Sleep Baby Sleep – Safely

Are you struggling to stay awake while feeding baby?  Every Mom wants her baby to be safe but we all know feeding baby at night can be a bit confusing as all moms are afraid of falling asleep during the process. 

There are ways to keep baby safe and some of these are listed below:-

1. Think about breast-feeding.  Babies who are breast-fed until at least 6 months of age have a lower risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).   

2. Offer baby a pacifier but make sure that it has no strap or string attached so that there is no chance of strangulation.  If breast-feeding, offer the pacifier only when baby has become used to nursing and is 3 or 4 weeks of age. 

3. Avoid putting baby in bed with you if:

-you have comforters, blankets, sheets and pillows, toys and other loose items on your bed because baby can get trapped and suffocate while you sleep, 

-if you sleep on a waterbed or old mattress as these have soft surfaces which can also suffocate baby,

-if you or the other person in bed is a smoker, then baby becomes a second-hand smoker,

-if you or the other person in bed has drunk any alcohol as you or the other person can accidentally roll over the baby and suffocate it and have difficulty waking up if needed,

-if you or the other person in bed takes any medication or drugs as, again, any one of you can roll over the baby and suffocate it and have difficulty waking up if needed.

4. Look into buying a new bassinet or crib as old, hand-me-down ones are most probably outdated.  Safety standards on these are constantly being looked into and updated along with guidelines regarding lead paint, splintering of wood, nuts and bolts, corner posts and width of slabs, etc. 

5. Baby should sleep on his/her back until approximately one year old.  Even if baby does not like sleeping on his/her back, continue to do so. He will eventually begin moving and turning on his own when he feels the need and that is OK because he can turn his head from side to side or move his legs and feet if his breathing becomes difficult or is interrupted.      

6. Keep a cool room and a cool baby.  Sleeping on his/her stomach as well as having baby tucked under sheets and blankets can cause overheating.  It is best to dress baby in a cozy, warm and not a too tight sleeping sack.  You can check if baby is too hot by checking the nape of his/her neck.  If too hot, it will be sweaty.  The room should be kept at temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees F (20 – 22.2 degrees C).

7. Bassinets or cribs should have firm, hard mattresses.  The mattress should be tight-fitting with fitted sheets.  They should not indent to the baby’s weight. 

8. Never put baby on a couch, sofa or armchair as these are also very dangerous for baby to sleep on. 

Keep in mind that any one of the above may increase the chances of suffocation, injury or SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). 

SIDS is when a healthy baby dies for no apparent reason.  It is also known as crib death and can occur in babies under one year of age.  SIDS can occur in sleeping babies at any time – day or night.  It can also be associated with a brain defect, low birth weight or a respiratory infection after a recent cold. 

The chances of increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome are:

– slightly higher in boys than in girls,

– higher in non-white boys

– infants between 2 and 4 months old

– SIDS death in siblings or cousins

– second-hand smoke

– premature babies

– Moms who are younger than 20 years old

– Moms who smoke, use alcohol or drugs

– Moms with inadequate prenatal care

For information purposes, each year in the United States, approximately 3,500 babies die of sleep-related deaths which also includes accidental suffocation and other. Prevention of SIDS cannot be guaranteed but baby can sleep safer if you take note of all of the above. 

Please educate yourselves further on baby care.  The internet is a great source of information as well as the many books available in bookstores and libraries.  You should also discuss with a doctor about immunization as a form of prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. 

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