Nothing is more precious than watching your little one sleep. There are steps you need to take to ensure this sleep is a safe sleep. Since the “Back to Sleep” campaign has begun, the incidents of SIDs has decreased by 50%. “Back to Sleep” means the baby is placed on his back in the crib up to the age of 12 months.
Unfortunately, the number of suffocation deaths has increased due to things placed in the crib or due to the crib itself. There are steps you can take to prevent this.
What bedding is safe in a baby crib?
Remove blankets, pillows and comforters from the crib. Remove everything from the crib including pillows, pillow-like bumper pads, sheepskins, thick blankets, comforters, pillow-like stuffed toys and positioning devices. Babies shouldn’t use a pillow until they are a year and a half. Every year, 32 babies die due to being put on a pillow to sleep.
Thick blankets and comforters should never be in cribs with babies. Dress your baby in a warm blanket sleeper instead. If you feel your baby needs a blanket to be warm, follow these rules: use only a thin blanket, put baby’s feet at the bottom of the crib, tuck the blanket under the crib mattress and the blanket should only be chest height. Please refer to “Bare is Best“
Remove positioners from the Crib
Baby positioners are devices used to maintain the baby in a back lying position. (See the photo of a dummy placed in positioners to the right). They are either flat with two bolsters on either side or wedge shaped. Both of these present problems if the baby should roll over. (If your baby can roll over, she can also turn her head side-to-side which reduces the risk of suffocation).
Infants who can roll over are getting trapped between the devices and crib sides, under the devices, trapped face down into the device, or get their heads hanging down over the top of a wedge device which is all suffocation risks.
Remove toys from the crib
Never put pillow-like stuff toys in the crib with your baby. Hanging crib toys, including mobiles, should be removed when baby starts pushing up on hands and knees or can sit up. Any large toys should be removed when the baby can pull himself to standing, or they will use them as steps to exit the crib.
Look for cords near the crib
Look for any cords including Roman shade cords, lamp cords and baby monitoring device cords. Place lamps, baby monitors or any other electrical device with a cord at least three feet away from the crib. Position your crib away from windows and tie up cords from Roman shades and Venetian blinds. Leave them tied up until the child is much older as these present a hazard past the toddler years.
Use only crib sheets
Use a crib sheet that fits snugly and cannot be pulled away from the mattress at the corners. Never use adult size sheets in a crib. These can pull loose, and the baby can become entangled in them.
Please see Your baby’s safe sleep starts with the crib for information on testing your crib for safety.
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