Sleep Safety: Our Guide!
Sleep safety is such a vital aspect of raising a little one; it’s also the cause of major anxiety for so many parents. I for one hold my hands up and admit to many sleepless nights spent staring at my sons chest to make sure he’s breathing.
The Lullaby Trust, for me and many parents in our private group, is a valuable resource to help us maximise the sleep safety for our precious babies. The NHS safe sleep guidelines are also very handy, and evidence based too!
Here is my quick guide to sleep safety, using official and evidence-based information synthesised from reliable sources!
• They restrict the flow of air into the cot and also raise the temperature – both elements that raise the risk of SIDS.
• They’re not breathable so a baby can roll in the night and press their faces against them during their sleep, resulting in awful outcomes.
• More mobile babies can use them as leverage to throw themselves out of their cot.
It is reccomended that a baby either has a cellular blanket or a grobag until they’re one, at which point a quilt and pillow are considered safe to introduce (NHS). Cellular blankets are breathable – good for babies who like to throw their blanket over their head! Grobags keep a baby at a safe level of warmth without posing a smothering risk.
What baby should wear to bed:
There has been lots of conflicting info about this; this infographic diagram is handy. It corresponds the best clothing for a baby to sleep in with room temperature, as baby being too warm or too cold can increase the risk of SIDS. Hats are now no longer considered safe to sleep in, nor are bows or headbands. This is because of the risk of these slipping down during sleep and causing a smothering risk.
Toys, pillows and quilts:
A safe cot is an empty cot – only baby and a cellular blanket or Grobag should be in the cot. Sorry, Ewan! As stated above, quilts and pillows aren’t considered safe until baby is one.
When should baby go in their own room:
6 months is advised as the earliest safe point but many paediatricians advise a year. If this is absolutely not possible due to your own circumstances then there are some really excellent monitors and monitoring pads that you can invest in for peace of mind.
Of course, guidelines are just that – a guide, not a law. You don’t have to follow them, but it’s always handy to know them. They’re evidence based and written to help us, not hinder us. The Lullaby Trust has worked tirelessly for many years and has no doubt saved many babies lives.
No doubt there will be comments along the lines of ‘I used bumpers/put baby in own room early/put teddies in baby’s cot etc and my baby is ok’, but personal anecdotes don’t trump the proven facts I’m afraid!
Thanks for reading, and I hope that this guide helps! Love from Katie. Xx