Top 7 Tips for Safe Baby Sleep Every Parent Should Know

Top 7 Tips for Safe Baby Sleep Every Parent Should Know


Parenting is a wondrous journey filled with love and care, yet it can also bring confusion and worry, especially when it comes to ensuring our baby’s safety, particularly during sleep. Every parent strives to provide the best for their child, but sometimes, due to lack of knowledge or oversight, mistakes can happen.

One significant concern is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), along with accidental suffocation or strangulation that can occur during sleep. Increasing awareness and understanding of these risks can significantly reduce the incidence of these tragic events. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) continually updates its guidelines on safe sleep to help parents safeguard their babies. Here are some essential rules and techniques every new parent should be aware of to ensure their baby sleeps safely.

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1. Selecting a Safe Crib :

Maintaining bedtime safety should be started along with selecting a safe and comfortable crib for the baby. Parents who prefer cribs, and portable cribs should be aware while checking whether the crib meets all the safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Parents from the 1990s may recall using drop-side cribs. However, due to the significant risks of suffocation and strangulation associated with these cribs, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned them in 2012.

2. Use a Solid Surface

Pillow-top mattresses could be dangerous for babies. Parents should always take care if the baby is sleeping on a firm or hard surface that doesn’t slip when the baby is sleeping. Tight-fitted sheets or a firm mattress could be helpful. There should not be any large gaps between the mattress and the sides of the crib.

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3. Always Put the baby on their back while sleeping : 

Sleeping on the back reduces the chance of suffocation rather than sleeping on the stomach and sides. The disadvantage of the side position is the baby can roll more easily onto their stomach. Babies suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) should sleep flat on their backs. However, some babies are more comfortable rolling both back to stomach and stomach to back. In these cases, parents have to make sure that there are no pillows, blankets and stuffed toys around. The baby could roll into any of these items and could block their airflow.

4. Sharing Room Instead of sharing a bed with the baby : 

While some parents opt to co-sleep with their baby, this practice can pose risks. Factors such as the baby being premature, very young, or parents using alcohol, medications, or other substances increase these risks. There’s also a concern that a parent might accidentally roll onto or smother the baby during sleep. Instead of bed-sharing, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends room-sharing as a safer alternative. This practice can reduce the risk of SIDS by up to 50% and allows for easier monitoring and care of the baby while maintaining a separate sleeping surface.

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5. Maintaining a Comfortable Temperature: 

Temperature is an important factor to focus on for good sleep for the baby. The room temperature should not be too hot. Also, the baby should not wear heavy clothes that may cause suffocation while sleeping. If you’re comfortable in a T-shirt and using a sheet, your baby will likely be comfortable in a onesie and a lightweight swaddle. Rapid breathing and, a flushed face are signs that the baby is too warm and needs to remove a layer. If the room is too cold, add an undershirt or heavier pyjamas.

6. Create a Safe Sleep Environment:

Ensure the crib area is free from hazards like window cords, electrical wires, and hanging objects. Avoid letting babies sleep in sitting devices such as car seats, swings, or carriers, especially those under four months old. While swaddling can mimic the womb’s comfort and promote sound sleep, it’s not suitable for every baby. Parents should gauge their baby’s comfort level with swaddling before adopting it as a sleep practice.

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7. Breastfeeding and Pacifier Use:

Breastfeeding or offering a pacifier at bedtime can aid in soothing your baby, helping them fall asleep more quickly and peacefully. However, be cautious with devices claiming to reduce SIDS risk, such as special sleep surfaces, positioners, and wedges; it’s best to avoid them as their effectiveness is not supported by evidence.

The first few years of life are the most important years of development. To get a healthy physique and well-developed mental abilities, sleep plays a vital role. So maintaining a good and safe sleeping habit is very important. Also to protect the baby from unintentional choking and suffocation while sleeping the guidelines work like charms.

References +
  • 10 safe sleep tips. (n.d.). Norman Regional Health System.
  • How to keep your sleeping baby safe: AAP Policy explained. (n.d.).
  • Neuman, A. (2020, March 12). 10 ways you can make sure baby is sleeping safely.

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