Baby Sleep Safety: 7 Expert Tips For New And Expecting Parents

tips for safe sleep

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

Making sure your baby is sleeping safely is all about where they sleep, how they sleep, and what goes into the crib with them — and we’ve got tips for all of it. 

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

Although you might enjoy dozing off on a fluffy bed, soft mattresses aren’t safe for babies. When it comes to choosing a crib mattress for your infant, firmer is best.

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.

firm crib mattress for safe sleep

Plus, it’s big enough for a toddler, so Newton Baby’s Crib Mattress can provide your little one with years of great sleep. With our standard-sized mattress, there’s no need to purchase a new one when your tot moves from their crib into a toddler bed.

2) Check The Fit Of The Crib And Mattress

Whether you’ve opted for a space-efficient mini crib or a longer-lasting standard crib, you’ll need to purchase either a mini- or standard-sized crib mattress to match the crib size.

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.
As a rule, when the mattress is inside the crib, you should not be able to fit more than two fingers between it and the crib frame.

proper crib mattress fit for safe sleep

3) Remove Blankets, Pillows, And Toys From The Crib

The crib itself is important when it comes to safe sleep, but so is what’s inside the crib — or, rather, what’s not inside 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.

sleep sack for safe sleep

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

For the first few months, you’ll probably want to keep your little one close and keep an eye on them at all times. We understand that! But it doesn’t mean that your baby should sleep in the bed with you.

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

Tummy time is essential to help your baby develop and eventually gain the strength to roll over. But when it’s time to lay them down to sleep, the safest position is on their back, not on their side or their stomach.

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

While most babies start rolling over around four to six months old, your talented little one could take you by surprise and make the big flip early! No matter when they reach this milestone, it’s a good idea to always put them to bed on 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.

breathable crib mattress for safe sleep

Our Crib Mattress allows for the best breathability because both the mattress and the mattress cover are breathable. It also helps regulate your baby's body temperature and reduces dust mites and allergens.

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

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, allowing your baby to use a pacifier while they snooze is another way to promote safe sleep.
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pacifier for safe sleep

If you’re breastfeeding, wait until your newborn has gotten the hang of nursing (around a month) to offer a bedtime binky. After that, give your baby a pacifier when you put them down for bedtime as well as naptime

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

safe sleep tips for parents

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!

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