Safe Sleep for Babies: The ABC’s and What You Need to Know
As parents, we always want to make sure our little ones are safe, especially when they are sleeping. Thanks to the simple and effective “ABC’s of safe sleep” approach, your baby will sleep safer and calmer. But what does “ABC” stand for?
A - Alone
Infants up to 3 months old should get 14–17 hours of sleep on average over a 24-hour period. For parents, leaving their babies alone for so long could be stressful, but it is actually the best thing to do to guarantee a safe and quality sleep for the infant.
This doesn’t mean that you have to leave your baby in a separate room. In fact, until their first birthday, the AAP (American of Academy of Pediatrics) recommends room-sharing without bed-sharing. This is because in the first 12 months there is a higher risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Keeping a baby in your bedroom for the first year can also help boost your bond with your little one.
There are just 3 simple rules to bear in mind:
1. Do Not Share a Bed With Your Child
As much as we want to be close to the baby and make them feel protected while they sleep, the best way to make their rest safe is to let them sleep in their own crib. Having the crib close to the parents’ bed is the best solution to ensure enough control while giving them all the space and safety they need.
2. Your Little One Should Sleep Alone for All Sleep Sessions
Even for short naps, the baby should be put in the crib and sleep alone. If you are relaxing with your little one don’t fall asleep with the baby on your chest. Of course you can bring the baby into your bed or chair for feedings, but you should return the baby to a crib as soon as you are done. Avoid sleeping on couches, recliners, or rockers with a baby.
3. The Recommended Place for Your Baby’s Safe Sleep Is in the Room With You but in a Crib
Being in the same room with the baby it’s not just going to give you a peace of mind but it’s also helpful in case your baby needs urgent attention. Bassinets and cribs are specifically made to keep your infant safe while sleeping, so the most prudent approach for a baby’s safe sleep is in the same room with the parents, while lying in a crib.
Keeping your baby in your bedroom for the first year can also help to boost the bond with your little one.
B - Back
In their first year of life babies should sleep on their back. This is the only position for a baby’s safe sleep as it decreases the chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
SIDS is a mysterious syndrome, since the specific cause cannot be determined, but studies have identified some ways to prevent it. One of the most important, and certainly the easiest to apply, is putting your baby to sleep on their back. If you want to ensure your baby a safe sleep, put your little one in a crib on their back and avoid to put any toys or plushies close to the baby. Another important thing is to avoid any clothing that can expose your baby to the risk of suffocation in case the clothing rides up over the baby’s face. This is why the quality of baby clothing doesn’t just involve materials, but a safe design made specifically for the young age of the baby. We always strive to guarantee the maximum safety for your baby with our product line.
You can learn why side sleeping isn’t recommended in our blog: Is it Safe for a Baby to Sleep on the Side? Let’s Find Out
Check out our lineup of Zipadee-Zip: safe, comfortable and adorable!
How to Keep Your Baby’s Sleep Safe and Prevent SIDS
Why is it important to know about SIDS? The first reason is because there are ways to prevent it and drastically decrease the chances it occurs. The second reason is because SIDS is one of the leading causes of death among infants in their first year of life.
According to the Technical Report of the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome:
- SIDS is the third-leading cause of death for infants up to 1 year of age
- 90% of SIDS deaths occur before 6 months of age
- 72% of SIDS deaths occur between months 1-4
- The most common age for SIDS is typically between 2 and 4 months of age
Putting your baby to sleep on their back decreases drastically the risk of SIDS and it’s the only recommended position to assure your baby a safe sleep.
Many parents fear that babies put to sleep on their backs could choke on vomit or spit-up. However, only babies with certain uncommon upper airway malformations may need to sleep on their stomachs. In all the other cases sleeping on their back is the safest approach to a baby’s sleep. This is the first recommendation of doctors and researchers.
For your little one, sleeping on the back is the only safe way to sleep.
C - Crib
Now that you know how to position your child for the nap, let’s see what’s the best place for them to sleep safely.
As we said before, to make your baby’s sleep safe and calm, they should sleep alone, possibly in the parent’s room. It is important to understand that in their first year of life a normal bed is not appropriate for infants, and the best option is a crib.
Some little ones get upset when you try to put them in a crib because of the transition from the heat of their mom to a cold bed. Fortunately, there are several ways to help your baby sleep, but for the first year a crib is indispensable. Also, avoiding to pick the baby up frequently is the best way to prevent confusing your little one too much. Babies need to stay perfectly relaxed even between naps.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission identified the following aspects to bear in mind when putting your baby in a crib:
- To prevent suffocation, never place pillows or thick quilts in a baby's sleep environment.
- Make sure there are no gaps larger than two fingers between the sides of the crib and the mattress.
- Proper assembly of cribs is paramount - Follow the instructions provided and make sure that every part is installed correctly. If you are not sure, call the manufacturer for assistance.
- Do not use cribs older than 10 years or broken or modified cribs. Infants can strangle to death if their bodies pass through gaps between loose components or broken slats while their heads remain entrapped.
- Set up play yards properly according to manufacturers' directions. Only use the mattress pad provided with the play yard; do not add extra padding.
- Never place a crib near a window with blind, curtain cords or baby monitor cords; babies can strangle on cords.
The quality of the crib is another important factor and investing in a good product is the wisest choice, considering that your baby will spend most of the first 12 months of their life in the crib.
Baby’s safe sleep depends on several elements and the quality of the products is one of them. From the crib to the reliability of the wearables, your little one has the right to sleep in the safest and most comfortable environment possible.
The quality of the surrounding is an important factor, and investing in good products is the wisest choice for a parent.
A good crib is a great investment for your baby’s safe sleep. Together with the crib, your baby will also need good quality clothes when napping. It is very important for your baby’s safe sleep to wear something made with good materials and capable of keeping your little one at the right temperature during their sleep, to avoid SIDS and overheating. As said before, we are committed to keep the standards as high as possible to offer to you and your baby the safest product possible.
You and Your Baby will Love Our Zipadee-Zip Collection!
By practicing the ABC’s, when it comes to your infant’s sleep, you can ensure a safe and happy upbringing for your child!
Leah Nolan is a certified infant and toddler sleep consultant for The Sleepyhead Coach. She resides in Fairfield County, CT with her son and daughter (2.5 years and 9 months old). When she’s helping families with their sleep, she enjoys being out in nature with her kids, riding horses, and spending time with her family.
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