How To Put Your Baby To Sleep Safely
Its easier said than done, but the easiest way to guarantee safety at night is to put your baby on their back to sleep. Try to do this from the very beginning and stick to this method until it’s a habit. Also, make sure that any family, friends or babysitters are following this method too.
Even if you find that your baby sleeps perfectly well on their sides, or even their front, its best not to take the risk and you should always choose the back. Babies might encounter difficulties from side or front sleeping when youre not around to witness it.
If your child is a difficult sleeper, we would recommend focusing on different strategies for calming and soothing them at night, and ways of adjusting the room atmosphere to be more conducive, rather than experimenting with different sleep positions.
My Baby Was Born Prematurely And Slept On Her Front In Hospital Is It Okay To Sleep Her On Her Front At Home As Well
Some babies who were born very prematurely and spent some time in a neonatal unit may have been slept on their fronts for medical reasons. Remember that babies in neonatal units are under constant supervision. By the time your baby comes home they should be sleeping on their back.
Babies may find it hard to adjust from a sleeping position they have been used to, so persevere and do speak to your paediatrician if you are concerned. Front-sleeping should only be continued for on-going medical reasons on the advice of your paediatrician.
Safe Sleeping Tips To Reduce The Risk Of Sudi Including Sids And Fatal Sleeping Accidents
1. Always put your baby on their back to sleepThis is the safest position for healthy babies. Babies are more likely to die of SUDI if they sleep on their sides or tummies.
Once your baby can roll over , keep putting your baby to sleep on their back, but let your baby find their own sleeping position.
2. Keep your babys face and head uncoveredThis reduces the risk of overheating and suffocation. Overheating is a risk factor for SUDI.
To prevent bedding from covering your babys head, put your baby with their feet down at the bottom of the cot. Use only lightweight bedding and tuck it in securely at chest level. You could use a safe infant sleeping bag instead of blankets.
3. Keep your babys environment smoke free, before and after birthExposure to second-hand smoke harms babies, and smoking during pregnancy and after birth increases SUDI risk. The link between SUDI and smoking is strong even when parents smoke away from their babies.
4. Use a cot that meets current Australian safety standardsWell-maintained cots that meet strict safety standards are safest for your baby. Look for Australian/NZ Standards AS/NZS 2172 for cots and AS/NZS 2195 for portable cots. And check that cots meet current standards by looking at Product Safety Australias guide to keeping baby safe.
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Myth : Your Baby Sleeps Best In A Silent Room
Not true. In fact, total silence can make it hard for your baby to doze off. Remember, the womb is noisy: louder than a vacuum cleaner and running 24 hours a day. For nine months, your little oneâs been lulled to sleep by the rhythmic whooshing of the blood flowing through the placenta. To her, the quiet of the average home is jarring. Plus, in a silent room, sheâs more likely to wake up when a loud truck on the street or any other bump in the night breaks that silence. The truth is, your baby will sleep best if you play loud, rumbly white noise during all naps and nights.
I Saw A Product That Said It Could Prevent Sids And Keep My Baby In The Right Position During Sleep Can I Use It To Prevent Sids
There is currently no product that can prevent SIDS because there is no known way to prevent SIDS.
Many wedges, positioners, or other products that claim to keep babies in one position or to reduce the risk of SIDS, suffocation, or reflux do not meet federal guidelines for sleep safety. These products, such as inclined sleepers, are linked to injury and death, especially when used in baby’s sleep area. You can help prevent injuries and deaths by not using these products and devices.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, CPSC, AAP, and other organizations warn against using these products, because they are dangerous for babies.
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Final Notes On Side Sleeping
As well as understanding that its not 100% safe for a baby to sleep on their sides until they show you they are strong enough to move about in the crib without your help, there are a number of other rules and practices you can follow so that you can seriously reduce the chance of SIDS occurring and other threats that might be present during side sleeping or front sleeping.
For more information, take a look at our article: Promoting Safe Sleep for Babies
Why Shouldnt I Use Crib Bumpers In My Babys Sleep Area
Crib bumpers, bumper pads, and similar products that attach to crib sides, railings, or slats are often used with the intent of protecting babies from injury. However, evidence does not support using crib bumpers to prevent injury. In fact, crib bumpers can increase your babys risk of suffocation and wedging and can cause serious injuries or death. Keeping bumpers out of your babys sleep area is the best way to avoid these dangers.
