As a parent of a newborn baby, it can be very easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of information and advice you receive regarding every facet of your child’s life. While some of this advice may ring true with you, there will definitely be many situations where you will have to use your best judgment for your baby.
When it comes to putting your baby to sleep in their crib, there are some rules that you should be aware of to keep your baby safe and healthy. Here are just a few tips as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
Lay Babies on Their Backs
Before the AAP made the recommendation in 1992 to put babies to sleep on their backs, it was not uncommon for parents to lay their babies down on their tummies at night or during naptime. Since the recommendation was made, the annual SIDS rate has decreased by 50 percent. Studies and research has shown that there are less suffocation risks when a baby is placed on their back in their crib. They will eventually reach an age when they are able to roll over on their own, at which point they have developed enough upper-body strength to avoid suffocation hazards.
No Blankets Until 1
While there are some who will suggest that putting a baby to bed with a blanket is okay at the 6-month mark, the AAP strongly suggests that parents hold off until a baby reaches their first birthday. Blankets can definitely be a suffocation hazard. You’ll want to wait to put a blanket in the crib with your baby until he or she is strong enough to push the blanket off or crawl out from under it.
Toys in the Crib?
It may not seem that a small stuffed animal could be dangerous, but experts agree that it is best to avoid putting toys in the crib with babies until they are a little bit older. Some toys can be suffocation hazards while others may have small parts that can be chewed off and cause your baby to choke. Even over-the-crib mobiles should be carefully monitored. At some point, your child may be able to reach the mobile by sitting up or standing in their crib, which may create choking hazards.
We tend to think of crib bumpers as a simple decoration in our baby’s crib, but they can actually be hazardous if they are too big or fluffy. Research has shown that crib bumpers can cause suffocation if a baby comes in contact with them as they move around in the night. It’s best to avoid large, fluffy bumpers and to be sure that bumpers are tied securely to the side of the crib. Experts suggest that bumpers be removed as your child grows and is able to stand in their crib. That bumper might be just enough of a step to allow the child to launch him or herself out of the crib.
Caring for a newborn baby is a very special and personal time for parents and the baby. Use your best judgment and common sense as you make decisions in how to best care for your baby. If you have questions or concerns about caring for your newborn, or if your baby becomes sick, please call or stop by AllKids Urgent Care. We’re here for you until 10:00pm every day!