What is Safe Sleep and why is it important?
Safe sleep means putting your baby to sleep in a way that protects him from dangers, like suffocation, choking, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is the sudden, unexplained death of a baby younger than one year of age that doesn't have a known cause even after a complete investigation.
How can I reduce the risk of SIDS?
- Get regular health care during pregnancy
- Do not smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs during pregnancy or after your baby is born.
- Breastfeeding your baby reduces the risk for SIDS
- Give your baby a pacifier that is not attached to a string for naps and at bedtime.
- Create a Safe Sleep Environment for your baby.
- Take your baby for regular health checkups with your baby’s doctor.
How do you create a Safe Sleep environment?
- Your baby should always be placed to sleep on their back every time until they are 1-year-old.
- Always place your baby in bed by themselves – avoid objects and people including caregiver and siblings.
- Your baby should always be placed in a safe space such as a crib or a bassinet with a firm sleep surface.
- Don’t share your bed, share your room! Keep your baby’s sleep area in the same room where you sleep.
- Keep all loose objects and bedding out of your baby’s sleep area this includes crib bumpers and toys.
- If your baby falls asleep in their carrier, car seat, swing, or stroller, take your baby out and put your baby in their crib or bassinet.
How much sleep does my baby need?
Newborns sleep about 16 hours a day, but not at the same time. You can expect your baby to sleep about 3-4 hours at a time. Your baby will need to eat every few hours. Over time, your baby will get into a routine. Remember in those first weeks to sleep when your baby sleeps. Your rest is important too!
Don’t forget “tummy time!"
Give your baby tummy time every day when they are awake and when someone is watching. Tummy time helps your baby develop his neck, shoulder, and arm muscles.
Safe Sleep can prevent your baby from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also called SIDS.
SIDS is the most common cause of death in a baby less than 3 months old.
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Links and References
“Safe sleep for your baby”
NIH Pub. No. 12-5759; Safe Sleep for your baby