Shannon Glenn is the owner and founder of Sleep Well Children Consulting and a Certified Pediatric Sleep Specialist. She is dedicated to helping parents assist their children and babies in developing healthy sleep habits. With a B.A. in Psychology, Shannon has worked extensively with children and their families for over 15 years in a variety of settings. She has been offering sleep solutions for over six years.
SIDS can be a scary topic for a lot of parents. Research shows that about 3,500 babies die each year in the United States while sleeping and sometimes this is due in part to an unsafe sleep environment. It is important to be educated about what you can do to keep the risk for SIDS as low as possible for your little one.
Let’s start out by talking about where a baby should sleep. Now, I know it can be so much easier to put that little babe right in the bed with you. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that an infant sleep in a crib, bassinet, or cradle. That’s because babies are at a higher risk for SIDS if they sleep on soft surfaces or under loose bedding. The AAP also recommends keeping baby’s sleep area in the same room where you sleep during the first six months of their life.
While a crib/bassinet/cradle is the safest option for your baby, let’s not forget that the mattress they are sleeping on should be firm and covered with a fitted sheet that will not come loose. You should also avoid crib bumpers, soft objects, toys, and loose bedding to ensure that your baby is in the safest sleeping environment possible.
There are a lot of products out there that claim to prevent or reduce the risk of SIDS. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to buy all of those things. The majority of them go against safe sleep recommendations and should not be used. Devices such as wedges or positioners should not be used, either.
You may be thinking “Wow, so what should I be doing to help reduce the risk of SIDS?” Let me give you a few tips that you can use that may help ease your mind.
- Get regular heath care during your pregnancy.
- Do not expose your baby to second hand smoke.
- Keep the room temperature between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use a fan/air purifier in the room where your baby sleeps.
- Make sure no string is attached to a pacifier that your baby uses during sleep time.
- Give your baby plenty of tummy time during their wake time.
It is my hope that you have learned new ways to ensure that your babe is as safe as possible during their sleep time. Please feel free to reach out with any questions!
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Why didn’t we try this sooner?! As we speak he is sound asleep in his crib – and has been since 7:15 pm.Karianne Wanggaard