Monday, June 20, 2011
Safe sleep for babies: What every parent needs to know
(ARA) - Safety is a top priority for every parent. When it comes to sleep, giving your baby a safe sleep environment is extremely important, but even the best caregivers can overlook small things that can have serious risks.
Whether you're a first-time parent or you've faced these questions before, here are some safety guidelines to keep in mind so you can provide your baby with the ideal sleep environment:
Mattress and sheets - Place your baby in a safety-approved crib with a firm mattress. When selecting a mattress for the crib, a firmer option is preferred over one that is too soft and flexible. Make sure that the mattress fits securely in the crib. You should not be able to fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib side. A quality, firm mattress will help keep your child sleeping safely and comfortably.
Bonus tip: Before purchasing a crib, visit www.cpsc.gov to make sure the crib you selected has not been recalled.
In addition to a firm mattress, the crib sheet should fit snug so it stays put when your baby is in the crib. A sheet that is too loose may be a suffocation hazard.
Crib bumper safety - A crib bumper that wraps around the inside of the crib will help protect your baby's arms and legs from becoming caught between crib slats possibly resulting in bruised or broken limbs, or the development of neuropathy. A traditional crib bumper that is plush, pillowy and made with non-breathable fabrics increases the risks of suffocation. While it might seem parents are forced to choose between suffocation or entanglement risks, there is a safer alternative that addresses both concerns.
BreathableBaby's Breathable Mesh Crib Bumper is a safer alternative to traditional crib bumpers. Their award-winning mesh crib bumper will keep your baby's arms and legs inside the crib and has been evaluated, tested and recommended by pediatricians. It incorporates A.C.T. (Air Channel Technology) which promotes continuous air access and helps reduce the risks of suffocation, and rebreathing carbon dioxide - risks associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). BreathableBaby's mesh crib bumper is sold online and at stores nationwide for under $30. Visit www.breathablebaby.com for a list of stores.
"We want parents to do everything they can to keep their baby safe," say pediatricians Dr. Joel Clingenpeel and Dr. Jim Schmidt, founders of Child Safety House Calls. "This product addresses many of the risks we know are associated with traditional bumpers."
Keep clutter out of crib - For most parents, all those cute stuffed animals and soft blankets might seem a natural fit for the crib, but unfortunately they all pose suffocation risks.
Toys and stuffed animals are best saved for interactive play time. As for blankets, consider a wearable blanket that zips around your baby and can't ride up over her face reducing the risks of suffocation. However, when using a wearable blanket, dress your baby lightly to avoid her getting too hot.
Bonus tip: Set the room at a temperature that is comfortable for a lightly clothed adult.
Safe sleep position -The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend placing babies to sleep on their backs during naps and nighttime.
Tummy-time play is important to strengthen neck, chest, shoulder and arm muscles. Placing a baby on her belly should be done when she is awake and closely supervised. When your baby is in the care of a sitter, family member or friend, remind them to put her to sleep on her back, as they may not realize its importance.
By following these easy and important tips you'll be able keep your baby safer when you put her to sleep, helping you both rest a bit easier.
Labels: parenting tips and tricks