|Blog contributed by Kathleen|
Zimmerman, MD, Pediatrician
When you’re getting ready for new baby to come, it is fun to get the room decorated and looking cozy. But as cute as those matching bumper pads, baby blankets and stuffed animals look, cozy is not always safe. In fact, new parents should stick to the motto, “Bare is Best”.
The recommendations for safe sleep has changed a lot over the past few decades. The Back to Sleep program and recommendations have dramatically reduced Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Unfortunately there have been increasing tragic deaths seen from babies being trapped or suffocated by extra items in the crib. So in addition to sleeping you baby on his back, also be sure to follow these recommendations:
1. Use a firm sleep surface
2. Use only the mattress that came with the crib or playpen, don’t replace it with something else and don’t place something on top (like a pillow or wedge positioner). You should not be able to fit more than 2 fingers between the mattress and the side
3. IF the mattress needs to have a slight angle at the head (30 degrees or less) for congestion or reflux symptoms, then do it from underneath the mattress, not on top
4. It is safest for the baby to sleep in the same room as the parents for the first 4 months.
5. But DON’t put the baby in your bed to sleep. Parents’ mattresses are often softer and there are bodies and pillows in the bed that can suffocate the baby.
6. No pillow, blankets or bumper pads in the crib.
7. Use a sleep sack to keep your baby warm, not blankets. Or a swaddle sack or thin blanket swaddled tightly is safe for babies until they start to roll (typically 4 months of age)
8. Keep cords, blind pulls, or other hanging objects away from the crib or playpen in order to avoid possible strangulation