Before crib safety was regulated, the spacing between the slats of the crib sides could be any width, which posed a danger to infants if the spaces were too wide. Parents and caregivers used padded crib bumpers to protect infants. Now that cribs must meet safety standards, the spaces between slats dont pose the same dangers. As a result, bumpers are no longer needed.
In 2021, the President signed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act , which prohibits the manufacture and sale of crib bumpers and certain inclined sleepers.
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How Do I Let My Baby Sleep On Their Side
Whether baby sleeping on side 3 months, baby sleeping on side 4 months, baby sleeping on side 5 months, or 6-month-old baby sleeping on side, if they get themselves into that position, then they can sleep in that position!
The study linked above about baby sleeping on side during early infancy, shows it is unusual for a baby who is placed in the back sleep position to roll onto his or her stomach.
However, once infants are more developmentally advanced, they often roll over on their own. In this situation, when infants roll over on their own, there is no evidence that they need to be re positioned to reduce the risk of SIDS.
It is most important that the infant is placed to sleep in the back sleep position for every sleep time. Keeping the sleep area clear of soft or loose bedding also increases safety for the infant if he or she rolls onto the stomach.
What about 6 month-old sleeping on stomach or baby sleeping on tummy at 7 months? You can rest assured that they are safe to sleep in whatever position they get themselves into as long as their sleep space is safe of anything they could get wrapped up in or would compromise their airway.
My Baby Loves Sleeping On His Front How Do We Change To His Back Without Him Waking Up
We sometimes get calls from parents who say their baby prefers sleeping on their front. If a baby is given a choice, they may well prefer this position, but unfortunately it is not a safe one!
This is why we encourage all parents to follow back-sleeping from day one. Getting your baby to stick to sleeping on their back once if they have tried sleeping on their front might be difficult, but is made easier if your baby is always put down to sleep whilst awake rather than allowing your baby to fall asleep in your arms. Keep going, they will eventually get used to it.
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Preventing Side Sleeping Before Its Safe
Your baby already has a mind of their own and you wouldnt want it any other way. But you do want to prevent them from sleeping on their side before it is safe enough to do so. Try these tips:
- Use a firm sleep surface. Make sure your babys crib, bassinet, or playpen has a firm mattress. This means that your baby shouldnt leave an imprint on it. Avoid softer mattresses that allow your baby to sink in slightly. This makes it easier to roll to the side.
- Use a video baby monitor. Dont rely on just any kind of monitor get a direct visual on your baby once theyre in their own room. Monitors may help give you the heads-up that your baby is on the move to side sleeping.
- Swaddle your baby until they can roll over. Wrapping your baby like a burrito may help them sleep more comfortably on their back. Make sure to swaddle loose enough that they can easily move their hips. And know when to stop swaddling becomes a risk when your baby can roll.
- Try a sleep sack. If your baby cant stand being swaddled, try a sleep sack. Its also a good intermediate step. These look like tiny little sleeping bags that your baby wears to sleep. You can find arms-free versions that are safer for babies that can roll, but the sack itself might help your baby stay asleep longer without moving over onto their side.
Similarly, avoid other bulky or moveable things in the crib that might get caught between your sweet one and the crib. These include:
- large teddy bears and stuffed toys
Is Room Sharing Safer Than Bed
Room sharing is a good, protective option that keeps infants near their parents overnight, but not in the same bed, says Kam. Room sharing is associated with a lower risk of SIDS and recommended for the first six months of life.
Because SIDS risks peak between two and four months, and it happens less often between six and 12 months, parents can relax a little as their babies get older.
“As with most aspects of parenting, as the child ages, you can continue to modify and adjust to their developmental stages,” Kam says. Once your baby learns to roll over, for example, you can stress less about making sure they’re sleeping on their backlet them sleep on their tummies if they got there on their own.
Ultimately, there are a myriad of factors that affect safety and raise or lower the risks to the baby. It is certainly possible to make bed-sharing safer, but it still does carry an elevated risk of SIDS. Remember that the safest co-sleeping arrangement is between a sober and smoke-free breastfeeding mother and her infant, in a firm bed, without loose bedding. Any departure from that increases the risks of sudden infant death, says Kam.
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Typically Happens Around 4 Or 5 Weeks
Newborns who roll over do so at about two weeks, though some may start rolling sooner and others later. Rolling to the side is a common milestone, but rolling to their backs is a more advanced skill that typically happens around 4 or 5 weeks.
For most newborns, its okay for them to roll onto their sides, but not until around six months old should you allow them to sleep on their tummies or backs.
