A Guide to Safe Sleep for Your Newborn Baby

A Guide to Safe Sleep for Your Newborn Baby

In the first few months of life, your baby will be hyper sensitive to their environment - adjusting to a whole new world isn’t easy! Everything is new to them, from the sights, sounds and smells, to the sensations and emotions that come with it.

At this age, your baby can’t detect danger, and their curious nature will mean they are interested in exploring around them.

Risks involved in baby sleep

Risks at this age can come in many forms. Some are serious risks that could harm the child, and some merely mean that your baby may be uncomfortable and not in ideal conditions. If your baby is exhibiting excessive crying and you’re worried about unsettled behaviour, you should always speak to your paediatrician and get their advice.

Common risks to avoid that can impact newborn and baby sleep:

  • Blankets or toys that could suffocate your baby - an unfortunate common cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Your baby sleeping on stomach or side when too young
  • Loose cot sheets that your baby can get tangled in
  • Using an unsafe crib that doesn’t meet the modern safety standards
  • Drinks or liquid left within a spill zone of the crib
  • Pets without boundaries who want to be close to your baby’s warmth
  • Pets licking or biting
  • Loose cords surrounding your baby’s sleeping space (blind chords, wires or electrical cords from lamps, monitors etc.

Our recommendation for a safe sleep newborn sleep environment:

1. Optimal room temperature

Monitor your room and make sure you are aware what the standard temperature is once ventilated. Check your baby to ensure they are not too hot or too cold by touching their back or tummy. Love To Dream™ has a TOG rating guide for selecting the appropriate sleep garment.

2. Complete a thorough safety check

It is always best to avoid any loose items in or around the crib your baby will sleep in. Having no blankets at all ensures no fabric will cover the baby’s mouth or nose. Make sure cables and chords in the room are tucked away safely, and that your baby has a firm surface to sleep on with a tightly fitted sheet.

3. Create a quiet, hazard free space

Pets where possible should be kept away from your child’s sleeping space. This will protect them from interruption to their sleep, but also from the risk of the animal getting too close to their face and mouths.

4. Allow your baby to sleep close to you

For the first 6 months of their lives, and for some up to 12 months, sleeping in a crib in your room is most ideal. If possible, have them in a bassinet close to your bed so you can hear their nightly activity and monitor closely.

5. Choose the right apparel

Swaddle UP was designed to be worn from birth. Choose the correct size depending on your child’s weight, not their age. Stop swaddling as soon as your baby starts to roll over, or loses their startle reflex. This is when you can transition into arms-free sleep using the Swaddle UP™ Transition Bag.

6. Put baby to sleep on their back

When it comes time to put baby into their crib, it is very important that they sleep on their back. Side and tummy positions are not safe - always consult with your paediatrician if you have concerns about the way your baby is sleeping.

7. Place baby in ‘Feet to Foot’ position

This is when the baby’s feet are closest to the end of the cot/crib/pram. This can stop them from wriggling and further reduces the risk of SIDs.

8. Transition out of swaddling when appropriate

As soon as your baby starts to show signs that they might roll over soon, you must stop swaddling with the arms restricted. This can happen at different times for each baby and is a natural developmental process - usually somewhere between 2 and 6 months old. After this, transition them into a sleeping garment that allows their arms to be free.

9. Seek expert advice

If you are unsure about the safest way to get your baby to sleep, make sure you consult with your medical practitioner or paediatrician. A mother always has the best instincts, and if you feel that your child is crying or more irritable than they should be, take them to the doctors to get their advice. 

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