Is your baby sleeping safely?
You've made it through childbirth, you've figured out how to feed the thing, and now you're bringing the little blob of adorableness home with you. Woah.
You're tired. Your partner is tired. The kid is tired.
And when everyone is so tired, and in the throws of learning what it takes to keep a newborn alive, you probably feel like you'd do just about ANYTHING to get that nugget to stop crying and go just to sleep.
But now you gotta worry about SIDS. And baby suffocation. And blanket strangulation. And now you're panicking...We're all panicking!
For real: parenting is HARD.
Want to ensure you minimize the risk of these unimaginable traumas while your baby sleeps? Make sure to follow these key rules:
1. Empty Crib
The safest way for a new baby to sleep: in an empty crib or bassinet, with a firm mattress and a tight bed-sheet. That's it.
We know generations past filled cribs with gorgeous linens and fluffy things, but for safe sleep there should be no bumpers, no blankets, no pillows, and no loveys.
2. Sleep Sack + Back is Best
When babies are really little, a swaddle is recommended (to keep them snug and warm + stop their startle reflex from waking them up.) As babies learn to roll (which starts for some as early as 8 weeks) you'll want to switch them to a sleep sack (the swaddle becomes dangerous around this point - as they won't be able to roll themselves back if they manage to get on their stomach).
Babies should be placed in the crib in their swaddle or sleep sack, on their backs. If they roll on their own to their tummies or sides - that's fine. Just don't put them to sleep on their stomachs (even if it is resulting in a better night sleep for both of you, the suffocation risk is real.)
3. Room temp 68-72*F
As a new parent I feel like you constantly worry that baby is warm enough. And as such, new babies are often over-dressed. Surprisingly - a hot baby has a higher risk of dying from SIDS than a cold baby. So the goal is to keep their room at cool 68-72*.
Still worried they are too hot or too cold? Touch the nape of their neck, if its clammy/sweaty - they are too hot and you need to take off a layer. If its cold - add a layer.
When you're a new parent, you're going to hear lots of anecdotal opinions from your friends and family.
'Well I let you sleep with a blanket and you turned out fine, didn't you?'
And while those people are likely trying to help, or possibly better understand the new sleep rules, those personal stories can be dangerous. Just because so-and-so smoked all their life and didn't get cancer obviously doesn't mean there isn't a totally real threat there.
So we'd recommend educating them early, so everyone is on board (and possible future babysitters don't break the rules). Copy/paste this simple list for them and you'll have a good starting point for those caring for your little one:
- Empty crib.
- Baby sleeps on their back (unless they are capable of rolling on their own, then they are fine to sleep on their stomach or side.)
- No blankets until at least 12 months.
- Use a sleep sack (this has been a sleep saving grace for Remy, as she gets something to cuddle + keep her warm)
- Keep the room at the right temp and don't over-dress.