Top Tips to Ensure Baby's Safety When Sleeping
Another milestone has been achieved when your little one starts to roll over from side to side. And it's adorable to see just how much your baby can move around the crib once they start learning how to roll over.
You see, it may be a physical development that your baby was able to figure out doing. But the reality is that it is something that we also need to adjust to. Parents who stay at home and dedicate their time for their kids are admirable because they can constantly have the time and access to keep checking on their little one as they sleep. Once out little tot knows how to roll over from side to side, it won't be a surprise if your little one can get into an accident.
There are many factors that may affect your child's sleep and in order to for them to be safe, we are going to talk about safety measures. What are our roles in keeping our child's safety in sleep? We have so many things to consider so please bear with us until the end.
Where should we put our babies to sleep?
There are so many choices in the market that your baby can sleep in; we just can't seem to buy them all especially if we have a small space at home. We have plenty of choices from cribs to convertible cribs, bouncers or rocking bassinets, travel cots or play mats. There are so many choices that it's difficult to weigh in the pros and cons. So, why don't we?
• Cribs and Convertible Cribs
Well, this is actually the most common idea of parents when we buy our little one a special place where they can sleep. It is wide enough to accommodate your baby from when they were born all the way to when they turn two.
- Pros: Cribs are spacious. You can buy cribs in a set with a diaper changing area, a rocking bassinet and a space where they can simply rest nice and easy. This is also a fixed bed that allows your baby to sleep undisturbed. You can hang crib mobiles on top to keep your child preoccupied as well. Actually, you can just let your child play in the crib as well. Convertible cribs are cribs that can transition to a big kid's bed. It saves money in buying a bed after your baby outgrows the crib.
- Cons: It is pretty pricey. It takes up a huge space. Some cribs have very high railings that once you put your baby to sleep, you have a hard time transferring them down to the crib to sleep. It is heavy and it is not portable. It is meant only to be in a fixed area designated for your child to sleep and play in.
- NOTE: It is relatively safe sleeping for the baby because a designated area for your child to sleep in allows lesser hazards like objects that might fall on your little one.
They are small chairs that rock your child. It is meant to be a portable entertainment and sleeping center for your child.
- Pros: They can be brought anywhere around with you. You can let your child sleep in it as well while you do your things and still have a constant eye on your little one. We know you can be busy and you don't want to keep running to the nursery just to check on your baby. It also promotes great muscle development for your baby. Once your little one outgrows the bouncer, it can be a nice rocking chair for your toddler.
- Cons: It is only meant for newborns and infants. Once your child outgrows the bouncer, it has to be discarded or stored until your child learns how to sit on a chair in good behavior.
- NOTE: It is a safe sleeping place for newborns because they barely move at all. When they are able to shake their hands and start kicking, it allows the baby to rock the bouncer. However, it is not safe for your newborn to sleep in it or even stay in it for more than 20 minutes. It can cause flat head known as plagiocephaly in babies.
• Rocking Bassinets
Bassinets are way older than we think, they were initially made for newborns to sleep in safely. In fact, it also has a similar counterpart called the Moses basket. It is a comfortable basket-like cot made for the purpose of sleeping safely for baby.
- Pros: Newborns and infants are perfect for bassinets; it is more portable than cribs and much easier to deal with than other sleeping areas. It is comfortable and safe for your baby to sleep in. In fact, it promotes better sleep for newborns and infants.
- Cons: It is only meant for babies who do not know how to roll over. Once your baby learns how to roll over and sit down, the bassinet turns into a hand-me-down and the Moses basket becomes a laundry basket.
- NOTE: With regard to safety, many parents have the concern of the rocking frame and the bassinet or Moses basket to fit in properly. Some frames can topple over, compromising the overall safety of your baby. It is also not recommended for babies who can roll over because when they start rolling over, weight distribution changes which may also make the bassinet or basket to flip and fall.
Sleeping Essentials: Do our babies really need them?
Aside from the list of sleeping areas where our babies can rest in, we have one baby essential that we recommend you to have: swaddle blankets. Swaddle blankets are great for your infants to sleep in. It promotes better sleep and deeper rest allowing your infant to be less grumpy. However, they should only be used as sleeping essentials during the daytime as they may get weary of being swaddled in a tight blanket through the night.
What underlying dangers are there when our child is sleeping?
There are plenty of danger hazards that can endanger your child. If we are not careful, our child might choke from loose blankets, comforters, and other strings nearby; be squashed by heavy objects; be injured by objects that might fall on them; and even, electrical wiring if night lights or baby wipe warmer sockets are not properly positioned well.
How to promote a baby's safe sleeping environment?
For infant’s safety:
- Make sure you cover your infant with a blanket only until the chest with both arms sticking out. This allows your infant to move their hands freely and also significantly reduces SIDS.
