die as a result of SIDS are found with their head covered by loose bedding.
Follow the other safer sleep advice to reduce the risk of SIDS such as sleeping baby on their back.
Avoid letting pets or other children in the bed.
Make sure baby won’t fall out of bed or get trapped between the mattress and the wall.
It is important for you to know that there are some circumstances in which co-sleeping with your baby can be very dangerous:
Either you or your partner smokes (even if you do not smoke in the bedroom).
Either you or your partner has drunk alcohol or taken drugs (including medications that may make you drowsy).
You are extremely tired.
Your baby was born premature (37 weeks or less).
Your baby was born at a low weight (2.5kg or 5½ lbs or less).
Never sleep on a sofa or armchair with your baby, this can increase the risk of SIDS by 50 times.
You should never sleep together with your baby if any of the above points apply to you or your partner.
How Can I Make Sure My Child-Care Provider Follows My Safe Sleep Guidelines?
All Child-care providers whether they are independent child-minders, a nursery setting or a relative should be following safer sleep guidelines. It is definitely a conversation you should have with them when considering your child’s placement with them. Look for pro-active nurseries such as Highbury Community Nursery, who are actively engaging conversations around best sleep practices with their parents by seeking out professional advice to follow and dispense. If you are a child-care provider and would like to discuss getting an informational newsletter to send out to your parents from a professional Baby Sleep Coach, then please get in touch as I’d be happy to help!
Have you downloaded your freebie yet? Top 10 Baby Sleep Coach Tips To Help Your Baby Sleep Better Guide! If not, then make sure to click here.
For more advice on how to help your baby sleep and find a baby sleep solution that works for you and your family, you can check out our 1 : 1 consultation services or our new baby sleep guides which come with free access to my Sleepy Village Facebook community for easy access to get your questions answered.
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