With school set to go back into session, we’ve focused this week on bringing you safety tips geared largely toward those parents with school-age children. However, to close out the week, we thought it would be a nice change of pace to offer a series of tips to those parents with babies at home. A new report offers guidance pertaining to infant sleep safety. The tips come courtesy of the American Academy of Pediatrics and concern children up to one year of age.
The first suggestion is to keep any child younger than one on their back while they sleep. The type and location of the crib is also important to consider. Wherever your child sleeps, the surface should be firm enough to give the proper support. The crib itself should adhere to modern safety requirements. There are any number of websites that parents can go to to ensure the crib their baby is sleeping in conforms to the necessary standards. The baby’s sleep space should also be kept in the same room as where the parents sleeps. That way, if an emergency takes place or the child wakes up, you can respond immediately. Don’t, however, let the baby sleep on the same bed as you.
A fitted sheet should be placed around the mattress, and there ought to be nothing between this sheet and the mattress itself. This includes blankets, pillows, and more. And until the child hits the age of one, things like stuffed animals and loose blankets should also be kept out of reach of the sleep space. Doing so could compromise safety up until the aforementioned birthday.
As far as the environment itself goes, it’s imperative that the room be kept at a temperature that would be comfortable for a child. Precautions must be taken to ensure that the child is not getting either too cold or too hot. For the former, things like Sleep Sacks can be put on the child so they remain warm even when the environment around them has become slightly cold.
There are other tips offered that don’t necessarily have to do with sleep but are still just as important. First, the AAP recommends that the mother breastfeed the child often. Studies have shown that the risk of sudden infant death syndrome can be reduced by breastfeeding.
Health can also be promoted by making regular visits to the doctor for the necessary check-ups and getting the child immunized as needed. To further ensure health, keep your baby away from not only smokers, but areas that smokers tend to frequent. Finally, be aware that although many children will gladly accept a pacifier, not all kids are into it.