New to parenting? Are you freaked out a bit inside? No worries. We have all been there.
After becoming a parent, your life is filled with ups and downs. You get to enjoy and cherish the happy moments but at the same time, you have a huge responsibility of caring for your little angel. Creating a fun-filled, secure, and healthy environment for you and your baby is among the top priorities of every parent.
However, sometimes, it can get extremely stressful and overwhelming. Thankfully, there are tons of online resources and websites dedicated to new mommies to help them with parenting processes.
That’s exactly what we aim to accomplish at The Baby Side. You get all the important stuff about being a parent at your fingertips such as buying guides, product reviews, during and post-pregnancy information, and a lot more. In short, we help to make parenting joyful, hassle-free, and memorable.
Parents’ Ultimate Concern – Baby’s Sleep Safety!
As a new parent, your first concern is your baby’s safety while he/she is snoozing. One of the biggest challenges in this area is to eliminate the risk of “SIDs” or “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.”
I know a lady who became a mother at a very young age. I was there to help her through the pregnancy stuff, helping her find the best baby products to make parenting a lot easier for her. However, when I asked if she knew about SIDs, she was lost!
This incident prompted me to think there must be many other women out there without any significant knowledge of this condition. Thus, I decided to write about baby safety tips for parents to help prevent the risk of SIDs.
But first, let’s take a brief look at what SIDs is all about.
What is SIDs?
SIDs or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as crib death, is a serious condition in which a baby who is zero to 12 months old dies without any warning or indication of a disease or symptoms.
The deaths are caused while the infant is sleeping or in the area where they are sleeping. Unexpected death maybe caused due to suffocation in the cot or any related factor that results in breath obstruction leading to fatality. No wonder experts urge new parents to be mindful of their baby room’s safety.
Surprisingly, as much as parents are super careful about their kids’ safety, SIDs death rates used to be pretty high just a few decades ago.
In 2016, around 3600 sleep-related deaths among babies were noted in the US. CDC statistics show that over 1500 deaths were caused by SIDs.
Fortunately, thanks to the safety regulations recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and various awareness campaigns, now the SIDs-related death rate has significantly decreased in the country. From the year 1990 to 2016, the number dropped from 130.3 deaths/100,000 births to 38 deaths/100,000 births.
So as you can see, it is a pretty BIG deal. Continuous awareness about this condition and precautions to counter this dangerous cause of death is very necessary — especially for new moms and dads who are having a little angel for the first time. It is our duty as fellow, experienced parents to guide and help them prevent SIDs.
Now let’s check out some baby safety tips for parents, offering techniques to make infant sleeping room secure enough to reduce risks of SIDs.
10 Baby Safety Tips for Parents to Prevent SIDs Risk:
1. Place the child in supine position:
A very basic safety tip for babies that decreases the risk of SIDs due to choking and aspiration (when a liquid or fluid enters the breathing passage accidentally).
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, infants should be placed on their back every time you put them to sleep — at least till they are 1 year old. With time, the infant’s anatomy changes, and then it becomes safer to let them sleep on sides or tummy. But before they turn 1, side sleeping or frontal (stomach) sleeping is not safe for babies, at all!
2. Never bring your baby to your own bed:
Having the baby in your own bed increases the risk of SIDs. This makes sense for many reasons. For example, if you are too tired, during the night you might roll over onto your baby.
Secondly, if you toss and turn a lot while slumbering, it might wake up your infant and hence, disrupt the sleep for a while. All in all, you and the little darling will remain disturbed the entire night. Best to keep babies in their cot.
Which brings us to our next point.
3. Keep the crib in your own bedroom:
Another safe sleeping tips for newborns to prevent SIDs is to keep your baby close by during the night. Experts agree that once you bring the crib to your own room, your baby is in a much safer environment.
You may wake up during the night and check the baby’s position, for instance. If your baby has rolled on to his/her side, you can quickly shift them to a supine position.
