We know how exciting it is to tuck your baby in for a good night’s sleep, so let’s make sure it’s not only cozy but also safe as can be.
a. Safe to Sleep Recommendations for Baby:
First things first, let’s talk about the golden rules of safe sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has your back with their “Safe to Sleep” guidelines. They recommend placing your baby on their back for all sleep times—naps and nighttime. This position reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). A firm and flat sleep surface (like a crib mattress) without any toys or bedding is your best bet. It might sound minimalistic, but it’s all about creating a safe sleep environment.
b. Crib Bumpers Are Cute but Dangerous:
We get it—crib bumpers adorned with adorable patterns can be hard to resist. However, these seemingly harmless accessories pose a risk to your little one. Crib bumpers, even the soft and fluffy ones, can lead to suffocation or strangulation. It’s best to skip them altogether and focus on a minimalist crib setup that’s both safe and stylish.
c. Loose Blankets vs. Baby Sleep Sacks:
How do you keep your baby cozy without the risk of loose blankets causing trouble? Sleep sacks to the rescue! These nifty little inventions are like wearable blankets—keeping your baby snug while eliminating the hazards of loose bedding. Unlike blankets that can end up over your baby’s face, sleep sacks stay put and keep your baby warm without compromising safety. Check out some of our recommendations for sleep sacks at this blog post: The Best Baby Registry – Advice from a Postpartum Doula.
d. Pacifiers for Safe Baby Sleep:
Did you know that offering your baby a pacifier at naptime and bedtime reduces the risk of SIDS? The AAP recommends using a clean, dry pacifier that’s not attached to anything (no strings or clips). If your baby rejects it, that’s perfectly fine. Some babies enjoy pacifiers, while others have no interest in them at all.
e. Room Sharing:
The AAP recommends sharing a room with your baby for the first six to twelve months of their life. Room sharing with your baby—placing their crib or bassinet in your room—reduces the risk of SIDS. It’s safest for your baby to have their own sleep space within arm’s reach.
f. Avoid Overheating:
Babies are great at letting us know when they’re too hot or too cold, right? Well, not always. They can’t regulate their temperature as well as adults can, so it’s important to ensure they’re not overheating during sleep. Dress your baby in light, breathable layers and keep the room at a comfortable temperature. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a room that’s comfortable for a lightly clothed adult.
g. Regular Check-Ins:
While you want your baby to sleep peacefully, you’re probably going to check on them regularly at nap and bedtime. Use your baby monitor or peek in to ensure they’re in the right sleep position, and check the temperature of the room. This can give you peace of mind as a caregiver.
Remember, our team at Buddha Belly Doulas is here to support you every step of the way. Our postpartum doulas specialize in overnight newborn care to help you and your whole family get as much sleep as possible. Knowing that your doula is looking after your baby overnight makes falling into a deep sleep yourself a whole lot easier.
With a little knowledge and a whole lot of love, you’re all set to create a safe and cozy sleep haven for your little dreamer.
Also check out: Newborn Sleep Essentials | Get More Sleep!