The ABC's of Safe Sleep for Babies: A Guide
Little Yawn Collective - Apr 20, 2022
Welcome to the joys of parenthood! There are many decisions to make when it comes to your baby. What should the nursery look like, what type of stroller to get, which car seat to purchase, diaper brand, baby monitor, the list goes on and on.
Shopping for your little one is fun, but you probably have read more product reviews than any other time in your life!
Then you have to learn all about your baby. Their sleeping schedule, how to swaddle your baby just right, the last time they ate, and so on. It feels like your head has been filled with all this new information. Luckily, all you have to remember when it comes to sleep safety is ABC: Alone, Back, Crib.
Alone: Let Your Baby Sleep in Their Own Crib
Your little one should catch zzz’s in the comfort of their own crib. According to the AAP, room sharing is recommended until at least six months of age and ideally before one year of age. Once you've reached the one-year mark, it is perfectly acceptable to allow your toddler to sleep in their own room.
Whether they are snoozing in a bassinet, pack n’ play, or traditional crib -- they should be sleeping alone in this designated sleep space.
This sleep space should have a firm mattress and be clear of any loose blankets, pillows, or toys.
While your baby may be a champion at falling asleep every time they go on a car ride, move your baby to their sleep space as soon as you can. While they may be sleeping hard, it’s best to let them snooze safely in a flat and firm space.
Adjust the Thermostat for the Best Sleeping Temperature
Have you ever tried to fall asleep in a hot room? Talk about being miserable! Keeping your sleeping space cool but comfortable is great for sleep. The same goes for your baby as well. A rule of thumb is as long as you are comfortable, they are also comfortable.
Keeping your thermostat between 68 and 72 degrees is the sweet spot of a sleep-friendly environment. Some parts of your home may be warmer or cooler than other parts, so you may want to ensure that your baby’s room isn’t at a different temperature than your room.
You can also keep a thermometer in your baby’s room to give you peace of mind that the temperature is just right.
Back: Keep Your Baby on Their Back While Sleeping
Placing your baby on their back to sleep is the safest sleep position for your little one. Not only does it help your baby’s ability to breathe with a clear airway, but they may also be less likely to develop other health concerns, such as stuffy noses or ear infections.
Don’t fret if your baby rolls over in their sleep. If they wake for a diaper change or feed, just place them on their back again when you lay them down.
Keep Your Baby Warm With a Swaddle or Sleep Sack
Swaddles keep your baby cozy and warm. The snugness of a swaddle also helps your baby re-live their womb days. Many parents swear by swaddles and love wrapping their baby up like a cute little burrito.
Once your baby is able to roll over on their own, it’s time to transition from swaddling. Parents may ask what they can do to keep their baby warm and safe during the night. The answer is a sleep sack.
Sleep sacks look just like wearable sleeping bags. They allow your baby to move their legs freely but are enclosed in the sack to keep them safe and warm. Weighted sleep sacks are popular as they mimic the sensation of a loving hand on their tummy.
There are endless variations of sleep sacks on the market, giving you plenty of options to choose from for your baby. Thicker sleep sacks are perfect for chilly nights, and thinner sleep sacks give your baby a light cover without being too hot.
Crib: Is a Bassinet Better Than a Crib?
Bassinets serve a great function in the early days of infancy. You may already have a nursery set up, but with your baby waking up every few hours, you may prefer to keep your baby close by.
A bassinet is smaller than a crib and can be placed close to your bed, allowing you to simply scoop up your baby when you need to in the wee hours of the night. Many bassinets also have rolling wheels, so you can keep a close watch on your baby when you are around the house.
The American Academy of Pediatrics endorses both bassinets and cribs as safe sleep spaces for your newborn. However, once your baby reaches the stage where they can start to roll over on their own, it’s time to transition your baby to their crib.
Should You Let Your Baby Sleep With a Pacifier?
Whether you call it a paci or a binky, pacifiers are a source of solid opinion. Those who advise against the pacifier say they don’t want to wean their child from a pacifier as a toddler and don’t want to affect how their child’s teeth come in.
The pro-pacifier front argues that pacifiers allow your baby to self-soothe by giving them an outlet to suck and keep your baby from becoming too fussy. Studies show that babies who can self-soothe tend to fall asleep easier without parent intervention.
If safety is your main concern, it is perfectly okay to put your baby down with a pacifier, as long as it is not attached to any strings and the pacifier is not in multiple pieces. It is your preference when it comes to letting your baby sleep with a pacifier.
Should Your Baby Have Toys in Their Crib?
Think in a minimalist mindset about your baby’s crib. We know that there are so many cute crib sets with matching pillows and crib bumpers to keep your baby’s noggin safe. However, the simpler, the better when it comes to safety. This means no toys in the crib until your baby is twelve months old.
After twelve months, if your baby has a special item to keep them company at night, it is okay to allow them their bed buddy.
Is It Ok To Put Blankets in a Crib?
Like toys, loose blankets in a crib are a no-no for the first year of your baby’s life. Swaddling is fine until your baby is able to roll over on their own, and then transitioning your baby to a sleep sack is the safest option. This will keep your little buddy warm and cozy without a loose blanket in the crib.
Is Co-Sleeping a Good Idea?
Some parents want their babies as close as possible, including sleeping arrangements. Let’s look at co-sleeping and room sharing as options when you want to keep your baby in the same room as you.
Room Sharing vs. Co-Sleeping: What’s the Difference?
Room sharing is when your baby is sleeping in the same room as you, but they have their own designated sleep space in their room. This could be a bassinet or their crib if space allows. Co-sleeping is when your baby is sleeping in the same bed as you.
Why Room Sharing Is Better Than Co-Sleeping
While many parents may argue that co-sleeping is a bond strengthener, the stance of the American Academy of Pediatrics is that co-sleeping should be avoided.
Room sharing is better for parents and babies, as parents can rest easy without worrying that they may roll over while sleeping. Your baby has the best of both worlds – they are in a safe sleep space of their own and close to their parents.
Keep Your Baby Safe and Comfy Through the Night
When keeping your baby safe during the night, remember ABC - alone, back, and crib. Cozy jammies, a snug swaddle or sleep sack, and a loving cuddle keep your baby comfy through the night.
Combining safety and comfort is what you do best as a parent, and Little Yawn Collective is here to support you in doing your most important job.
We offer melatonin-free, naturally sourced sleep solutions to help your little buddy rest easy. Our formulations are specially designed with children in mind and are soothing and gentle.
We want your baby to feel cozy and relaxed, and our NaturalSnooze fragrance creates an environment that helps your little one fall asleep and stay asleep. Lavender, bergamot, and cedarwood create a gentle and soothing scent to lull your baby to sleep.
Make bedtime a breeze, and send your little one off to dreamland safe and comfy.
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