World Sleep Day - Safe sleeping from birth
With World Sleep Day coming up, it is a great time to touch on the very important subject of safe sleeping.
Whether you are expecting, or have recently given birth to your baby, it is essential to refresh on the important points of safe sleeping set out by Red Nose Australia to help you reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome for your baby. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is defined by Red Nose Australia as the sudden and unexpected death of an infant under the age of 1 year occurring during sleep and remains unexplained after a thorough investigation. SIDS is rare with the implementation of safe sleeping strategies to reduce your baby’s risk.
There are 6 main safe sleeping recommendations outlined by Red Nose Australia, which should be implemented at sleep time for your baby during the day and night.
- Sleeping your baby on their back at the bottom of their cot is the first recommendation to reduce the risk of SIDS. Placing your baby to sleep on their back helps keep their airways clear, reducing the risk of choking and suffocation.
- Keep your baby’s head and face uncovered at all times to reduce the risk of suffocation and overheating. Your baby regulates their temperature more efficiently when their head is uncovered, meaning no hats, beanies or headbands on when sleeping.
- Having a smoke-free environment. Smoking increases the risk of SIDS for your baby, so don’t let anyone smoke around your baby.
- Sleep your baby in your room for at least the first 6-12 months of life.
- Breastfeed your baby if possible. Breastfeeding is shown to reduce the risk of SIDS for your baby.
- Ensure bub is in a safe sleeping environment at all times. A safe sleeping environment includes; a safe cot that meets Australian standards and has breathable sides to provide adequate ventilation, a safe mattress that is firm, flat and the right size for the cot, safe bedding that is firmly tucked into the mattress and not any higher than bubs chest (with their feet touching the bottom of the cot) and a sleeping bag (if you choose to use one) or swaddle relevant to environmental temperature to prevent overheating. An important point to remember is when baby is sleeping, remove all toys and pillows from their cot, as well as any mobiles or items hanging above their sleeping space.
This image is taken from Red Nose Australia to demonstrate safe sleeping.
You may have heard of the term co-sleeping or bed-sharing. The safest place for your baby to sleep is in their own cot or bassinet, as discussed above, although we know at times it is convenient or parents choose to have bub in their bed. If you are going to co-sleep, it is crucial to be done as safely as possible to reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS. Safe co-sleeping involves; moving all bedding and pillows away from your baby, do not swaddle bub, tying up your hair and removing any jewellery, move your bed away from the wall; having your mattress on the floor is the safest when co-sleeping and sleeping your baby between you and the side of the bed.
When you are not in the room with your baby (when they are sleeping), it can be convenient to invest in a reliable baby monitor, like the CuboAi baby monitor, so you can keep an eye on them. There is no evidence to suggest baby monitors that detect breathing and heart rate reduce the risk of SIDS. However, they can be essential for peace of mind when your baby is in a different room to you.
Some of CuboAi’s brilliant features, that make it the best baby monitor on the market:
- Accurate humidity and a temperature gauge - this is important to know how to dress your baby (and the tog rating of their sleeping bag) overnight or for their naps
- True cry detection (distinguishes from other noises)
- Super easy to take on-go-go if you are travelling - simply connect to wifi
- Connects to any smartphone or device. Unlike traditional monitors, you do not need to be within a certain range to check your baby (perfect if a parent is at work but wants to check in to see their baby)
- Alerts parents when baby coughs and or rolls over
- Each morning, the app shows you nighttime analytics which can be great to see how bub is sleeping overnight.
The team at CuboAi have given me a discount code: BUMPNBUB23
Tips for helping your newborn sleep:
- Creating an environment similar to the womb; warm, dark, loud (white noise) and close to you
- Swaddling or wrapping firmly can be comforting for them
- Warm bath or massage and a feed before bed
- Calm environment; try white noise and blackout blinds
- A similar bedtime routine every night
- Newborns need help falling to asleep - cuddling, rocking and feeding
- Prepare baby for bed when you recognise tired signs
- If bub is unsettled and you cannot settle them in their cot, try a baby carrier. These can be a lifesaver, especially those first 6 months
Summary for safe sleeping:
- Firmly swaddle baby until they start showing signs of rolling, and then ensure arms remain out of the swaddle or sleeping bag
- No loose blankets in the cot
- Room in with your baby for at least the first 6 months of life
- It is not safe to let babies sleep in anything other than their cot or bassinet (eg. bean bags or nests)
- Have no items such as toys or pillows in baby’s cot
- Sleep baby in a non-smoking environment
- Twins should sleep in separate cots
- If you are wanting to co-sleep with your baby, please read Red Nose Australia’s guide to safer co-sleeping. It is crucial that co-sleeping is done as safely as possible to reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS.
We hope you have found this blog informative and helpful. Please note this blog does not substitute for medical advice. This blog was a paid blog, written by me for the team at CuboAi.