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.