During the first months of your baby’s life, she will spend most of the time sleeping. During this stage, sleep will be essential for getting some well-deserved rest and growing in a healthy way. That’s why it is important to know the safety measures you need to follow when your little girl is sleeping.

One of the most important ones is the position in which she has to sleep. Remember that every baby is different and that, sometimes, your pediatrician will recommend a different position to cover your baby’s specific needs. However, the general recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is that, during the first six months, babies should sleep on their backs.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

During their first year of life, any baby has a risk of suffering the sudden infant death syndrome. This phenomenon is still a mystery and the causes are not clear. However, recent findings suggest that when babies sleep on their tummies, they receive less oxygen or can’t exhale enough carbon dioxide. That’s why sleeping on her back is a safer position for your baby since that reduces the probabilities of suffering SIDS.

Safe sleep environment

Besides the security measure that we’ve already mentioned, there are other important considerations that will contribute to creating a safe environment where your baby can sleep. These are some of them:

Choose a safe crib, bassinet, or bed.
The place where your baby sleeps needs to follow certain security measures. Frequently check the bed frame to know when it’s time to change it. Make sure it’s not too old or missing any important pieces. Also, the mattress should fit the bedframe correctly.

The best place to sleep is on a firm and safe surface.
Avoid lying your little one on a soft and porous surface. It’s also important to keep the crib free of any loose objects such as pillows, blankets, toys, stuffed animals, etc. These increase the risk of suffocation while your baby sleeps.

Consider sharing the room, but not the bed.
During the first months of life, the AAP recommends babies to sleep in the same room as the parents. However, parents and babies shouldn’t sleep in the same bed. Sharing this sleeping space is a risk for your little one because accidents happen. For example, your baby can get tangled in the bedsheets or you could roll over her.

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Perfect temperature.
Keep a pleasant and stable temperature at home. Your baby needs to regulate her body temperature and an optimal one will allow her to feel more comfortable.

Give her a pacifier.
Recent studies show that pacifiers can reduce the risk of SIDS. Just make sure it is made of one piece, instead of two.

Lastly, if your baby falls asleep in a car seat, stroller, swing, or baby carrier, she should be laid down on a firm surface as soon as possible.

Remember that it’s important that she sleeps on her back, but that she also needs to spend tummy time while she’s awake, always under an adult’s supervision. This will help her strengthen her upper body muscles, control her head, and will avoid the possibility of developing flat areas on the back of her skull.

Finally, if your baby is already able to roll from her back to her tummy and back, you can let her sleep in this position. Just make sure that her crib if object-free. Also, it’s very likely that ask she grows, she’ll be more active even while sleeping. So, don’t worry if she can’t stay in just one position. Allow her to sleep in a way that’s more comfortable for her and check her often to make sure everything’s fine.

References:

Reduce the risk of SIDS & suffocation
Safe baby sleep — 8 safety tips for infants and babies
Sleep position: Why back is best