One of the first things you think about when you’re pregnant, especially as a working parent, is who will care for your baby when you go back to work. If you’ve already decided to go back to work, you’re probably going to have to choose between a nanny or a group daycare. Whichever you choose, here are a few things you should make sure your baby’s caregiver understands about safe sleeping while looking after your child.
Baby Sleeps on Their Back
The safest position for a baby to sleep is on their back in their own crib or Moses basket. This is especially true for babies that are too small to roll over. It has been shown to reduce the incidence of SIDS and protects babies from smothering on their own mattress.
Blankets vs. Sleeping Bag
Most experts recommend against using blankets and duvets with kids until they are at least a year or so old. If the weather is very cold, a properly fitted baby sleeping bag that buttons at the shoulders can be used. This helps to keep baby warm without the possibility of riding up and smothering the baby.
Toys & Bumpers
Although you’ll often see Pinterest nurseries with beautiful blankets, plush toys and bumpers, experts recommend laying baby to sleep in a bed bare of all of that. The mattress should fit snugly into the bed and be covered by a properly fitted sheet. All toys should be removed, and there should be no blankets that baby could wriggle down into or cover their face with. Bumpers are deemed not necessary anymore, but if you choose to use them, they should be properly perforated and fully breathable.
Dress for Sleep
Babies should be dressed in one more layer of clothes than you would wear to sleep. Steer clear of anything with a hood, as it can cause your baby to stop breathing. Baby’s room should be a comfortable temperature — neither too hot nor too cold — at about 20–22.2°C.
Talk About Safe Sleep
Many parents assume that nannies and daycare carers are the professional and know all about safe sleeping. However, the research shows that “1/3 of SIDS-related deaths in childcare occur in the first week, and half of these occur on the first day.” Ensure that your baby’s carer knows about safe sleeping and all the guidelines above by talking them through it. Don’t assume that they know.
Extra Peace of Mind
If you need some extra peace of mind, a portable baby monitor can be extremely useful for keeping an eye on your child when you’re not around. Devices such as the Snuza Hero MD are simple to use and don’t require WiFi or any wires to work. Just keep it charged, and instruct your baby’s carer on how to clip it properly to the nappy. Then, should anything happen to the baby and they stop breathing while sleeping, the Snuza will alert both the baby and the carer to respond.
We hope these guidelines are helpful in discussions with your baby’s carers. Remember to pop in unexpectedly so you can see first hand what the day looks like. If anything about your baby’s care situation concerns you, find another carer who respects your choices.
- SIDS Risks in Child Care: https://www.mother.ly/lifestyle/sids-risks-in-child-care
- 10 day care safety issues: https://www.care.com/c/stories/3431/10-day-care-safety-issues/
- What is the ideal temperature for my baby’s room?: https://babygooroo.com/articles/what-is-the-ideal-temperature-for-my-babys-room