While sleep can be heaven for adults, when they become new parents sleep becomes a state fraught with concern. Parents worry when their children have trouble sleeping and they also worry that when their child is asleep that she may be in danger of suffocating from sleeping in the wrong position. Here is how to make sure you and your child both have safe dreams.
Your child's crib should be a safe haven. To be sure it is, check that it meets all current safety requirements:
- The slats are positioned no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.
- There are no missing or broken slats.
- The corner posts are no higher than 1/16 of an inch.
- The latches on the sides of the crib are too difficult for young kids to release.
- There are no cutouts in the headboard and footboard.
- There are no loose or missing screws or bolts in any part of the crib.
Research has shown that how you outfit your baby's crib and settle him in for the night can significantly reduce his risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Follow these guidelines for a safe night's sleep.
- Always place your baby on his back.
- Remove pillows, quilts, comforters, stuffed toys and other soft bedding.
- Use only a snug-fitting crib sheet. Never use adult sheets in a crib.
- Opt for a warm sleeper instead of covering your baby with a blanket.
- If using a blanket, tuck it securely around the sides and bottom of the crib mattress.
- Arrange the blanket so it's no higher than the baby's chest.
- Make sure the baby's head remains uncovered.