Safe Sleep For Babies

Safe Sleep For Babies

 The 13th-18th March is Safe Sleep Week which highlights the steps parents can take to reduce the chance of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). When it comes to our babies, nothing is more important than their wellbeing and safety. This is just as important when they are asleep, as when they are awake.

 Different countries may have different guidelines relating to safe sleeping practices. In the UK the charity, The Lullaby Trust, runs with the sole purpose of trying to prevent SIDS from occurring. They inform the public on safe sleeping guidelines based on the most up to date research.

It is important that Safe Sleep guidelines are followed for all sleeping and naps, not just those which take place at night.

Direct4baby, work closely with many brands that put safe sleep at the centre of everything they do, Cheeky Rascals are one distributor who supply us with some of our favourite baby products that support safe sleep such as the Owlet range of Baby Monitors, Crane Humidfier and Sound Machine, Rockit Baby Rocker and the Baby Brezza Formula Maker.

In order to prevent SIDs it is recommended that parents follow the following 6 guidelines:

Baby should be placed on their back during sleep time 

A baby should be placed on their back for all sleeps, both during the day and at night. This can reduce the rate of SIDS by 6 times compared to being placed on their front. Your baby’s feet should be at the foot of the cot or crib, often referred to as ‘the feet to foot’ position. Once a baby begins to roll they are able to find their own comfortable position, it becomes less of a SIDs risk, as they can roll and find their own comfortable position, provided they are placed on their back at the start of sleep.

In order to counterbalance the time spend on their backs, it is recommended that baby should be provided with adequate supervised tummy time during the day, outside of sleep times. Why not try out one of our Tiny Love playmats for playtime?

A baby should share a room with their parent for at least the first 6 months

It is natural to want to be close to your baby when they are small and by having them in the same room as you, it is thought to reduce the risk of SIDS by up to half. This applies to all naps too, not just at night. However, by 6 months many parents choose to move their child into their own bedroom, although plenty keep their baby in the same room as them for a longer period.

This also makes it easier for parents to respond to their baby’s needs. Young babies need regular feeds, comfort, and nappy changes. Some families choose breast / chest feed while others choose to bottle feed. For those who choose formula feeding, our best selling Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced is a handy addition to the home, as it makes bottles in less than 2 minutes, allowing parents to spend more time with their baby, giving them the emotional support they require.

Never sleep on a sofa or armchair with a baby

This can increase the risk of SIDS by 50 times. If you feel yourself becoming sleepy whilst holding your baby on a sofa or armchair, place baby in a safe sleep environment or ask another adult to take over the care of baby whilst you obtain some rest. It is a tiring time with a newborn so ask for help when you can to prevent an accident occurring.

Baby should sleep on a flat, firm, clear surface

Babies should sleep on a flat, firm mattress ideally with a waterproof cover. This is to ensure the mattress is kept clean and dry despite accidents! The mattress must be in good condition and the waterproof and standard sheets should fit the mattress correctly.

Babies must never sleep in a baby bouncer or left in a stationary car seat as these do not support the baby’s neck, back and hips in an optimum position.

Sleep pods and nests to not comply with safe sleep guidelines and should therefore not be used.

Many families find that their new-born baby sleeps well when using a swaddle. However it is important that babies are not swaddled too tightly around their hips, or with excess material around their face, which could be a safety issue. Love to Dream swaddles make an excellent choice, as they are approved by the Hip Dysplasia Society and zip up to ensure that there is no excess material around baby’s face. A swaddled baby must always be placed on their back. Once they show signs that they are beginning to roll, then it must no longer be used.

The cot should remain clear of pillows, toys, comforters and cot bumpers.

Room temperature should be between 16 – 20 degrees

The recommended room temperature is 16 – 20c to prevent overheating. The temperature rating of the sleepwear should be adjusted depending on the temperature of the room. A room thermometer is helpful to determine the temperature of the sleep space and helps to put parents minds at rest. It can also be useful to place your hand on the back of your baby’s neck to help to gauge their core temperature. If they feel warm, lose a layer of clothing, or reduce the temperature rating of their sleepwear. If they feel cool, then increase the temperature rating. It is also recommended that their cot / crib should not be placed beside a radiator or window to prevent temperature extremes, and that babies should not wear hats indoors.

Young babies often prefer nose breathing. When they have a cold, this can impact their sleep as their nasal passage is blocked. A humidifier can provide moisture to the nasal area, helping to promote breathing and sleep.

The Crane Humidifier, which also includes a white noise machine, makes an excellent safe choice for baby and helps to promote a better sleep environment.

Guidelines for bed -sharing:

Whilst Safe Sleep Guidelines recommends that baby sleep in their own sleep space, many families choose to bed share. For these families it is important that Safe Sleep Guidelines relating to safe bedsharing are followed.

These include:

  • Baby’s sleep space should be kept clear. It should be free from pillows, sheets, blankets or any other item’s which could obstruct baby’s breathing or cause them to overheat.
  • All other safe sleep guidance followed, such as sleeping baby on their back
  • There should be no pets or other children in the bed
  • Ensure baby can’t fall out or become trapped between the mattress and the bed

Advice on when not to co-sleep include:

  • If any adults in the bed smoke
  • If any adults in the bed have consumed alcohol, drugs or are extremely tired
  • If a baby was born prematurely (before 37 weeks)
  • If a baby was born with a low birth weight (5.5lb or under)
  • Never sleep with a baby on an armchair or sofa 

For more advice on safe sleeping practices and to see what products Direct4baby supply to support this, come into one of our showrooms based in Liverpool and Lancashire to speak to one of our highly trained staff.