- Use only a firm foam. Firm foams don't bend twist and sink. Using water beds, comforters, blankets over blankets and microbead sleeping areas are potentially dangerous. If your child sinks to one side and has their breathing compromised, it is an extreme NO-NO for you to use these. Plus, a firm foam also promotes stronger bone and muscle development.
- Don't use oversized pillows, bumpers, comforters, plushies and toys surrounding your infant. Your baby can't turn or roll yet so no need for these excess things. They are choking hazards for your little one. You only need a fitted sheet over the foam for a more relaxed and safe sleeping space.
- Use snug clothing. Don't let your infant or baby sleep in clothes that can easily come loose and cover their faces. Snug clothing is fine as long as they are warm and comfortable; your child doesn't need excess baggage in having a good night's rest. You can also let them use wearable blankets as well.
- Let your baby sleep on their back. That's how it is actually. If you are afraid that your baby will have a flat head, don't! You can actually turn your baby's head from one side to the other but still letting your little one sleep on their backs.
- Bumpers. Once your baby starts to roll over or have more advanced motor skills, they are also less likely to choke since they can already move out of their way to breathe better. You can start using bumpers to prevent them from hitting the crib frames and their surroundings. Make sure that the bumpers can be tied for security.
- Firm Pillows. Although your baby can already move, you can only let your child use a firm or a thin soft pillow. Soft pillows are still choking hazards.
- Thin comforters. Once your baby grows a bit older, you can add thinner comforters. Thick comforters are still choking hazards too.
- No to oversized heavy hanging objects. Don't use crib mobiles that are heavy and have too many things on them. We recommend that you use crib mobiles with soft plushies on them and not plastic toys.
Co-sleeping: Is it a Go-Go or a No-Go?
Experts say that having a separate room for your baby is actually not a conducive environment for you and your baby. Safe sleep happens better with co-sleeping but it is recommended by most experts to co-sleep when your baby is already 6 months and more—before that, they recommend safer sleeping in a bassinet in your room. Co-sleeping has an advantage; it allows you and your baby to have skin-to-skin contact and better sleeping is induced in co-sleeping. BUT! There are big but's in co-sleeping like:
- Deep sleeper. If you are such a deep sleeper that you can sleep through an earthquake, don't let your baby sleep beside you. You are less aware of your environment that you might compromise your baby's breathing.
- The rolling pin sleeper. If you are the type of sleeper that keeps moving from left and right, then co-sleeping is not for you. You might end up rolling over your baby like a cookie dough.
- Small bed. A small bed that you and your hubby share is not enough space to add a baby. If you have a bigger bed to sleep in, there is more space for you, your hubby and your baby to move in.
- Water bed, Soft bed, and Oversized Pillows. If you love all these things, don't ever let your baby sleep beside you. These are all choking hazards that can definitely pose a great danger to your baby's safe sleeping.
RECOMMENDATION: Here at ParentsNeed, we care so much about you and your baby's welfare. Your baby's safe sleeping is our priority so we recommend that you get a co-sleeper. It allows you and your hubby to have good night's rest without running to the nursery. It also provides a better view and promotes intimate sleeping with your baby. Breastfeeding is also not a problem and putting your baby right beside you like a bedside table allows you to reach and check in on your little one.
If you do not have a co-sleeper or lack the space for one, you can get a firm foam and put it between you and your husband. A firm foam can define a space for your baby to sleep in and it allows you to have easier night time feedings with your baby. And both you and your little on can easily drift back off to sleep.
SIDS: A Parent’s Nightmare
SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is linked to so many things and one of the culprits is co-sleeping with your newborn. It is also linked to many other factors like improper sleeping positions that can compromise your baby's breathing. Another factor that causes SIDS is overheating. It is less known to many that your baby can overheat; letting them wear breathable cotton clothing and gentle blankets allow comfortable sleeping. Wrapping them up in too many blankets can also cause overheating. Babies naturally have higher basal body temperature and making them overheat with layers after layers of clothing and blankets increases the risk of SIDS.
Baby Safe Sleeping Position: Is there a safe position for baby to sleep on?
SIDS has been said to be a direct result of improper sleeping positions for your baby. Babies should be sleeping on their backs on their first year. It allows better breathing and a more comfortable position for your baby to rest easily. It is the best sleeping position for the baby after feeding. Even if your kids prefer to sleep on the side, as long as they have mastered the art of rolling over, then you are fine. Just make sure that they have a baby safe sleep environment.
SIDS is a very unfortunate event. It is not an illness that other babies can catch. It is a mere unfortunate accident that leads to the death of a healthy baby. Many families have suffered due to SIDS and one of the best ways of preventing it is being careful in your baby's first four months. Once you are through with this using the tips we have given, then you can get in bed with your little one with lesser risks until your child is ready for their big kid's bed.