If you have a baby at home, it is essential to know about the safe sleeping positions and tips to reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS risk (1), which claims nearly 2,500 lives every year in the US. Around 80% of sudden and unexpected infant deaths are caused due to SIDS and the most effective way to avoid the risk is to make a healthy baby, less than a year old, sleep on its back i.e., in the supine position.
Momjunction tells you the ideal positions in which a baby can sleep, and also gives tips on safe sleep for infants and babies.
Sleeping Practices That Could Lead To Sudden Unexpected Death In Infancy (SUDI)
SUDI includes both SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents. Here are a few practices that could lead to SUDI:
- Making the baby sleep on the stomach or side.
- Putting the baby to sleep on soft surfaces such as mattress, sofa, waterbed, pillow, or lambâ€™s wool, either with or without a parent.
- Covering the babyâ€™s head or face with bedding, which may causeÂ accidental suffocation and overheating.
- Smoking during pregnancy or after childbirth.
The Good And Bad Positions For A Baby To Sleep
It is essential to learn about the safe and unsafe sleeping positions for a baby to deal with the above risks.
1. Sleep On Back
2. Sleep On Side
3. Sleep On The Stomach
10 Tips For Safe Baby Sleep
- Avoid Loose Bedding:Â It is advisable to use a firm mattress rather than an overly soft mattress, water-bed or sofa for your baby. Experts suggest against the usage of bumper pads, pillows, fluffy bedding or stuffed animals around the baby in the crib. In simple words, anything that could cover a babyâ€™s head during sleep is not recommended.
- Keep The Crib Simple:Â Do not use wedges, quilts or comforters under an infant in the crib. Let the infant sleep with his feet touching the bottom of the crib so that he canâ€™t wriggle down under the bedding. Use a firm, clean mattress that fits the cot well and tuck in the bed clothes securely. The sides or ends of the crib should be high enough to avoid the baby climb out or crawl.
- Avoid Covering Babyâ€™s Head:Â Blankets should be covered only up to the chest of the baby with arms exposed, to avoid the shifting of the blanket onto the head and thereby avoiding suffocation. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends using â€˜sleep sackâ€™ or â€˜baby sleep bagâ€™ as a type of bedding to keep him warm without covering the head. Sleeping bags with a fitted neck and armholes and no hoodÂ are considered the safest. Wrapping baby in lightweight cotton or muslin also helps in preventing him from rolling onto his tummy during sleep.
- Avoid Overheating:Â Infants should be light-clothed for sleep. Avoid over-bundling and check if the baby is not hot to touch.
- Good Sleep Environment:Â It is important to maintain a considerably cool sleeping environment with a temperature around 20 degrees centigrade for the baby.
- Vaccination:Â An investigation done on diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis immunization and potential SIDS associationÂ (4)Â by Berlin School of Public Health has concluded that â€œincreased DTP immunization coverage is associated with decreased SIDS mortality. Current recommendations on timely DTP immunization should be emphasized to prevent not only specific infectious diseases but also potentially SIDS.â€ Make sure your baby is immunized.
- Use A Pacifier (at sleep times):The American Academy of Paediatrics considers pacifiers to prevent SIDS. However, do not force the baby if he doesnâ€™t want it or if it falls out of the mouth. If you are breastfeeding, wait until it is well established before beginning to use a pacifier. It usually takes around three to four weeks of age.
- Use Technology:Â For you to have a peaceful sleep, use one of the several Wi-Fi baby monitors, app-powered thermostats, or small alarms available to monitor the sleep position as well as vitals of your baby.
- Share Same Room:Â Parents should share the same room with the baby for convenient breastfeeding and contact. The crib in which the baby sleeps should be closer to parents.
- No Bed-Sharing:Â Infants should ideally not share the bed with parents, adults, siblings or other children. Twins or multiples should be made to sleep separately. Do not share a bed with your baby especially if you or your partner has been drinking, smoking or taking medications or drugs that could induce deep sleep. Smoking and the use of substance like drugs or alcohol significantly increase the risk of SIDS and suffocation in babies, if the bed is shared.
Hope this information was helpful for you. If you have any questions feel free to comment below.
For more information you can visit the source at Sleeping Positions For BabiesÂ .