October Is SIDS Awareness Month
Do you know what safe sleep looks like? An empty crib is a safe crib!! Never put baby to sleep on a soft surface. Use a crib with a firm mattress that fits snugly, and only use a fitted sheet. Never have any loose blankets, toys or bumpers in the crib, and never use any wedges or positioners. Always put baby on back for sleeping. It is generally agreed upon, that once a baby is able to roll over, there is no need to move him back on to his back, if he prefers sleeping on his tummy, but still place him on his back, when you put him in the crib. The recommended temperature for baby’s room is 68-72°F. It is very important baby never overheats, and is dressed appropriately for sleep based on the temperature of their environment. Remember, cool hands and feet are considered okay due to baby's immature circulation system. Rest of body should be warm, but not sweaty. A sweaty neck and back is a sign of overheating and a layer of baby's clothing should be removed. Newborns rely on us to regulate their temperatures in the beginning, so check baby frequently for overheating, or being too cold. Add or remove clothing as appropriate. Always keep baby's environment smoke-free by not smoking when pregnant, near your baby, or in an area where your baby spends time, or sleeps. The AAP recommends air circulating at all times freely when sleeping. A stand alone or ceiling fan will work to increase ventilation, but should not be blowing directly on baby’s face, or so high that baby’s body temp drops. Offer baby a pacifier. Babies who suck on pacifiers have reduced incidence of SIDS. Offer after 1 month old, if nursing, and establishing a milk supply. Breastfeed if possible and keep baby’s crib near you.