This blog post was originally written for Tini Trader.
Babies spend a lot of time sleeping.
This means that it's important to be aware of safe sleep positions for your little one.
Always put your baby on their back to sleep
The number one rule is to always place your baby on her back to sleep, not on the tummy or side.
Place your baby’s feet at the very end of the cot and make sure you tuck the sheets and blankets in tightly. This is important as it stops them from wriggling down under the blankets.
Once your baby has learnt to roll from their front to their back on her own, you should still put them on their back in the cot to go to sleep but then you can let them find their own comfortable sleeping position.
The right temperature
The ideal sleeping conditions for a baby is for the room to be on the cooler side - between 18 - 20°C.
A room thermometer is essential so that you can make decisions on clothing and bedding depending on the room temperature.
When you're trying to work out if your baby is the right temperature, make sure you put your hand down on their chest or their back.
Babies will release heat through their faces and head and so this is not a true indication.
If their chest is cool to the touch they are good to go but if they're sweaty or clammy then they are too warm and you need to remove a layer or two of either clothing and/or bedding.
Sheets and blankets should be no higher than shoulder height, and make sure you tuck these in firmly underneath the cot mattress so that no bedding can cover your baby’s face or head.
During the winter months, you may need to add another blanket or two, however make sure you keep en eye on the temperature and make adjustments as needed.
What to avoid
You need to keep your baby’s cot as simple as possible when they sleep.
This means no to:
- sleeping with a hot water bottle
- sleeping on an electric blanket
- sleeping next to a radiator, heater or fire
- sleeping in direct sunshine
- sleeping on the couch
- no bumpers or mesh around the cot
Red Nose recommends sharing a room with your newborn baby in the form of a separate cot or bassinet close to the parent’s bed, without pillows or blankets and placing your baby on his or her back for sleep.
Avoid over bundling and overheating your newborn and never fall asleep while propped up in a chair or couch holding your baby.
Written by Kate Johnson Ph.D.