Nicki Knowles RN-BSN, Nurse Manager-Mother/Baby
Sleep makes up almost 80 percent of a newborn’s first months in the world. Every year in the United States, there are thousands of sleep-related infant deaths. Unfortunately, over half of these were preventable with the appropriate information about safe sleeping. At Baptist Health, we are committed to educating new parents about safe sleeping habits and how to ensure that you are doing everything you can to prevent unsafe sleep practices.
Four things you can do to ensure your baby sleeps safely
1. Place your baby on his or her back whenever they are napping or sleeping. Stomach sleeping or side sleeping increases the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths between 1.7 and 12.9 times.
2. Use a firm sleep surface. Couches and soft mattresses are not to be used. Remove all soft bedding and soft toys when your baby is asleep.
3. We recommend that babies sleep in the same room as their parents for the first six to twelve months of life. We do not recommend that they share the bed; rather, a separate surface like a crib with a safety-approved mattress. Room-sharing has proven to reduce the chances of SIDS by almost 50%.
4. Keep your baby cool when they are sleeping by dressing them in light and airy clothing.
Halo Sleep Sacks
Using regular blankets to swaddle newborns also poses certain risks. Babies can often wiggle their way out of a swaddle and pull blankets over their faces, smothering them. At Baptist Health, we provide Halo sleep sacks, wearable blankets for newborns that reduce the risk of suffocation and smothering. The sack immobilizes the infant’s arms to prevent blanket movement.
Infant sleeping while travelling
Travelling is one of the biggest interruptions in infant sleeping habits. Remember to pack safe-sleeping equipment while you are away. Often, hotels will accommodate newborns with cribs.
For more information about sleeping habits, visit https://www.baptist-health.com/halo-sleep-sacks/.
If you’re looking for more resources, classes, and important information about pediatric care at Baptist Health, download our free ‘Mom Life: Caring for Your Baby’ E-book.