As the proud parent of a lovely newborn, wouldn’t you want to provide your bundle of joy with a safe and happy life? For many mums and dads, this equates to sleepless nights, tired muscles, and spending choices that revolve around the little one’s needs. However, it doesn’t end there. It is also necessary to take steps to protect your baby from sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.
One in every 3,000 babies in Australia are lost to SIDS every year1, which is frankly far too many. Fortunately, there are ways you can keep your child safe from SIDS and help bring that unfortunate mortality rate closer to zero. You’ll want to remember these 7 important tips to prevent SIDS when getting your baby to sleep.
7 Tips to Prevent SIDS When Getting Your Baby to Sleep
1. Put Your Baby Down on His or Her Back
Let your little one sleep on his or her back, and they’ll be much less likely to breathe in exhaled air or get overheated.
Do not let the baby sleep on their tummy or their side, even for naps. Infants who are used to back-sleeping are 18 times more likely to be hit by SIDS when they nap on their tummies. Babies who sleep on their sides can accidentally roll onto their tummies behind Mum or Dad’s back, too.
NOTE: Once your baby learns how to roll over, they may roll onto their tummy even if you’ve put them to sleep on their back. This is natural and not a SIDS risk.
2. Place Your Baby in a Flat, Firm, and Well-Fitting Cot
Soft, fluffy surfaces may look cute, but they can easily suffocate your baby. The same goes for “convenient” napping spots like sofas, car seats, and swings. To minimise the risk of SIDS, let your little one sleep on a flat, firm cot which is clear of pillows, stuffed toys, and bumpers. Be sure that the mattress and its cover both fit well so that the baby won’t get trapped anywhere!
3. Avoid Sleeping Pods
These products may seem to offer a comfy sleeping environment for babies, since their soft raised sides are designed to mimic the womb. However, sleeping pods also present a very real SIDS risk for your little one.
4. Dress Your Baby in Light, Cool Clothing
Another way to prevent SIDS is to keep your precious bundle of joy from overheating. It’s best to dress babies in light layers of clothing, removing layers if your baby sweats or if their chest feels hot to the touch. One prime choice would be Hello Night sleepwear made of Merino wool, which keeps your little one at just the right temperature for sleeping.
5. Use a Sleep Sack, Not a Blanket
The same loose blanket that keeps your baby warm can also pose a suffocation risk. If you want to keep your child comfy in the winter months while protecting them from SIDS, tuck your little one into a sleep sack or a wearable blanket.
6. Let Baby Sleep in His or Her Own Cot
Even if co-sleeping allows for additional cuddles, it is definitely not worth the increased SIDS risk. Blankets, pillows, and the gap between the headboard and the mattress can easily cut off your baby’s breathing. There is also the risk that you or your partner may roll onto your baby.
If you want to sleep with your baby nearby, place his or her cot in your room or find a cot that clamps onto the side of your bed.
7. Keep Your Baby Away From Smoke
Here’s a very good reason to stop smoking: any sort of secondhand smoke exposure will elevate your little one’s risk of SIDS. Do not smoke around your baby, and don’t allow anyone to smoke anywhere near your baby, either.
Need more advice on getting your baby to sleep safely? Feel free to ask Nurture Parenting for help. We have over 19 years of experience under our belts. Our kind and gentle Nurture Sleep Program is both evidence-based and completely safe for your little one. We can also provide further holistic advice to keep your baby healthy as they grow up. Contact Nurture Parenting today to get started!
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Nurture Parenting, a company in Australia that offers a holistic approach to baby sleep through The Nurture Sleep Program that is designed to take babies from sleepless to slumber.
Nurture Parenting is recognised as Australia’s baby sleep expert. Headed by Karen Faulkner, a Baby and Toddler Sleep Consultant, the company offers The Nurture Sleep Program that helps babies and children on sleep training. This is a tried and tested approach that has already transformed the lives of families through its exclusive baby sleep methods that help baby self-settle and promote blissful sleep.