Sleep Safety Secrets for Baby
We have found some sleep
safety measures that you should take into consideration.
(ARA) – You adore your new
baby. If you’re like millions of sleep-deprived new
parents, you love him even more when he’s sound asleep.
But even when their little one is in dreamland, there’s
no resting easy for vigilant parents – sleep safety
needs to be a round-the-clock priority.
Infants spend most of their first months asleep.
Statistics show newborns and very young babies are most
vulnerable to injury and death when they sleep. Despite
a decline in the number of cases over the past 10 years,
sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is still the leading
cause of infant deaths in the country, according to
research published in the journal Pediatrics.
“The comforting news for parents is that we now know
more than ever before about safer sleeping arrangements
for babies,” says Dr. Bill Sears, a pediatric sleep
expert. “Parents can give their babies as safe a
sleeping environment as possible by following a few
* Always put your baby to sleep on her back. The
“Back to Sleep Initiative,” which aimed to teach parents
that babies were safest sleeping on their backs, is
widely credited with reducing SIDS deaths by half over
the past 10 years. Yet in 2006, nearly a quarter of all
parents still put their babies to sleep on their
stomachs or sides, according to a study by the National
Institute for Child Health and Human Development.
* Co-sleep safely. The American Academy of
Pediatrics recommend against bringing your baby into
your bed, citing concerns that the baby may smother in
soft bedding materials or be rolled on by an adult. In
its SIDS prevention guidelines, the AAP advises parents
that babies 6 months and younger are safer in a crib or
co-sleeping attachment in parents’ rooms than in their
own separate room.
Co-sleeping is commonly practiced in eastern cultures
and some sleep experts believe it can actually reduce
the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related problems.
“Co-sleeping infants nurse more often, sleep more
lightly and have practice responding to maternal
arousals,” says Dr. James J. McKenna of the Mother-Baby
Behavioral Sleep Laboratory.
To co-sleep safely, place your baby in a Co-Sleeper R
Bassinet, a small, separate bed with one open side that
attaches securely to the side of your bed. Arms Reach (www.armsreach.com)
produces a number of co-sleeping products that give
mothers easy access to their babies, while keeping the
infant safely in his or her own space, eliminating the
risk of an adult rolling over on the baby.
* Don’t add risk to the baby’s bed. That means
ensure there are no sharp edges, sheets fit snugly on
the mattress and the mattress fits snugly in the bed.
Never place anything in the bed with the baby, not even
blankets or bumpers. Newborns can suffocate on soft
objects if the items fall over or press up against the
baby’s face and head. Instead of putting baby down with
a blanket, consider a sleep sack – a blanket that the
baby wears, which zips up the front and leaves her head
and arms free.
* Improve breastfeeding comfort with a Co-Sleeper
Bassinet. “Extensive research shows that babies
should be breastfed exclusively for approximately the
first six months of life, and continue to be breastfed
as solids are added to the baby’s diet,” says lactation
consultant Chele Marmet, B.S., M.A., director of the
Lactation Institute, and a leading pioneer in the field
of infant nutrition. “A co-sleeper bassinet contributes
to breastfeeding comfort. Co-sleeping helps mom keep to
this feeding plan which keeps baby healthy, keeps mommy
healthier and reduces the incidence of SIDs."
For breastfeeding information and a list of lactation
consultants in your local area, consult the ILCA and La
Leche League International.
* Finally, parents should practice their own safe
sleeping habits, Dr. Sears says. “Don’t drink, do drugs
or use any medications that might hinder your ability to
care for your baby.”
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