The place parents count on to be the safest spot for their baby can be the most dangerous. Approximately 3,500 infants die every year because of sleep-related reasons.
We’ve put together this short guide to help educate parents about the nighttime dangers their babies face. Here are some of the facts parents should know.
Overheating is Bad
Parents constantly worry their little bundle of joy is too cold. It can be tempting to think your baby is a lot more fragile than it is. It’s safer for babies to be in a cooler room with a light sleepsack or swaddling than it is to be overdressed and bundled up in a hot room.
Overheating is one of the risk factors for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS by definition is an unexplained death that happens suddenly in a child under the age of 1. More than 90 percent of those who die from SIDS are less than six months old.
To lessen the risk of a baby dying from SIDS from overheating, keep their bedroom set at a cooler temperature, like 68 degrees. Use a light blanket for swaddling or a sleepsack when you put them down at night.
No Pillows or Stuffed Animals
Pillows and stuffed animals are for older children or adults — not for babies. Pillows and stuffed animals both play a huge suffocation risk for infants.
Infants should never go to sleep with a pillow near their heads. It’s too easy for them to sink into them.
And they won’t even know a stuffed animal is present in their crib anyway. They won’t get any enjoyment out of it whatsoever.
Remember, it doesn’t matter if pillows or stuffed animals look cute or how many times you see a precious-looking crib stuffed full of them in a movie or on a television show. Looks can be deceiving — those pillows and stuffed animals can be deadly.
Back to Sleep
It’s much safer for a baby to sleep on their backs than on their stomachs. When you put them down in their cribs for naps or at bedtime, always remember that rule.
The American Academy of Pediatrics started recommending back sleeping instead of stomach sleeping in 1992 and since that time, death from SIDS has dropped by more than half.
Sleeping on its back will allow a baby to have more fresh air and will make overheating less likely as well.
You needn’t worry about a baby choking on spit-up if they’re sleeping on their back — they’re perfectly capable of turning their head to protect their airways.