Cribs, mattresses, and play yards can be serious safety hazards if not used correctly. In fact, they’re the leading cause of death when it comes to nursery product accidents. That’s some scary stuff! Since babies spend so much of their early months sleeping, you’ll want to make sure you provide the best sleep environment possible. Today’s blog post will give you all the info you need for the safest night times and naps.
TIP: If your child is at the age that they need a night light, make sure it is a natural red or yellow color and not an LED or blue light that can suppress the production of melatonin. Want more information about creating an ideal sleep environment for your baby? Listen to our podcast episode or read our transcript!
Where should your baby be sleeping?
The baby should sleep in his/her own crib or bassinet, preferably in your room. Mattresses should be firm and tight fitting and both the mattress and the crib should meet the latest safety standards. Generally, a baby should not sleep in a car seat or swing because they’re creatures of habit and once they begin sleeping in those items, it can be hard to transition them back to the crib. Furthermore, all cribs must undergo third-party testing, so they’re really the safest option. You can’t say the same thing about bouncers, swings, and play yards.
What things should you avoid in baby’s sleeping environment?
- Avoid traditional bumpers, pillows, blankets, comforters, toys, and supplemental play yard mattresses. These items can all be suffocation hazards. The crib should be kept as simple as possible. Decorate the room, not the crib!
- Never place baby’s crib next to window blinds, strings, or cords. This includes the cord from the baby monitor.
- The crib should be in the center of the room away from any ledges, furniture, or wires.
- If you place pictures or wall hangings near the crib, make sure they are secure. Consider stick-on wall decals instead of hanging items.
How should your baby be positioned?
Babies should always sleep on their backs, even if the mattress says it is breathable. Babies generally don’t start rolling over until the 6-month mark, so if you place them on their tummies or sides before they have good head and body control, they may suffocate. Back sleeping is the safest!
What should baby wear to bed?
Try to keep the baby relatively cool when dressing him/her for bed. Avoid all blankets/comforters and consider a wearable sleep sack instead.