By Heather Burdo
"Being responsible for another life can be nerve-wracking. By educating yourself on safe sleep, you are already doing the right thing."
You bring home your new baby, and as much as you are filled with excitement, you have worries lingering. It’s normal to feel scared as you are responsible for this little life. One of the main worries parents face is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as SIDS.
Doctors aren’t positive what causes SIDS, but they suggest it’s likely that it could be due to genes or a certain health issue that could affect the heart, brain, or breathing. Aside from making sure your baby is not around secondhand cigarette smoke, there are ways to reduce the risk of SIDS as you put your baby to sleep.
Position Your Baby on His or Her Back
Ever since the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended to position a baby on their back in 1992, the rate of SIDS has dropped. The reason AAP suggests this is not 100 percent; however, it may be due to findings that when a baby sleeps on their stomach, they get less oxygen. Additionally, a baby would get rid of less carbon dioxide due to rebreathing the air from bedding being pulled up around the nose.
Temperature is Important
While it may seem logical that babies must be kept warm, they can overheat easily. Dress your baby according to the room temperature, but never over bundle. Remove some pieces of clothing if your baby feels hot to the touch or is sweating.. Many doctors and the AAP suggest a normal temperature for a health baby is between 97 and 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit.
To avoid unintentionally overheating your baby at night, dress him or her in loose clothing and make sure air can circulate the bassinet. Remove any padding or liners that can prevent air from moving around.
Monitor Movement Without Losing Sleep
It’s common to hear of a mom waking up multiple times to put her hand on her baby’s chest to check for movement. Unfortunately, this means lack of sleep for mom and the next day can be brutal while trying to meet the demands of a newborn. Thankfully, with a product like Snuza Hero MD, you can sleep peacefully (in between feedings, of course) without worrying. This device is the first portable baby movement monitor in the world that is medically certified (in Europe).
All you have to do is place baby on his or her back, clip the Hero MD device on the front of your baby’s diaper and it will do the work for you. The device will vibrate if no breathing motions have been detected for 15 seconds. Make sure baby is not sleeping near anyone else while this device is on so it doesn’t pick up another movement. Hero MD can monitor breathing rates and movement so you can get the sleep you deserve to feel at your best for your new baby.
Use a Firm Sleep Surface
We know - there are several cribs with adorable bumpers and cute matching blankets. While adorable is good, it’s not ideal when it can jeopardize your baby’s sleep. Always make sure you’re using a crib or bassinet that meets the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). A tight-fitting and firm mattress with a fitted sheet is all that should be in a crib or bassinet with a baby. What CSPC means by a firm surface is one that is hard and doesn’t indent while your baby is lying on it.
It may be tempting to cover your baby up with a blanket, but it’s not needed. Your baby only needs to be dressed according to the temperature of the room they will be in, and they will sleep just fine.
Remember - your worries are normal. Being responsible for another life can be nerve-wracking. By educating yourself on safe sleep, you are already doing the right thing. The above recommendations are for up to 12 months of age according to the AAP.