When you arrive home with your little bundle it’s not unusual to think that someone from the hospital has waved you off to care for a tiny human being all by yourself! It’s also common to worry about everything – am I going to drop them, hurt their neck if I don’t hold them properly or hurt their arms and legs trying to wrangle them into a vest.
As a new parent you worry about everything, so the experts at Love to Dream have provided some tips for a safe sleep for babies which will help to alleviate some of the worries and help you find the most comfortable and safest way for baby to sleep at home.
Tip 1 – Co-Sleeping
Try and keep your baby in your room until 6 months – as per Lullaby Trust safe sleep guidelines that help to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, perhaps more commonly known as Cot Death.
Keeping them in your room means that you’re near to them should they need you, and it also makes life much easier when it comes to night-time feeds. While many will think about how to safely co-sleep with baby, you should always make sure that they are in a separate sleeping space to you. There are now plenty of cots that can attach to your bed, so you are as close as possible for night-time feeds.
Tip 2 – Swaddling
Make sure you swaddle your baby in a lightweight, breathable, stretchy material so your baby doesn’t overheat. The room should be between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius and the rule of them having one more layer on than you, is an easy way to layer in all seasons.
A Love to Dream Swaddle Up is a popular choice here at Uber Kids and keeps baby in a snug, safe and natural position when they sleep. The Swaddle Up comes with a two-way zip for easy changing plus a range of different sizes and colours.
Tip 3 – Soft Furnishings
Synthetic bedding like fleece blankets can trap the heat and make your baby hot, so all-natural fabrics such as 100% cotton or bamboo are advisable.
Remove any blankets from the cot or crib unless they are tucked in firmly up to baby’s chest. If using a blanket, always place baby with their feet at the bottom of the crib so they can’t wiggle down and under them.
Tip 4 – Sleeping Positions
You should always lay your baby onto their back to sleep. A baby doesn’t have any neck control in the first few months and could end up face down on the mattress, obstructing their breathing. Young babies are commonly sick and if on their front, they may not be able to move to avoid inhaling it.
Once your baby can roll themselves over, let them find their own sleeping position but give them a helping hand if they look like they need it. They usually like their side or tummy and they usually make this leap at approximately 5-7 months old.
*Please be aware that if your baby has reflux, your paediatrician may suggest a different sleeping position. If you are ever in doubt about how to put a newborn to sleep safely, be sure to speak to your Doctor or midwife.*
Tip 5 – Clearing the Cot
A clear cot is the safest cot. Sleep positioners, cot bumpers and soft toys can all pose a suffocation risk so are best removed once you put them down to sleep.
As your baby gets older and starts to sit themselves up, make sure that the cot position is lowered so that baby can’t climb out!
Tip 7 – Heating
When you set up the cot in the nursery make sure it’s away from the radiator, and if there is one in the room it’s advisable to turn the radiator off altogether unless you have a thermostat control or smart heating. If your home gets particularly cold, you can get great portable oil filled radiators that are controlled to stay the same temperature all night.
Tip 8 – Hot Weather
During hot weather, keep the curtains and blinds closed during the day as this will keep the sun out and reduce the chance of the room getting too hot. Try opening the windows to allow a breeze in, especially from 5pm onwards so that they’re as cool and comfortable as possible.
If you are concerned your home is particularly warm, could freeze a two-litre bottle of water and put it in front of a fan to create a DIY air con system.