For your newborn, an average day can be summarized like this: sleep, eat, poop, repeat. Emphasis on sleep. Infants sleep for roughly two-thirds of the day, at first in two-to-four hour bursts rather than a long sleep through the night. No matter which stage you’re in (screaming for milk at 2 a.m. or dozing for six-hour stretches), setting up a safe sleeping area for your baby will make rest time simple. Here are six safe sleep tips to take back bedtime while keeping your little one safe.
1. Make baby's environment optimal for sleeping.
Babies sleep better when the room they’re in is at the optimal temperature, humidity, and ambiance. Keep the temperature between 68° and 72°F, turn on a humidifier in the fall and winter, and opt for a sound machine to play your baby’s favorite soothing sounds and lullabies. Just think of your baby as Goldilocks, make sure everything is "just right", and you’ll be set.
2. Keep the crib or bassinet away from cords, window blinds, or other hanging objects.
Monitor wires, window blind cords, and other objects that may be hanging near your baby’s crib or bassinet can pose a choking hazard. It’s best to move their crib or bassinet away from the window or secure wires and cords with babyproofing tools.
3. Place baby on their back to sleep.
Through infancy, it’s safer to keep baby on their back at both naptime and bedtime. This helps prevent airway blockage to keep baby breathing regularly throughout the night. Place your baby on their back when you set them down in their crib or bassinet. Once they’re able to roll in both directions on their own (usually around six months), you can let them sleep however they like. It's important to start sleep time on their back, but once they can roll they can sleep however is most comfortable. Just make sure you have an HD baby monitor so you can check on them in real-time.
4. Empty the crib or bassinet of blankets, toys, and other items.
When baby is in the crib or bassinet, nothing else should be. That includes blankets, pillows, toys, and other items that could block your baby’s airway. They might look cozy snuggling up next to their stuffed elephant toy but save it for playtime and keep them safe while they sleep.
5. Don't bring baby into bed with you for sleeping.
While co-sleeping has become popular for some of today’s parents, it’s important to be aware of the risks. Instead, we recommend keeping baby close during their first six months by placing their crib or bassinet in the bedroom with you. If you do need to bring your little one into bed for cuddles or feedings, make sure there are no pillows, blankets, or anything else that could cover your baby's face, head, and neck, or cause them to overheat.
6. Dress baby for sleeptime.
You might be tempted to buy those cute fringed pajama bottoms, but tassels and strings can be unsafe while baby is sleeping. Remove anything that could get caught or tangled from their clothing. In the fall and winter, sleep sacks replace loose blankets and sheets while helping to maintain baby’s body temperature and giving them a sense of comfort.
At the end of the day, parents want peace of mind. It’s not easy to come by when you’ve got an itty-bitty baby to care for, but by following these tips, you can rest assured your cherub is sleeping soundly.