Prepare a safe sleeping space for your baby will not only protect them but allow them to sleep safer and better. Read on for more tips to create a safe sleep environment for your newborn baby. And of course, share the information with your family, carers and other parents who may need this.
Safe sleep is important for babies
During the first few months, baby is very sensitive to their surroundings as they are getting used to a big new world. New feelings, new sensations, new sounds and new smells. They are also curious and will reach out for anything that tiny hands can grasp. And they can’t yet understand or comprehend danger, so your role is important.
What are the risks involved in baby sleep
The more serious risks include your baby becoming injured, and the less serious ones can be your baby becoming too hot or too cold, or uncomfortable from sleeping garments that are tight. If there is excessive crying and you’re worried about baby’s unsettled behaviour, or think they may be suffering with silent reflux, always speak to your GP or Paediatrician.
Common risks that impact newborn and baby sleep to avoid
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). A common cause is blankets or toys suffocating your baby
- Sleep on baby’s stomach or side
- Loose cot sheets that your baby can get tangled in
- Use an unsafe cot/crib that don't meet current safety standards
- Hot drinks left near the crib or cot
- Pets wanting to snuggle up to your warm newborn
- Pets biting
- Loose cords surrounding your baby’s sleeping space such as cords from curtains or blinds, wires or electrical cords
Our top 9 recommendations for a safe & comfortable newborn and baby sleep
1: Create an optimal room temperature
Monitor the room temperature to ensure it is comfortable and the room is well ventilated. Love To Dream™ has a TOG rating guide for selecting the appropriate sleep garment. Regularly check your baby to ensure they are not too hot or too cold by touching their back or tummy.
2: Ensure a thorough safety check
Avoid using any loose items or blankets in the cot/crib to ensure no fabric can come up above the baby’s face to cover their nose or mouth. Make sure no hanging cords are within reach, including electrical and blind cords. Ensure your baby has a firm surface to sleep on; either a cot or portable crib with a tight fitted sheet on the mattress - nothing else. More on how to create safe sleep guide here.
3: Create a hazard free & quiet space
Check that there are no loose cords or appliances within reach of your baby’s cot/crib so nothing can get tangled in. Keep pets away from your baby’s sleeping space and it is not near potential external interruptions. Watch this video lesson to find out how to create an ideal sleep environment.
4: Allow your baby to sleep near to you
When they are newborns and for the first 6-12 months of their life, sleeping in a cot/crib in your room is most ideal. Feed, settle, then place them in their bassinet close to your bed.
5. Choose the right sleeping garment
Use Swaddle UP™ from birth and choose size according to baby’s weight, not their age. Stop swaddling as soon as a baby shows signs of rolling or loses the startle reflex and transition to arms-free sleep using Swaddle UP™ Transition Bag or Transition Suit.
6: Back to sleep
When putting your baby down for sleep, it is important that you place them on their back to sleep. Side and tummy positions are not safe. Always consult with your GP or Paediatrician if you have any doubt.
7. ‘Feet to Foot’ position
Always place your baby in the 'feet to foot' position, with their feet at the end of the cot/crib and pram.
8. Swaddling Transition
As soon as your baby shows signs of rolling or loses the startle reflex, transition them to a sleeping garment that doesn’t allow them to be ‘arms-free’. Each baby will show signs of rolling at a different time and it is normal. This can be anywhere between two and six months old.
9. Seek Expert Advice
If you are unsure about any safety
recommendations for newborn sleep, consult your medical practitioner. If your
baby is becoming irritable, excessively crying or is unable to settle, it is
recommended to seek support from a sleep health expert or your GP.
Try our Love To Dream™ Swaddles for a Comfortable and Safe sleep for your newborn
Love To Dream™ range of sleeping garments include Swaddles, Sleep Bags and Sleep Suits. Our garments are suitable for newborns, babies, toddlers and children up to 4 years of age. Soft, warm and durable, Love To Dream™ swaddles are certified as ‘Hip-Healthy’ by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. They have been carefully designed with a single zip that has dual capacity so it is able to be zipped from the top and the bottom, allowing for easy nappy changes.
The innovative, award-winning SWADDLE UP™ Swaddles allow your baby to sleep in a natural position with their arms up. This means your baby can self-soothe, which can support them to sleep longer. Love To Dream™ Transition Bags and Transition Suits can be used when your baby is showing signs of rolling. The design of the wings allows for each sleeve to be zipped off so one arm at a time can be freed.
Remember To check out our TOG rating guide when choosing your baby garments, so you can keep your little one snugged at the perfect temperature.
22 January 2021 Red Nose Australia: https://rednose.org.au/news/why-should-you-sleep-your-baby-on-their-back