In 2015, most new parents are all too aware of the danger posed by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. In fact, awareness has made a big difference. Since public-education campaigns began in the early ‘90s, the rate of SIDS deaths has dropped by more than 40%. We certainly hope to see the number of infant deaths drop to zero, but since we still don’t know all the causes, we hope that sharing this information will simply play a part in keeping those numbers as low as possible.
Not all sleep is safe for infants.
It might seem like your infant could fall asleep anywhere. After all, full-time growth and development takes a lot of energy. Parents and caregivers need to be aware that during sleep, infants are at their most vulnerable. Newborns have very little control over their movements, especially when they’re trying to navigate bedding, toys, and other objects. It’s easy for their tiny mouths and noses to get blocked so that it becomes hard to breathe. Just a few minutes in an unsafe sleeping place can be moments too many.
Unsafe sleep causes more than half of deaths for healthy infants.
Even more important than whether a baby is sleeping is how. As a parent, you can set the stage so that all sleep means safe sleep for your baby.
- Pick a firm mattress. This significantly reduces the risk of suffocation. A firm mattress will also provide the support your baby’s body needs for healthy development.
- Always lay a baby down on his or her back. Side and stomach sleep can allow a baby to roll over.
- Remove soft toys and bedding. Don’t use bumper pads. Do use a sleep sack or onesie instead of a blanket to keep baby warm. All unnecessary items should be eliminated.
- Never smoke around a baby. SIDS is three times more likely when the mother smokes during pregnancy.
- Don’t sleep in the same bed. The same room is wonderful. The same bed leads to unnecessary risk.
- Give your baby a pacifier at bedtime. If it falls out, leave it out.
- Breastfeed if possible. Breastfeeding brings many benefits for both babies and moms. Preventing SIDS is one of them.
- Get your baby vaccinated. Follow recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Wait at least a year to introduce honey. Honey can contain botulism spores, and infant botulism can be fatal.
- Encourage tummy play during the day. Your baby will need to learn how to navigate movement in lots of ways. Leave tummy play for daytime.
Consider Organic Mattresses
Parents are willing to go to the ends of the Earth to keep their children safe and healthy. To make sleep even safer, through infancy and beyond, you can explore the possibilities offered by organic mattresses. Many conventional mattresses contain flame-retardants and other chemicals that get absorbed by the body and have an impact on health. If you want to lay on an organic mattress to see if it’s an option for you, visit A Goodnight Sleepstore and let a sleep expert know you’re thinking about making the switch to organic bedding. We’ll show you the options and help you find just the right comfort, support, and materials for your family.