Safe Sleeping tips for your baby and you
Today’s video is about safe sleeping tips for babies. With all the information being thrown at you, you may be confused about the best advice. So here is a summary of the best advice available and I hope it helps you.
Babies should sleep on their backs
You have probably been told to always put babies on their backs, but maybe your parents have said that they were told to put their you on your tummy. Their parents were probably told to put them on their sides – and over the years, there have been so many different and conflicting safe sleeping tips that have been passed down from generation to generation. We’ve hit a stage now where everyone starts to question, and thinks, “well, if it was fine for our parents back then. It must still be fine now, because we turned out OK!”
However, times have changed, more research has been done and it has been proven time and time again that unless there is a medical reason for not sleeping on the back, the safest place to put a baby is on their back for sleep. It’s so easy to want to say it was fine for me, however, we didn’t have the Internet back then. There was not as much research. Things weren’t as widely available and knowledge-wise, we didn’t know as much.
But now, there is clear, researched scientific evidence that sleeping on their backs on a flat, firm surface is the safest for babies, and so it’s sensible to take notice of that.
Feet to the foot of the cot
If you are using blankets, it’s important to put your baby’s feet to the bottom of the cot and only give them enough blankets to come up to their neck. This is very important to make sure they’re not wiggling under the blankets and we don’t want to risk suffocation.
Things aren’t so bad now because many people now put babies in baby sleeping bags. But again, make sure with your sleeping bags, that they are the right size, they are approved. And I cannot stress this enough. I made the mistake myself last year buying a sleeping bag that I thought was right. And I found out later on it wasn’t actually approved and it was actually a risk to my baby.
So you can see when I went to get her, she was completely out at the top, yet it was supposed to be the right size and she was the right size and the right weight. So make sure your sleeping bag is approved, It is the right tog and it is the right size for your little one.
We don’t want our babies to be too hot, although this can be difficult to achieve. All the evidence suggests a room temperature of between 16 and 20 degrees is ideal. Realistically, that may not be possible, especially if you’re in a new-build house or if you’ve got central heating. In certain houses and flats, the chances of the temperature ever coming below 20 degrees are pretty slim. So all you can do is make sure that you know what your baby should be wearing for that temperature.
They generally say one extra layer than what you would wear for the temperature to keep you comfortable.
Clear Sleep Space
Make sure that your baby has a clear sleep space. Try to avoid any soft toys that are nearby, comforters and anything like that, especially when they’re very young. They’re not going to be able to move it themselves and there’s a risk of them rolling into it or moving into it or turning their head and suffocating. Cot bumpers have a similar risk, and they are not recommended either.
Do your best to keep all smoke away from the baby, including secondhand smoke. If a friend or relative wants to give your baby a cuddle during the day and they’ve been smoking again, we want to try and avoid that if possible.
We’re not going to get everything perfect. The chances are at some point we will end up co-sleeping. So think about it realistically, is it safe for me to do that or should I put them in their cot? And maybe if you’ve got a cot that you can bring the side down, so you can lay next to them, but with them in their own sleep space, that might be the best option. But ask yourself, is it safe?
It’s completely natural to co-sleep and there’s no higher risk of SIDS for sleeping if you do it safely. So many people do, because at the end of the day, you might find that you’re getting a better night’s sleep, and your baby’s possibly getting a better night’s sleep too because they’re close to you. And it’s good if you’re breastfeeding because that helps with those night wakes as well, especially in those early days. So we really want to try and make sure that if you’re going down that sleeping route, that you’re doing everything on a safe level.
If you are going down the co-sleeping route, the baby should be a healthy weight, because premature and low birth weight babies are more at risk of SIDS.No alcohol consumption as well. And don’t co-sleep if you are taking medication that could make you drowsy.
If you’re co-sleeping, you must be breastfeeding. That’s a very important one and it’s something that is very hard for me to say to people because at the end of the day, when you are really tired and you just want to get some sleep, it’s so easy to bring them into bed with you. However, and as awful as this sounds, if you are formula feeding, it is really not safe for you to bring your baby into your bed to sleep.
A lot of it is to do with that natural connection, instinct-wise with regards to breastfeeding. So a breastfeeding mum will tend to naturally face the baby and they don’t tend to roll on their baby because they can sense them, whereas it is not obviously always the case with a formula-fed baby. But that’s a risk factor that you’ve got to weigh up.
So please, if you are formula feeding and you are going down the co-sleeping route, if you know that you shouldn’t be doing that and you want to change it, please get some help to help get them into their safe sleep, space.
For More Information…
Check out the Lullaby Trust page for more safe sleeping tips, for more information about the guidelines and research. the Lullaby Trust raises awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), provides expert advice on safer sleep for babies and offers emotional support for bereaved families – they really are the experts on this subject. La Leche League also has really good advice for breastfeeding and for co-sleeping
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