How to Keep your Baby Safe during the Night
In the many discussions I’ve had with new parents, I’ve found that one of the most worrisome times of day for these parents, are the hours when they have no control over the baby; when both parents and child are asleep during the night. During these sleeping hours so much depends upon the baby’s environment: Crib Safety, Proper Bedding, and Room Temperature. These concerns are well founded, and can be alleviated somewhat by considering the following cautions. That is why I wrote about How to Keep your Baby Safe during the Night!
A New Crib is a Safe Crib
Don’t use an old crib. The family heirloom crib that granny slept in may have great emotional value, but it could be very dangerous for your baby. It could have lead paint in the finish, slats may not be properly spaced, and it may be structurally unsound. A new crib that meets current government standards should be your only concern. If there is a family heirloom offered, use it in the nursery as a display table for the baby’s stuffed animals and toys. That way, granny will be pleased and the baby will be safe.
Crib Bedding Safety
Once you have a proper crib, your biggest concern for the baby’s immediate surroundings while sleeping is the crib bedding. The most important bedding item is the mattress. It should be firm and it should fit snugly into the available crib space. There should be no gap around the edges between the mattress and the crib sides. You should not be able to insert more than two fingers between the mattress edge and the crib side. This ensures that the baby cannot roll into and become trapped in a wider space. One of the many reasons How to Keep your Baby Safe during the Night!
The second most critical consideration is the sheet covering the mattress. It should fit tightly on the mattress. Never use a flat sheet with edges folded underneath the mattress. They will come loose and endanger the child. Use fitted sheets with corner restraining straps under the mattress, or preferably pillowcase style sheets that slide tightly over the entire mattress. Cotton material is preferred to minimize the presence of pesticides or other chemicals.
Despite that fact that tradition has favored the use of crib bumpers to decorate the sides of the crib while supposedly protecting the baby from bumps, don’t use them. Studies and anecdotal evidence have shown them to be a danger, even deadly, in a number of cases. For a time, the standards allowed for the careful use of bumpers provided the tie cords were properly attached and dangerous spaces and gaps were eliminated. That is no longer the case. Recommendations from the government and from pediatrics organizations advise that they be no longer used. Be sure; be safe; don’t use bumpers. Another way How to Keep your Baby Safe during the Night!
Maintain a Safe Nursery
Positioning of the crib in the nursery is extremely important, especially during the night when the baby may wake up unsupervised. Babies love to climb; don’t give them anything that they can use to facilitate climbing. Move the crib away from windows, walls with picture frames, curtains, or any other objects that the baby can use to pull up on.
It’s important that the baby be located close to you during the night so you can hear if there is any disturbance or problem. Years ago, it was common for the baby’s crib to stay in the master bedroom during the period of infancy. This is not always possible today, but thanks to electronics, you can install a baby monitor enabling you to hear every move and sound coming from the nursery.
Make it clear to everyone, that the nursery, and your home if you’re smart, is a no smoking zone. Second hand smoke is thought to be a factor in SIDS. This is not a risk that any responsible parents would wish to take.
Put Baby to Bed Properly
Assuming that you’ve followed all the suggestions and have a nursery and sleeping accommodations for the baby that are as safe as possible, there is only one more safety measure for you to consider; and that is how you place the baby in the crib for a night’s sleep. We’ve all seen movies where the mother places the baby lovingly on his stomach and gently rubs his bottom until he falls asleep. There is no question that this is an emotional moment, but it’s now known to be fraught with danger for the baby. Always place the baby into the crib on his back. Laying the child on his stomach, as described above, is a potential cause of SIDS.
Make sure that the temperature of the room is comfortable for the baby. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the temperature is acceptable simply because you are comfortable. It’s the baby that’s important. If he is bundled up snugly, he may not need as much heat as you enjoy. Take his clothing and bedding into account when you adjust the temperature in the nursery for nighttime sleeping.
There are so many details that are important to the safe rearing of a baby. Experience shows that the baby requires the same level of watchfulness and safety precautions needed during the day. If you follow the suggestions given above, your baby will be as safe as is humanly possible, and both you and your child can rest easy during the night.
How to Keep your Baby Safe during the Night is such an important topic!