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You’ve made it home from the hospital, or the midwife has left your house and been sent on their way. Perhaps you have a night nurse, postpartum doula, or family stopping by periodically. But for the most part, you’re on your own now. We all know sleepless nights are part of the deal for newborns; however, there are a few things to consider to ensure your baby is sleeping safe and sound.
Newborns have to be positioned for sleep in a way that protects them from dangers like choking, suffocation, and S.I.D.S. These are the dos and don’ts when it comes to your newborn sleeping in a crib.
Put your baby to sleep belly up on a hard surface.
Ensure your baby’s crib meets consumer products safety standards.
Keep the room at a comfortable temperature.
Dress your newborn for comfortable and safe sleep so they are warm enough without the use of layers of blankets.
Don’t have miscellaneous items in the baby’s crib that they could choke on.
Don’t put your baby to sleep on a soft surface like a bed, couch, pillow, or pile of blankets.
Don’t use crib bumpers or cribs with drop-side rails, as the baby could get caught.
Don’t let your baby sleep in car seats or baby carriers, as you might risk suffocation. If your baby falls asleep in one of those, transfer them to the crib as soon as possible.
Proper Safe Sleepy Time Practices
For the first year, lay your baby on their back. If your baby can change positions on their own, it’s okay for them to move around in their sleep in their crib that is free of any toys, pillows, or blankets. That said, your baby must spend some time on their stomach when they are awake. This is what is called “tummy time.” Tummy time strengthens the baby's arms, back, and legs and can also help prevent flat spots from forming on their head.
Make sure your baby’s pajamas are light and hazardous-free! Check that their clothes are free of drawstrings, embellishments that may fall off, and anything else that your baby could choke on.
Swaddling your baby is good until they can move on their own. When they can roll over on their own, stop swaddling them.
Pacifiers can protect your baby against S.I.D.S. Some lactation professionals recommend waiting on the pacifier for 3-4 weeks to avoid nipple confusion if you are breastfeeding.
Create an Evening Routine
Switch from play mode to evening mode by putting away the toys so your baby can begin to understand it’s almost time to sleep.
Dim all the lights, and close the blinds.
Turn off all screens 30 minutes before bedtime.
Lower your voice to a softer and gentler tone.
Gently rub your baby’s back.
Give your baby their pacifier.
Play soft music, gently sing, or read a story to your baby.
Every new parent has their own journey when it comes to sleep and the routines that surround it. Ensuring your baby is safe allows you to create sweet evening rituals to help you bond with your newborn baby.
Birthify coaches can help guide you and your newborn with more specific tips on getting your baby to sleep better. Get matched today!
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