The Sleep Safety Checklist for Babies

As a new parent, tossing and turning over your infant’s sleep habits is totally normal. Luckily, there are plenty of precautions you can take. Read on to find out the best way for baby to get a good night’s rest.

- For the first several months, the safest place for baby to sleep is in your room. Station her crib or bassinet within arm’s reach of your bed. That way, you’ll be able to keep a close eye on her and have her close for frequent feedings. Though you may be tempted to nestle her in your own bed, rolling over on her while you’re slumbering is a real risk.

- Babies need supportive mattresses with far less give than those made for adults. Choose a firm one, such as Newton Baby’s, and outfit it in fitted sheets that meet current safety standards.

- Your baby’s growing collection of teddy bears is adorable, but it’s best to keep snuggly buddies out of her crib during infancy. The same goes for pillows, bumper pads, and blankets.

- When it comes to room temperature, cooler is better. Rooms should be in a range that’s comfortable for a lightly clothed adult. (Most experts recommend between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit). If you notice sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash, or rapid breathing, chances are baby’s too hot.

- If her room is a little too chilly, cocoon her in a sleep sack or wearable blanket. The quilt that Grandma stitched may look pretty, but loose bedding can impair breathing if it’s too close to baby’s face.

- While your own mother may have placed you in your crib on your tummy many years ago, remind her that it’s a no-no nowadays. The same goes for laying baby down on his side. Because little ones can accidentally roll onto their stomachs, the position is equally as dangerous.

- With that said, you should schedule tummy time when baby is awake. Letting her linger on her belly strengthens muscles and and encourages rolling and crawling. In fact, the American Physical Therapy Association recommends it from day one to help avoid developmental delays.

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