The Lotus Crib: The Perfect Crib For Your Growing Baby
The Lotus Crib and Lotus Bassinet are two excellent items. There is no need to bring sheets with them because the mattress is approved for sleeping without a sheet . The mattress covers on the Lotus Crib have a removable and washable design. Depending on how quickly your child grows/develops, the Lotus Crib can be used until he or she is 2.5 years old or older. Because of the support provided by the floor, the weight limit of the Lotus crib does not apply. You may have to discontinue use if your child reaches the age of 35 after a warning has been placed. If youre looking for a crib that will last until your child is 2.5 years old, the Lotus Crib is a good choice. The mattress is approved for sleeping without a sheet and the crib is lightweight and easy to transport. The crib is only slightly smaller than the average height of the baby, so babies with large chests should avoid using it.
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Is It Ok For Babies To Be Put To Sleep On Their Sides
Babies younger than 12 months should not be put to sleep on their sides. Medical experts once believed that side-sleeping was OK for newborns and infants, but evidence has shown that this position isnât as safe as back-sleeping. This is because side-sleeping may increase the risk of SIDS, especially in the first six months.
Newborn Rolling To The Side In The Swaddle
Have you ever noticed that your baby seems to roll to one side in the swaddle? Dont worry its not uncommon. Its pretty common for babies to roll to the left or right in their swaddle.
Newborns and infants tend to roll to one side while they sleep. This is normal, and it can happen whether you swaddle them or not.
When your baby has been swaddled for a while, it may start to move around. Plus, kick out of the blankets. And as they age, they often move around more during sleep cycles. So you mustnt keep them in a swaddle for too long at once.
If you think your baby may have rolled over entirely while sleeping in the swaddle, try taking off one arm first and then slowly taking off the rest.
This way, they can get used to being free from the fabric while still being wrapped up safely. Its also another way to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.
Again, why does my newborn keep rolling on his side? Most newborns start to roll over when they are 4 to 6 months. You do not have to turn them over on their back when they roll over while asleep.
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Signs Your Toddler Needs A Pillow
Signs that your toddler may need a pillow include difficulty staying asleep, frequent night waking, and neck pain. If your toddler is over the age of two, they may be ready to transition from a crib to a bed and this may require a pillow to provide adequate support. If you notice that your toddler is regularly sore from sleeping or has difficulty staying asleep, it may be time to invest in a pillow to help them get a better nights rest. Additionally, if your toddler is displaying signs of discomfort or pain during their sleep, a pillow can help alleviate this.
Baby Sleeping On Back
Weve already mentioned the fact of the matter: the safest sleep position for babies is on their back. This was first recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1992 and has been the recommended sleep position since.
Its the safest option until your baby learns how to roll over without help and is the position that you should always put them in when you lay them down. Its a good idea to communicate this to your babys other caregivers like aunts, uncles, grandparents, and babysitters too.
Although your baby sleeping on their back is the safest position, its not safe to use a positioner, wedge, or pillows to attempt to keep your baby on their back while they sleep. These are unsafe and pose a risk for entrapment or suffocation.
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Looking For Expert Help
As you can see, side sleeping has a few significant concerns, but with a little bit of help and supervision, you can ensure that your baby will be safe and sound asleep every night. And if you want more information about side sleeping or want to prevent any other sleeping problems, our experts are your go-to practitioners.
Our stellar general pediatric care in Plantation and Doral, Florida, not only helps parents keep their lovely little ones healthy, but we also educate them on how to become the best parents they can be.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
An important aspect to have in mind when dealing with sleeping issues of babies is the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome , also sometimes called cot- or crib death.
SIDS is the sudden, unexpected, and inexplicable death of an apparently healthy baby. It occurs most frequent during the first twelve months of a babys life. While SIDS is not an issue during the first weeks/months of life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit . However, soon after discharge, SIDS becomes an important topic parents should be aware of.
The exact cause of SIDS is still unknown. However, experts believe that it occurs from an interaction of multiple factors such as a particular stage in a babys development where the baby is most vulnerable, and environmental influences . Nevertheless, parents can reduce the risk of SIDS by considering certain issues listed in the following recommendations.
Safe position at day- and night time
Despite the dangers of the prone or side-position during their babys sleep, parents should provide tummy time when the baby is awake. Yet, when doing so, they should never leave the baby unattended.
When the baby is awake and the parents can have an eye on their baby, the baby should be placed on the tummy or in a side-on position several times a day in order to train neck, shoulders and arms. Parents should ask their healthcare team about this topic before leaving the hospital with their baby.
Body- and room temperature
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