La Leche League Leaders

La Leche League Leaders
La Leche League Leaders

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Safety and Sleep

Parents are often very tired! Sometimes the best laid plans change once they have baby home with them. I am sure this is not a big surprise to most of you! Well, from time to time, moms start to call us and ask about safe sleep. Must the only place my baby sleeps be a crib? What if I want to sleep with my baby?

We can't tell you where to put your baby to sleep in your home, but we can tell you that you will know the right answer for your family when you figure out where you all get the most sleep. Keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep near their parents, (meaning in the same room) especially for the first 6 months. For some parents this may vary from a side-sleeper, bassinet, crib or with you. Just remember to educate yourself and do it safely either way.

There are a lot of websites and books that will tell parents it is only safe to sleep in a crib and others that will say you can only bond or breastfeed if you co-sleep. Neither is giving the full story. You may have a really high needs baby that needs to be near you and you are already co-sleeping. You may be too nervous to co-sleep and feel it is best for you all to have your own space. Sometimes, parents find a middle ground that all can live with, like sleeping with baby and moving them to a crib later or putting a baby down in a crib and then with them when they wake at 2 am.

If you put your baby in a crib, they should be in the same room with you. Remember to place babies on their backs when they are at an age where they can't turn over on their own. Make sure that there are no blind cords nearby and nothing is in the crib with the baby. If a light blanket is needed, tuck all sides along the bottom half of the crib, below baby’s arms. Make sure that no one smokes in or near your little one or their bedroom. Check to be sure the room is not too cold or too hot. Be sure the crib mattress is tight fitting and the bars are within safety standards (older crib bars may be too wide apart) and that the crib sheets can't be pulled loose or around the baby's head.
Dress your baby in safe sleepwear with no strings or ties to twist around on them at night.

For more crib safety info from the AAP

Check out the Consumer Product Safety Commission's website for more info on recalls.

If you are co-sleeping or "sharing sleep", there are ways to do it safely. NEVER sleep with your baby if you are a smoker, if you have taken any medications or if you have consumed any alcohol. Remember it is much safer to be in a firm bed than in a recliner or on a couch where baby can roll into a soft cushion. Exceptionally obese parents should use a sidecar arrangement (crib attached to the side of the bed) rather than having a young infant in the bed with them. Make sure that the headboard and foot-board are tight fitting with the mattress and that there are no spaces a baby can get caught in near the wall or other furniture. As with crib sleep, make sure baby sleeps on his or her back and away from any pillows, loose bedding or heavy blankets. Don't dress your baby too warmly because body heat will keep them warm and you don't want them to overheat. Do not stuff too many bodies into a bed with a small baby; a toddler or sibling (or pet) may not be as aware of their surroundings in their sleep. As with crib sleeping, dress your baby in safe sleepwear with no strings or ties to twist around on them at night.

For more on safe co-sleeping visit LLLI at this link.

You can also read more here...
Safe Cosleeping – Dr. Jay Gordon

Safe Cosleeping – Dr. William Sears

Now, get some sleep tonight! And do it safely, please. :)

1 comment:

Kotasatria said...

very useful article, thanks!

Happy blogging,

Toddler Safety