*This is a collaborative post* You don’t have to be a perfect parent to know that while you are pregnant, you do everything to keep your baby safe. You don’t eat mercury-filled fish, you don’t smoke, you even switch to decaf coffee. It makes sense, then, that you would do everything possible to ensure that your baby stays safe when they’re earth side. From waiting until the recommended six months to give your baby solid food, to ensuring that you use natural cleaning products in your home, your baby is going to be safer when you are vigilant about their daily routines.
Another branch of safety to consider is sleep safety. You will be told to follow the sleep safety practices with your baby and get a good routine down for sleep as much as possible, but it’s important to take note that a baby doesn’t follow a book or a routine that you set as a timetable. They’ll still wake through the night until they’re secure enough to sleep well. They’ll still cry for you or for milk longer than you may think that they will. You want to reduce the risks of SIDS and whether you choose to use baby essential oil to help them to relax at night or you want to safely bedshare using the Safe Sleep 7, you need to make a point of learning how your child can sleep safely at night. Below, we’ve put a list of these together to help you to get ready.
- Baby goes on their back. A baby should be laid on their back with no sleep positioners to prop them up. It’s important that you keep moving your baby to sleep on their back even when they roll over to their sides.
- No blankets or cot bumpers. Yes, they’re cute, but they’re dangerous. Babies should not have cot bumpers on the cot, as they can become entangled. They are a huge suffocation risk for a sleeping baby and if you want to cover your baby at night, a snooze pod or an infant sleeping bag will do the job.
- No smoking. Ideally, you would have quit smoking before you got pregnant. There is a lot of strong evidence to suggest that second-hand smoke can increase the risk of SIDS. Get some support to quit!
- Sharing a room for up to 6months is so important. During nap times, keep your baby in the same room as you and during the night, the baby should be with you for the first six months. Babies regulate their breathing by listening to you, and you dramatically reduce the risk of SIDS when you keep your children in the same room as you.
Make sure that your mattress is firm. The mattress in the cot has to be firm and well-fitting with sheets. No loose covers, remember that! The bed has to be a safe space for your baby to sleep, otherwise you are risking SIDS and it’s not worth it. Take the time to plan this before your baby arrives.