What Is The Safest Way For My Baby To Sleep?

What Is The Safest Way For My Baby To Sleep?

Bringing your baby home from hospital is one of the biggest, happiest milestones for a parent. It’s also an overwhelming moment when you might feel like your head suddenly fills with a hundred questions, like ‘where should my baby rest for safe sleep?’

Many parents prepare for the arrival of their baby by decorating a nursery or a room for them in their home and it’s tempting to welcome your baby by putting them to sleep in there for the first time. However, that’s not the safest option for your baby until they are at least six months old, so where should they sleep in the meantime?

Keep your baby close for safe sleep

Ideally, your baby should sleep in the same room as you until they are six months old. Evidence has shown that this significantly reduces the risk of SIDS for your baby and by keeping them close, it’s easier to feed and change them should they need it.

Your baby should have their own bed – a moses basket, a crib, a cot that attaches to your bed – in your bedroom. You may choose to co-sleep, and if you wish to do that ensure that you have informed yourself about the risks and read how to safely co-sleep. You can find the Lullaby Trust guidance here.

Keep the cot clear at all times for safe sleep

It’s tempting to make your baby’s bed snug with blankets and toys but the safest environment for your baby to sleep in is a clear cot. Sheets should be fitted or tucked under the mattress, and use fixed sheets or covers – a sleeping baby for their age and weight is best as it can’t tangle on them as they might squirm. Ensure that the sides of the cot are always put back into position when you and baby are sleeping, and remove any toys, however cute that they are!

Put your baby on their back to sleep

Always put your baby on their back to sleep, and place them at the end of the cot which is sometimes referred to as ‘feet to foot’. Baby should have plenty of room above their head and keep the cot clear at all times.

Placing your baby to sleep on their back is one of the safest things you can do to protect your little one and to ensure that they are sleeping as safely as possible and reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Use a dummy

Dummies can get a bad rep with the older generation, but there is some evidence that has shown that they can help reduce the risk of SIDS for your baby. There are a few things to remember if you choose to use a dummy:

What’s the best temperature for my baby?

Like Goldilocks, the perfect temperature for your baby’s safe sleep is not too hot, and not too cold. Keeping a comfortable temperature in the room means that your baby won’t wake because they are cold, or overheat. The risk of SIDS increases in a room that is too hot for your baby.

The idea temperature for your room, or where baby is sleeping is between 16 – 20 degrees celsius. You might wish to use a room thermometer, or Gro-Egg to monitor the temperature. Use light bedding – a sleeping baby is ideal, but be wary of the Tog rating as you might need to change it if the weather becomes warmer, or cooler.

To check your baby’s temperature, feel the top of their chest or neck – not their head. If they are warm to the touch, remove a layer that is covering your baby, or that your baby is wearing to cool them down.

Do not let your baby sleep in a hat at night – even when newborn.

For more information on safe sleep for your baby, and for answers to questions you might have, we recommend The Lullaby Trust Website. To access the site, click on the button below:

Kate Dyson

Kate is the Founder of The Motherload, the 'owner' of one husband, two daughters, two cats and one rabbit. She loves wine, loathes exercise and fervently believes in the power of women supporting women. Find me on instagram: @themotherloadhq

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