Advice Column, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby

What Every parent should know about…creating a safe sleep environment

Babies spend the greater part of 12 months sleeping so it essential to provide a safe sleeping environment for baby.

ABOUT SIDS

 “SIDS” refers to the unexplained, unexpected death of a baby less than a year old.  It usually occurs when the infant is sleeping that is why it’s commonly known as ‘cot death’.  Many researchers argue over what may cause SIDS but new research lies in a deeper understanding of the development and functions of the brain and nervous system of infants, including those who succumb to SIDS. .1 

As parents there can be nothing more frightening than the idea that your child may be at risk.  Unfortunately, there are no evident signs or symptoms that we can diagnose before the fact.  What recent research has shown us that with just a few adjustments we can create a safe and secure sleeping environment for our babies.  

MAKE SAFE CHOICES

Statistics have shown that the position baby sleeps in can reduces the risk of SIDS. Just by placing baby to sleep on their back can reduce SIDS by more than 50%. 

What about side sleeping? Once again there are mixed reviews on this.  Studies show that side sleeping is unsuitable and increases the chance that infants will roll onto their stomachs. But, if used with a sleep positioner, baby is supported in this position and cannot roll onto their stomach. If you are concerned about using a sleep positioner always consult a health care professional.

“My baby sleeps so much better on his tummy”

Back sleeping is advised as babies who sleep on their tummies sleep more deeply, are less reactive to noise, experience less movement and are less able to be aroused, says the US Department of Health. Research published in Respiration Physiology showed the absence of deep sleep is believed to help protect infants against SIDS. No matter how your baby sleeps always ensure that baby’s airway is not obstructed and that her/his chin is on their chest and their nose needs to be open and clear

Temperature can play and important part in the prevention of SIDS.  Always make sure that baby does not get too hot! Overheating is a significant risk factor as babies cannot regulate their own temperature. The ideal temperature for baby’s’ room should be 18 – 21C.  Always avoid too much bedding or clothing, bamboo and cotton receivers are ideal as you can remove or add layers to regulate body temperature. Babies loose excess heat through their heads, so make sure that the head is never covered with a hat or blanket while sleeping. 

Always remember that mattresses can be a breeding ground for bacteria and dust mites.  These superbugs can survive in beds that have not been used in months. Always use a new Healthtex mattress for your new baby as they are not only fully ventilated but offer a specialised cover preventing dust mites from breeding inside the foam 

Fresh air is always important for a healthy environment and this is no exception for baby! The risk of SIDS doubles when babies are born and then are exposed to a smoke-filled environment.

Always seek medical advice if you are concerned about your baby.  Unwell babies need to be monitored and observed closely. So why not use a Co-Sleeper Camp Cot to keep baby an arm’s reach away.

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