TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Parents might think they can rest easy when their baby is sleeping, but there's a lot to do at bedtime to make sure your little one is sleeping safely.
Stormont-Vail Birthplace nurse Kim Dick says the American Academy of Pediatrics has new recommendations for safe sleeping. Among them - babies should be placed in a separate crib and there should be no co-sleeping with parents, siblings or pets. Experts also recommend a very firm crib with a tight-fitting mattress, so baby can't get any part of themselves stuck.
Dick says the crib should be empty, too, with no extra blankets, stuffed animals or bumpers which pose a suffocation risk. Also make sure any baby monitor cords that baby could get tangled in are clear of the crib.
While it's not known for sure what causes Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, on theory is that blankets or other items around the face obstructing breathing might contribute. Stormont-Vail's Birthplace now uses and recommends swaddlers instead of blankets. They're sort of like a sack that zips up and has flaps that wrap around the baby's body. Dick says it gives theirs legs room to stay mobile, but also provides a safe area with no extra blankets that might be up over baby's head.
Safe sleeping guideliness also call for baby to be on her back. Dick says, when babies sleep on their tummy, they don't have strength in the neck to lift up and that also increases risk for suffocation.
Breastfeeding also is shown to reduce the risk for SIDS. After you give baby three to four weeks to catch on to it, studies show a pacifier at bedtime could be a good thing. It's shown to be a defense mechanism against SIDS by stimulating the brain to keep breathing.
Experts also say to check the space between the crib bars. If a soda can can fit through, they're too far apart.
Experts also now recommend having baby sleep in the same room as parents for the first six months so they're more likely to hear any problems. But again, it should be in a separate area, not in the parent's bed.