4. Never smoke near your infant:
I’d say this is definitely a no-brainer safety tip for all new parents and also for pregnant ladies. You must be aware pediatricians advise pregnant moms against smoking. This is due to the fact that babies born to women who are smokers are at increased risk of dying due to SIDs.
Not only this, but passive or secondhand smoking is another reason behind unexpected baby deaths. So if you are a habitual smoker and you are either pregnant or have an infant in your home, this reason is enough to make you quit right away!
5. Similarly, stay away from alcohol and drugs:
Just as the smoke is harmful to your infant, exposure to any illicit drug or alcohol pre- or post-natally increases the risk of SIDs among babies. Scientists linked about 16.4% of SIDs to alcoholic mothers — seriously alarming, right?
6. Opt for firm crib mattresses:
Perhaps the highlight of safety tips for babies is choosing the safest crib out there. But many parents neglect the significance of crib mattress. It is just as important as finding a proper cot! In fact, increased SIDs occur because of plush bed materials, especially the ones made with soft memory foam.
They create indentation that may cause baby to roll over during the night and may eventually lead to difficulty in breathing. In short, firm mattresses maintain their shape well enough.
You can purchase some great hypoallergenic mattresses and covers online to enhance your infant’s safety. Here are some of our recommendations for the best crib mattresses for infants:
- Graco Water-resistant breathable foam crib mattress
- Sealy Firm spring crib mattress
- Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams hypoallergenic crib mattress
- Milliard Firm & Soft side crib mattress
A point to note here: be mindful of the size so there is no space between the crib mattress and wall of the cot.
This is yet another no-brainer sleeping safety tip for infants. Specially if you live in a warm climate region, it is extremely necessary to choose appropriate clothing for your little angel. Thick cloth layers increase the risk of SIDs.
So, in order to ensure your baby does not suffocate due to overheating, avoid bundling them in warm clothes. Just one layer of clothing is enough for them.
Check out some of these best-rated adorable (yet temperature regulating) infant sleep suits:
- Simple Joys by Carter’s baby boys sleepsuit pack
- Simple Joys by Carter’s baby girls sleepsuit pack
- Kidsform cotton romper sleepwear
- Baby Merlin’s microfleece sleepsuit
8. Avoid crib placement near radiator or air conditioner:
This crucial safety tip is for the parents who have placed their baby’s crib near a heat or cooling source. If your baby slumbers directly under such sources, there is an increased risk of overheating (and over-cooling, in case of air conditioners) that can lead to SIDs or even pneumonia (again, with respect to over-cooling). So place it in a temperature-neutral zone which offers good ventilation.
9. If you don’t already, start breastfeeding right away:
Per AAP research, breastfeeding decreases the risk of SIDs among infants by 50%. This is owed to the various advantages associated with breast milk as it diminishes the danger of respiratory or gastrointestinal infections.
Believe it or not, pacifiers actually help prevent sudden infant death. According to a study, infants sleeping on soft beddings or sharing beds with their parents were found to be at a decreased risk of SIDs if they had pacifiers at night.
Similarly, research concluded that the use of pacifiers can actually alleviate the influence of the adverse factors in the baby’s sleep environment.
But here are a few things to be cautious about to promote infant safety at night:
- Do not hang a pacifier in the baby’s neck as it may lead to strangulation
- Do not leave the pacifier in the baby’s mouth if he/she has fallen asleep. It is best to use it to make them fall asleep
- Do not try to reinsert it if your little one is refusing to take the pacifier
- Do not attach any toys or items to binkies
Also, check out these awesome pacifiers that parents are loving these days:
Hopefully, my fellow parents must have learned a variety of safety tips for infants to make their little one’s sleep environment safe and secure. By making these very simple changes around your home you can prevent your darling from any unexpected death incident.
Don’t forget to share this info with new moms so they can be mindful of these infant safety tips and avoid SIDs.