Babies spend the majority of their first months of life in their sleep space. Considering that babies are typically sleeping while in their cribs or bassinets – and for the longest stretches of time it’s when mom and dad are also sleeping – it’s safe to say that the time that they do spend in their sleep space is largely unsupervised. For that reason alone, parents must take proactive steps to assure their baby’s safety while sleeping.
When creating your baby’s sleep space, keep these 7 tips in mind:
1. Avoid bed-sharing. While there’s an upswing in the support of co-sleeping and bed sharing from many parents, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) still insists that room-sharing, rather than bed-sharing, is safest for babies. According to First Candle, bed-sharing increases a baby’s risk of death by 40 percent. Keeping your baby in a separate, but close, sleep space is the safest place for your baby to sleep. Placing a co-sleeper or bassinet beside your bed allows you to closely monitor your baby throughout the night.
2. Use a firm sleep surface. While it can be tempting to put a fussy baby in a car seat or bouncy seat to sleep, for regular, routine sleep the safest place for your baby is on a firm surface. Cribs, bassinets, and play yards certified by the Juvenile Product Manufacturer’s Association (JPMA) are held to safety standards above and beyond the standard requirements set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Be sure that the mattress has a firm fit and that the sheet fits snugly on the mattress.
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