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Safe Sleeping Habits for Babies

by Dr. Martin Fox, President of Nurture Smart

September is National Baby Safety Month and as manufacturers of baby products designed with input from healthcare professionals with a focus on exceptional safety, child development, and comfort features, I wanted to provide some important information on key safety points related to safe sleeping and sleeping environments for babies.

Hopefully, when you’re done reading this article, you’ll be able to put your baby to bed while also putting your mind at ease, knowing that your baby will sleep soundly and safely.

First, let's focus on where your baby naps and sleeps. The three most common spots where babies typically sleep are cribs, bassinets, and play yards.  Regardless of which option or options you choose, there are some critical safety concerns that you must address in order to keep your baby safe in each of those locations.

  • Make sure the crib, bassinet, or play yard meets the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  Don't use a crib that is more than 10 years old unless you are sure it meets CPSC standards including crib slats that are no more than 2 3/8 inches (6 cm) apart so your baby's baby’shead cannot get trapped between them.
  • Use a tight-fitting, firm mattress and fitted sheet designed specifically for the crib, bassinet, or play yard you are using. There must be no gaps that your baby could potentiallyroll into or get stuck in.
  • Do not use blankets, pillows, or bumper pads, and keep stuffed toys out of the sleeping area. These items could potentially block the baby's airflow should your baby inadvertently roll on them. Keep the décor minimal, keep the area toy-free and keep the crib completely clear.
  • Make sure the crib, bassinet, or play yard is properly set up, that you’ve followed all instructions if you set it up yourself, and that there are no loose or broken parts. Check the crib, bassinet, or play yard frequently and make sure there are no screws, bolts or sharp items in, or near the sleeping area.
  • Routinely clean and sanitize the sleeping area as well as any mobiles or other equipment in close proximity to the baby. Choose products that can be easily cleaned and disinfected to reduce exposure to the flu and other pathogens.
  • Ideally, the baby's crib, bassinet, or play yard should be placed in the parent's bedroom during the first 6 months. This not only reduces the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) but it also makes it much easier for the parents to feed and comfort the baby when needed at night.
  • Do not locate your crib, bassinet, or play yard near a window where there might be dirt, ledges, hanging curtains, drapery cords or other impediments or hazards that can harm your baby.
  • If you use a crib mobile, make sure it is securely fastened and that there are no loose parts or strings that could fall into the sleeping area. Remove the mobile when your baby is able to get up on his or her hands and knees, usually around 5 to 6 months old.

The Nurture Smart Crib Mobile is the most advanced crib mobile ever created.Designed with input from healthcare professionals our crib mobile includes exceptional safety, child development, and comfort features.

Anyone who’s been a parent knows that the phrase “sleep like a baby” does not actually apply to babies. In fact, babies aren’t typically good sleepers at all. Now that we have addressed safety concerns related to where your baby sleeps, I would like to add some thoughts on how your baby should sleep, ideally, in the hopes they have a safe, peaceful and restful night sleep.

  • Babies should sleep on their backs for the first 12 months. This is a reversal from days gone by when most clinicians recommended that babies sleep on their tummy. The logic then was that sleeping on their tummy might help to prevent choking or an airway obstruction, but it turns out that research shows a baby's gag reflex will keep this from happening and sleeping on their back can reduce the incidence of SIDS significantly.
  • Never leave a baby alone to sleep on a couch, chair, or other adult oriented resting place. Not for any reason or any amount of time. Babies should only sleep in areas optimized for their safety and security.
  • Your baby should not sleep with you in your bed. Only use the bed for feeding or to provide comfort and then return the baby to the crib, bassinet, or play yard.

Baby safety is our number one priority at Nurture Smart. We work with healthcare professionals whendesigning our products to make sure they always follow current safety standards.

Our products are designed, developed and tested with input from actual experts, real clinicians, child life specialists, audiologists, brain development professionals and many more. From our mobiles to our crib gyms and more, each product meets and exceeds rigorous hospital safety standards and, as such, are used in over 500 hospitals including the top 10 pediatric hospitals and thousands of homes in the United States and Canada.

Based in science. Designed by experts. Developed by Doctors. And trusted by parents. Nurture Smart products provide the safest and most developmentally appropriate experience for infants

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