Important tips and nursery essentials to ensure safe sleep for your baby.
Did you know?
Newborn babies can sleep for up to 18 hours a day, but they will wake every couple of hours to feed.
All babies have different sleep routines and it’s essential for parents to ensure that they are following sleep safety precautions.
It is recommended that for the first six months of a baby’s life, she should sleep in her parents’ room. This lets your baby be close enough to hear, smell and sense you. It can also help with baby’s feeding and sleep habits. Always place your baby on their back to sleep, even for naps.
Here are some tips on making baby’s sleep environment healthy and conducive to getting lots of shut-eye.
Baby sleep safe checklist
1. A new mattress
Your baby should sleep on a firm mattress covered with a cot sheet. Use a cot mattress that is clean, firm, flat (not elevated or tilted), that fits the cot correctly so your baby can’t get trapped in a gap between the mattress and the edge of the cot. The mattress should be new, or if used in good condition (no tears). It should have a removable and washable cover. Do not place any other items into the cot. And keep the cot free of soft objects and anything loose or fluffy.
2. Keep baby close to you
The safest place for your baby to sleep in the first six months is in a cot in your room.
3. Feet to the foot of the cot
Baby should be placed sleeping with feet to the foot of the cot, to help prevent baby from wriggling down.
4. Safe room temperature
It is important that you keep your baby’s room at a safe and comfortable temperature. If baby gets too hot, they are at an increased risk of SIDS. Don’t allow your baby to get too hot. Room temperature should be between 16°C and 20°C. Don’t place baby’s cot near radiators or heaters. The best way to monitor the temperature of the room is to use a room thermometer
5. Safe blankets
Do not wrap your baby in too many blankets. Cellular blankets are best to use as they are lightweight and have small holes in them, allowing air to circulate, while keeping baby warm. They help to stop your baby from overheating. Overheating is one of the leading risk factors associated with sudden infant death syndrome. Cellular blankets are warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Cellular blankets help regulate your baby’s temperature. Covers should come no higher than your baby’s shoulders and should be well tucked in to avoid falling over their face. A sleeveless baby sleeping bag may be used instead of covers, it should be low-tog with no hood and be the correct size for your baby’s age/weight and conform to safety standards.
6. Baby monitor
A baby monitor is an essential item for the safety of your baby. It gives your little one security, and you the convenience and peace of mind. You can choose from audio baby monitors and video monitors.
Flat spots on baby’s head
When babies are young, their heads are still very soft. Sleeping on their backs can sometimes make the backs of their skulls a little bit flat over time. This is called positional plagiocephaly. It normally gets better without any medical help by the time babies are 12 months old.
If it’s worrying you, you can gently alternate the tilt of your baby’s head each time you put baby into bed to sleep. But always put babies on their backs to sleep. Then keep them off the back of their heads as much as possible when awake.
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