Health Canada updates sleep recommendations for babies

It’s likely that the only time your newborn is left unattended is while sleeping.

That’s why you want to make that time as safe as possible. Health Canada says:

  • Use a crib, cradle or bassinet. It’s the safest place for your baby to sleep.
  • Put babies to sleep on their back, both at nap time and at bedtime.
  • Put baby to sleep in your room for the first six months.
  • Sleeping on standard beds, water beds, air mattresses, couches or futons can lead to a greater chance of suffocation for baby.
  • Cribs more than 10 years old are more likely to have worn-out or loose parts and missing instructions.
  • Keep your baby’s crib completely empty except for the mattress and fitted sheet. To prevent suffocation, avoid using loose bedding or soft objects like infant pillows and stuffed toys.
  • Dress your baby in light-weight sleep clothing, like a one-piece sleeper. Or use a thin, breathable blanket. Regular blankets can accidentally cover your child’s head while sleeping.
  • Don’t overheat the room. Overheating is a risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). If the temperature feels comfortable for you, it’s right for your baby.

Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, October 2012.

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