In the past few decades, there have been some significant changes to safe sleep guidelines.
Information on changes in these guidelines can be found through various programs such as the National Institute of Health’s (NIH’s) Safe to Sleep campaign. Failure to comply with safe sleep guidelines can have devastating consequences in addition to creating infant sleep problems. In today’s blog, we will be discussing safe sleep guidelines and practices.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained and sudden death of a child under one year of age where no known cause of death can be found after investigation.
According to NIH, SIDS is the leading cause of death for babies up to 1 year of age. Approximately 90% of these deaths occur before the baby reaches six months. To protect your Cleveland baby from SIDS, it is recommended that you follow the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the AAP, NIH, and many others.
Baby’s sleep environment is a crucial factor in avoiding SIDS and other sleep issues or risks.
The crib should be “bare naked” meaning free from bumpers, blankets, stuffed animals or any other objects. If you are not sure if an item is appropriate for your baby’s crib, err on the side of caution and leave it out. Alternatively, you could discuss it with your Cleveland postpartum doula or newborn care specialist. She will be familiar with safe sleep guidelines and can provide you useful information to make informed decisions. Keep the nursery between 68 and 72 degrees and be sure that air is circulating in the room rather than stagnant. This can be achieved with a ceiling or floor fan pointed away from baby’s crib. Use a flat, firm sleep surface and avoid inclined products such as rock n plays, bouncers, car seats, and swings. Using these items can potentially cause positional asphyxiation or accident suffocation. Positioners or wedges that create an incline should not be used in or under baby’s crib. Make sure that your baby is not wearing a hat and that they are swaddled tightly or not at all. Hats and loose swaddles pose a suffocation risk. Your MBN Cleveland night nurse can instruct you on how to avoid loose swaddling and how to properly get your little one safely swaddled.
Be sure that baby is always put to down to sleep on their back. Never leave a baby to sleep on their side or stomach as this can cause suffocation.
Once you have a proper sleep environment in place, it is time to put baby down to sleep. Research shows that offering a pacifier at nighttime and naps can reduce the risk of SIDS, so if they like their paci, be sure always to offer it to them. Finally, baby should sleep in parent’s room, or in the room of a responsible adult to decrease the risk of SIDS. It is important to remember that, per the safe sleep guidelines, baby should not sleep in the bed with parents.
If possible, mom should breastfeed baby as statistics show that breastfeeding can lower the risk of SIDS.
If you need nursing support or breastfeeding help, talk to your Cleveland baby nurse about local resources. Vaccinating your baby according to your pediatrician’s guidance is another recommended step to reduce the risk of SIDS by a substantial 50 percent. Smoking has been found to increase SIDS risk, so it is advisable not to smoke around baby, or allow baby to be around smoke. Finally, baby should have supervised tummy time each day to strengthen their neck and core muscles.