Once your baby arrives, there is a lot of learning and adapting that is required to be done by you. Your baby's sleeping positions is one of them apart from feeding, cleaning, sleeping pattern, immunization, doctor visits, etc. A well-rested baby is every parent’s wish. So let’s understand the important features of safe and unsafe sleeping positions for a baby. A good bedtime routine means a happy, peaceful child. Proper sleep helps in effective growth and development of your baby.
Here are some do's and don't's about your baby's sleeping positions
A big warm hug, few kisses from you is a perfect way to put your baby into the dream world. Caring and talking sweetly, telling him “I love you”, will give your child a sense of security and belongingness and your child will sleep well with happy thoughts.
Start with a good and fresh set of clothes as per the weather. Always ensure your baby wears proper sleepwear so that he can sleep peacefully. Small babies cannot regulate their body temperature, so it is necessary to protect them with appropriate clothing. This will keep them cozy and comfortable and they neither feel too hot nor will they feel too cold.
Ensure your baby is appropriately dressed in body suits, either long sleeved or short sleeved according to the weather. You can use long-sleeved bodysuit if the weather is too cold, else normal half sleeves sleep-suit is fine.
Always use a firm and clean mattress. Do not use an overly soft mattress, water-bed or sofa for your baby. Never place bumper pads, pillows, fluffy or stuffed animals around the baby in the crib. Never ever cover your baby’s head with anything while he is sleeping. If required, you can use a blanket over the baby but it should not cover the face. Observe your baby and see what suits him and accordingly make the required changes. Also, take care that there are no soft toys and stuffed animals near your newborn.
Maintain a proper room temperature in the baby’s room. If there isn’t much air to cool the room, you can use a fan however never place your baby directly over it. Always use lighter bedding during summer and keep the doors open. Make sure your baby is not sleeping near an open window, or under air conditioning vents, etc.
The most important parameter is your baby’s sleeping position. Never put him to sleep on his belly. Your baby has to be placed down slowly and carefully else you will wake him up. Gently, lean the baby down with a hand near his head place a blanket over him so he feels comfortable and cozy. A pillow or two can be kept near him your baby will feel safe and protected. The room should neither be too hot nor too cold with appropriate lighting. The baby must not sleep under a window where there is too much noise.
You should always put your baby to sleep on his back and not on his front or side. Putting your baby to sleep on his front or side greatly increases the chance of SIDS. As per doctors, the chance of SIDS is particularly high for babies who are sometimes placed on their front or side.
Keep checking in-between how your baby is sleeping. If your baby has rolled onto his tummy, you should turn him on his back again.
If your baby is unwell, add few extra layers of clothing. Do not over warm him with extra blankets.
Never make your baby sleep on his stomach. Sleeping in this position will add pressure on his jaw and restrict his breathing. He might be very close to the mattress and breathe the same air and might suffocate. Being so close in that position, there are chances he might breathe in microbes or dirt from the mattress.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is unpredictable and occurs in seemingly healthy babies who are less than a year old. It is an unexplained death that usually occurs when the baby is sleeping. The baby may have a problem with the part of the brain that helps control his breathing and waking during sleep. In normal cases, the brain triggers if oxygen level reduces breathing, however in this case it doesn’t and it leads to death. It is also known as crib death as infants often die in their cribs.
Although the cause is unknown to doctors, it is normally associated with breathing when babies are sleeping. A host of factors including physical, sleep and environmental factors can affect babies making them more prone to SIDS. Each case varies from baby to baby. Of course, family history, premature or low birth weight babies, etc. further increases the risk of SIDS.
Never make the room too warm. Never overstuff the crib with lots of blankets and toys as it may lead to suffocation. Avoid exposure to any kind of fragrance, or tobacco smoke to your baby. Always feed your baby well, ensure your baby has burped and then gently put him to sleep.