Your bundle of joy needs lots of sleep. At Mary Washington Hospital, we
want to make sure they’re safe. Sleep related death results in the
loss of more than thirty five hundred infants each year. By focusing on
better sleeping practices like the “back is best” model, our
goal is to bring that number down.
Designated as a Safe Sleep Leader by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification
program, our team educates new parents on ways to ensure their little
one is protected when getting the sleep they need to grow, so you both
can rest easy.
Use these tips from Cribs for Kids to keep your little ones safe while
Always place your baby alone, on his or her back, in a crib for EVERY sleep time.
Always use a firm, flat sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices,
swings, wedges, and devices that position baby on an incline are NOT SAFE
for routine sleep.
Use a firm sleep surface with a firm crib mattress, covered by a fitted sheet.
"A crib, bassinet, or portable crib/play yard that conforms to the
safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and ASTM International
(formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) is recommended.
In addition, parents and providers should check to make sure that the
product has not been recalled.
Cribs with missing hardware should not be used, and the parent or provider
should not attempt to fix broken components of a crib, because many deaths
are associated with cribs that are broken or have missing parts (including
those that have presumably been fixed).
Local organizations throughout the United States can help to provide low-cost
or free cribs or play yards for families with financial constraints."
(from the AAP 2011 Policy Statement-SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant
Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations)
Room Share, but do not bed share.
Co-sleeping: This is when a parent and child sleep within a "sensory" distance
of each other, meaning that each can tell that the other is near, by their
touch, sight, or even smell. (Co-sleeping is sometimes also called sleep-sharing.)
Room-sharing and bed-sharing are types of co-sleeping:
Room-sharing: This is when parents have a crib in the room with them, a bassinet or
portable crib near the bed, a separate crib attached to the bed, or a
Bed-sharing: This is when parents share their bed with their children (sometimes called
the "family bed"). This is NOT recommended as a form of safe
sleep. Various U.S. medical groups warn parents
not to place their infants to sleep in adult beds due to serious safety risks.
Bed-sharing puts babies at risk of suffocation, strangulation, and sudden
infant death syndrome (SIDS). Studies have found that bed-sharing is the
most common cause of deaths in babies, especially those 3 months and younger.
Avoid smoke exposure during pregnancy and after your baby is born. There
should be no smoking near pregnant women or infants. Set strict rules
for smoke free homes and cars. Eliminate second-hand tobacco smoke from
all places in which children and other nonsmokers spend time.
Because there is no evidence that bumper pads or similar products that
attach to crib slats or sides prevent injury in young infants, and because
there IS the potential for suffocation, entrapment, and strangulation,
these products are NOT RECOMMENDED.
Don’t overheat or overdress your baby. Dress your baby in light sleep
clothing. Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult
(between 68-72 degrees F).
Breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of SIDS. If possible, mothers
should exclusively breastfeed or feed with expressed human milk (i.e.,
not offer any formula or other non–human milk– based supplements)
for 6 months, in alignment with recommendations of the AAP.
Avoid commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS - These devices
include wedges, positioners, special mattresses, and special sleep surfaces.
There is no evidence that these devices reduce the risk of SIDS or suffocation
or that they are safe. a. The AAP concurs with the US Food and Drug Administration
and Consumer Product Safety Commission that manufacturers should not claim
that a product or device protects against SIDS unless there is scientific
evidence to that effect. Do not use home cardio respiratory monitors as
a strategy to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Travel is one of the biggest causes of sleep disturbances to a baby in
many ways. As you pack your bags to travel for holidays, remember to include
what you’ll need to ensure a separate, safe sleeping environment
for your baby while away from home. If you plan to stay in a hotel, ask
in advance if they have cribs available that you can use in your room.