How To Create a Safe Sleep Environment For Your Baby
Safe sleep for babies is what we're all about here at Cocoon Cam. So we've compiled a list of some important tips to help you make sure that your baby enjoys the safest, most restful night's sleep--so you can rest too!
The National Institutes of Health have created a very comprehensive website around SIDS prevention, but to be honest, it's a little scary! We've tried to distill the information given into manageable, attainable tips that will work for your busy lifestyle.
1) Back to Sleep: This easy-to-remember phrase has important roots in the prevention of SIDS, one of the most insidious risks posed to babies' health. Remember to always put your baby on her back to sleep, whether it's nap time or at night. Of course, many babies will start to roll themselves onto their sides or tummies, once they're old enough, but starting the sleep session on their backs will help train them, and reduce any risk. If you're concerned about your baby gaining muscle strength in her back and neck, be sure to offer plenty of supervised tummy time while she is awake.
2) Only baby in the crib: This is a much harder tip to follow, because there are so many adorable blankets, stuffed animals, bumpers and other crib adornments that catch our attention. However, even a light blanket or a small stuffed animal poses a potential risk to young babies. Many manufacturers have actually stopped making crib bumpers because of the safety issues.
So, resist the temptation to send baby to sleep with anything at all in the crib. For temperature control, you can always dress the baby slightly warmer, but blankets should be avoided entirely until she is at least a year old.
3) Share rooms, but not beds: According to the National Institutes of Health, having baby share the parents' bed puts the child at significant risk of injury, suffocation or death. From the NIH website:
"Evidence shows that the longer a parent and an infant bed share, the higher the risk for sleep-related causes of infant death, such as suffocation."
The same goes for sleeping on couches, chairs, etc. Even if you are breastfeeding around the clock, baby is safest sleeping in his own crib at all times, whether it's placed in your room or in his own room.
4) Watch the temperature: Babies who get too warm during sleep tend to be fussy, restless, and most importantly, are at increased risk for SIDS. Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for adults; for most people that's between 68 and 72 degrees. One great tip is to never dress baby in more than one additional layer than you would wear. This is a good rule of thumb for both sleep and for waking hours.
5) Don't smoke! Even secondhand smoke clinging to clothing or hair may have an impact on your baby's health and breathing. If you need help quitting, there may be a Quitline in your state or local area where you can get free or low-cost nicotine replacement therapy. For more information, visit the Center for Disease Control's site on quitting smoking.
6) Monitor your baby carefully: It's inevitable that you'll be exhausted with a newborn in the house, which is why baby monitors are so important. Many of today's advanced baby monitors often have features including HD video and two-way sound, which definitely can help you keep a close eye and ear on baby even while you're catching a few zzz's in another room. Cocoon Cam takes this one step further, offering the world's first Baby Breathing Monitor with HD Video and Two Way Sound. This revolutionary technology allows you to rest easy, knowing that a handy smartphone app will alert you to any unusual changes in baby's activity or breathing.
For more detailed information on creating the safest possible environment for your baby's sleep, visit the NIH website here.