I have been a mother for approximately three months, now! And while I loved sleeping before Baby G arrived, I never realized that it would be one of the topics I would obsessively search and learn about. How do I get my baby to sleep through the night? How do I get my baby to take naps? And most importantly – how do I make sure my baby is a safe sleeper?
The topic of safe sleep is one that I am passionate about sharing. I personally follow the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. This gives me the confidence of knowing my baby is safe as can be when I lay him down to sleep. In turn, it relieves me of (some) my anxiety so that I can sleep, too.
Following AAP Guidelines significantly reduces the risk of SIDS and sleep-related deaths.
I have always struggled with anxiety, so it was natural to be inclined to be anxious when it came to my baby sleeping when I was asleep. In fact, I will still wake up in the middle of the night to check that he is breathing. As I have previously stated, I prayed for my little one! Luckily, I settle down fairly quickly once I remind myself that he is sleeping in the safest environment possible.
In fact, according to the CDC, most cases of SIDS and sleep-related deaths occured due to three unsafe sleep practices: bed sharing, use soft bedding, or placing a sleeping baby on their belly. To help guide our decisions around safe sleep, I highly suggest checking out the “Healthy Children” website by the AAP. However, I wanted to share the ABC’s of Safe Sleep with you and one of my favorite resources as a first-time parent!
What are the AAP Guidelines for Safe Sleep?
The guidelines for safe infant sleep are as easy as the ABC’s!
This means that your baby sleeps alone, with the exception of a pacifier inside of their crib. There should be no bumpers, positioners, or even blankets! If you are worried about baby staying warm, there are plenty of sleep sack or footed jammie options!
On their Back
Always place your baby on their back. Yes, even if they have reflux. This one confuses a lot of grandparents because they were all taught to lay us on our sides in the early nineties and beyond. However, the AAP states that “back is best” for safe sleep.
In their Crib
Safe sleep spaces are mandated to be labeled as a crib, bassinet, or pack and play to be deemed safe by the US CPSC (the government agency that tests all sleep products under those names). In order for your baby to be the safest sleeper, it is so important to lay them down in their own sleep space, rather than co-sleeping.
However, if you would like to roomshare, do so! The AAP recommends it at least through a baby’s first six months of life. And I will be the first to say that feeding my exclusively breastfed son is no more difficult by laying him in his bassinet at night!
Finding information on Safe Sleep doesn’t have to be difficult!
Of course, the primary resource for infant safety should be the AAP’s Healthy Children website. However, I highly recommend finding a facebook group or two. There are a few evidence-based ones around.
My favorite facebook group is Safe Sleep and Baby Care — Evidence Based Support. I’ll admit they do not sugar coat information, but wow! You can learn so much without even asking a question. They have many files for you and loved ones to learn about safe sleep (which can even answer why you don’t let your baby sleep in any inclined container). However, they also have awesome files on teaching your baby to self-soothe and how to sleep-train at a developmentally appropriate level!
Remember safe sleep is as easy as the ABC’s!
There is simply so much that can be said about insuring that your infant is sleeping in the safest conditions possible. So, let this post be a reminder that the first step is as easy as the ABC’s – Alone, on their Back, and in their Crib!
If you liked this post and would like to see more educational posts on baby care, let me know in the comments or on twitter!
Till next time!