Baby Sleep Safety: 7 Expert Tips For New And Expecting Parents
As a parent, your baby’s safety, comfort, and happiness are always on your mind. During the day, you feed them, burp them, cuddle them, and change their diaper — just to name a few of your parenting responsibilities. But what does it mean to look out for your little one’s safety while they’re sleeping?
In this article, the experts at Newton Baby tell you how to create a safe sleep environment for your baby so both of you can rest easy and sleep well.
We’ve got seven safe sleep tips that you can put into practice right away, whether you’re a brand-new parent or still awaiting the arrival of your little one.
7 Expert Tips For Safe Sleep
We’ll start with how to choose and set up a crib and finish with how to put your baby down to sleep to keep them as safe and comfortable as possible.
1) Choose A Firm Crib Mattress
In general, it’s not safe to have soft items in the crib that could get in the way of your baby breathing — and that includes the mattress. Make sure your crib mattress is firm and bounces right back when you press on it.
But keep in mind that firm doesn’t have to mean rock hard and uncomfortable. Newton Baby’s Crib Mattress is the perfect combination of comfy and safe — comfortable enough to allow your little one to “sleep like a baby” but firm enough to provide a safe sleeping environment.
2) Check The Fit Of The Crib And Mattress
Luckily, Newton Baby offers both mini crib mattresses and standard crib mattresses! So regardless of the size you prefer, you don’t have to compromise on safety.
Once you’ve purchased both the crib and the mattress, double-check to make sure they fit correctly. Why do you have to check the fit? The size of both cribs and crib mattresses are regulated by the government, but there’s a bit of wiggle room when it comes to size regulations.
This means that a standard crib mattress will typically fit a standard crib, but you still need to make sure the mattress fits snug as a bug — not too big and not too small.
There should be no big gaps between the edge of the mattress and the inside of the crib. A large gap can pose a safety risk for your baby.
3) Remove Blankets, Pillows, And Toys From The Crib
To provide your little one with the safest possible rest, keep all toys, pillows, blankets, and crib bumpers out of the crib. You’ll also want to make sure the bedding is not too loose.
For safe bedding, choose a tight-fitting bottom sheet (and no top sheet). Consider going with a sheet that’s breathable, soft, 100% organic, and tailored to fit a standard-sized crib mattress.
While crib sheets are cute, maybe you prefer to go without one. Good news: you can with a Newton Baby mattress!
Our mattress cover is comfy enough for your baby to sleep on. Plus, it’s completely washable, which makes for easy cleanup for you. Keep an extra cover on hand to use during laundry days and for those unexpected — yet inevitable — nighttime diaper leaks.
Since blankets are not recommended to go inside cribs, how can you keep your little one warm enough during the night? Simply put them in a sleep sack or wearable blanket. They’ll stay warm and cozy without the risk of getting tangled up in a blanket.
As a general rule, your baby should sleep with only one layer more than you’re wearing. You don’t want your baby to get too hot during the night.
Speaking of blankets, swaddling your baby is a great way to help them fall asleep and stay asleep. But stop swaddling as soon as it looks like your little one is close to being able to roll over.
4) Share Your Room But Not Your Bed
This is called co-sleeping and it’s not a safe way for your baby to snooze. Instead of co-sleeping, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room-sharing for at least the first six months of your baby’s life — ideally for the first year.
Room-sharing means that you put your baby’s crib (or bassinet or cradle) in your room. They’ll be close enough for you to check in on them and feed them easily, but without the risks associated with co-sleeping.
5) Put Baby On Their Back For Safe Sleep
Once your baby learns how to roll over (usually around four months old), you’ll still put them to sleep on their back. If they use their newfound skills to roll over during the night, there’s no need to go back into the nursery to turn them over.
Instead, the best thing you can do to ensure safe sleep is to use a firm, breathable mattress in their crib. That brings us to our sixth tip.
6) Use A Breathable Mattress
If your baby rolls onto their stomach at night, a breathable mattress — like Newton Baby’s Crib Mattress — will help reduce the risk of suffocation.
If you already have a crib mattress, consider using Newton Baby’s mattress pad on top of it to add a layer of waterproof, hypoallergenic, and breathable protection.
7) Give Your Baby A Pacifier At Bedtime
Note: some babies might not want a pacifier and that’s okay — don’t force it.
But if your little one does take a pacifier, make sure you have the right one. Choose one that is the best size for your baby’s age so it’s not too big or too small for their little mouth. Also, check that their binky doesn’t have loose parts.
Lastly, don’t put your baby to bed with a pacifier connected to any sort of strap. Pacifiers with straps that attach to clothing might be convenient when you’re on the go, but they are a major safety hazard for your little one while they sleep.
What if the pacifier slips out of your baby’s mouth during the night? Don’t worry about it. There’s no need to go into their room to put it back in if they aren’t crying.
Safe Sleep For Your Baby Starts With You
With these seven tips for safe sleep, you’ll be well prepared to look out for your baby’s safety during the night. Rest easy during naptime and bedtime knowing that your precious little one is sleeping as safely as possible.
Set up your safe nursery with a crib and Newton Baby’s breathable mattress and then lay your little one down (on their back!) to sleep the night away. Safe sleep starts tonight!