sleeping safetyFew things in life are sweeter than a sleeping baby. For sleep deprived parents, the only thing sweeter is having a few moments to catch up on much needed sleep of their own. Laying your baby comes with many dangers if not done properly.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 3,500 babies in the US die each year from SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome or accidental suffocation. These staggering numbers can be prevented with proper sleeping policies.

Follow these recommendations for safe and peaceful sleeping:

  • When putting your baby down to sleep, always do so in a crib, bassinet or pack-n-play. The surface should have a tight fitting sheet and firm mattress.
  • Place your baby on their back each time you lay your child to sleep. Babies who sleep on their side or stomach have an increased risk of SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome.
  • Leave the bumpers and stuffed animals out of the crib, as they can do more harm than good for your baby. Soft materials can block a baby’s airway and put your child at risk for suffocation.
  • Avoid putting the baby in bed with you as there are many dangers to babies. Keeping the baby in your room in a crib or bassinet is ideal for the first 6 months. Studies have shown that sleeping in the same room as your baby can decrease the risk of SIDS by nearly 50 percent.

Babies should only be swaddled to sleep if they not rolling to their sides and if they are sleeping on their backs. The swaddle should be loose enough for the baby to breathe and move their hips.