How Does Breastfeeding Affect Safe Sleep
Breastfeeding for at least the first 6 of your babys life can reduce your babys risk of SIDS.
Its OK to breastfeed your baby in your bed. Before you start feeding, move any bedding and pillows from your bed in case you fall asleep. If you do fall asleep, move your baby to his crib or bassinet as soon as you wake up. Breastfeeding your baby in bed is safer than on a sofa or cushioned chair.
Babies often fall asleep while breastfeeding, especially when they get full. If you think your babys asleep and hasnt finished feeding, try to wake him gently by rubbing his back, tickling his feet, burping him or switching him to the other breast. If your babys not latched on correctly, he may fall asleep. You can break the latch by putting your pinky finger in the side of his mouth. Ask your lactation consultant to help you make sure your baby has a good latch. Latch is when your babys mouth is securely attached to the area around your nipple for breastfeeding.
Is It Safe For Your Baby To Sleep On His Stomach
It isnât safe to put babies to sleep on their stomachs. Thatâs because this position increases the risk of SIDS. The same goes for placing your baby to sleep on his side. From the side-sleeping position, your little one can easily roll onto his stomach and end up in this unsafe sleeping position.Itâs important to reposition your baby onto her back if you see her change to a side or stomach position. However, some older babies are able to roll themselves back onto their backs after rolling onto their sides or stomachs. If youâre older baby is comfortable rolling in both directions , then you do not have to reposition her. Always make sure that there is nothing in the crib besides your baby. Some researchers believe that sleeping on the stomach face down can block airways and impair a babyâs breathing. Stomach sleeping may also increase the chance of your baby ârebreathingâ the air he already expelled. The chance of this increases if your babyâs crib contains a soft mattress, bedding, stuffed animals, or a pillow near his face. Rebreathing expelled air causes a decline in oxygen levels and an increase in carbon dioxide.Until your baby reaches her first birthday, always place your baby in her crib on her back. Make sure the crib has a firm crib mattress thatâs covered with a tight-fitting sheet.The crib shouldnât contain any loose bedding, bumper pads, blankets, quilts, pillows, or stuffed animals. It should be completely empty.
Have A Warm Bath And Use The Cool Mist Humidifier
Last but not least, you can give our baby a warm bath with a menthol scent. And then, during the naptime and bedtime, you can turn on the cool mist humidifier inside the room in order to keep the air moist. If you want to buy one, you should check out my article. This quick guide will help you to pick the best humidifier for babies congestion.
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Why Does Sids Happen
Although risk factors have been identified, the cause of SIDS is unknown. The risk of SIDS is higher when any of the following occur:
- If your baby is born prematurelybefore 38 weeks of gestationtheir risk of SIDS increases up to 4 times compared with infants born at full term.
- You lay your baby to sleep on his or her stomach.
- Your baby sleeps with soft objects and loose bedding.
Helping Your Baby Sleep Safely
For the first 6 months the safest place for your baby to sleep is in a cot, crib or moses basket in your room beside your bed and in the same room as you for all sleeps. You’ll also be close by if they need a feed or cuddle.
You can help your baby get a good sleep and stay as safe as possible by:
- always putting them to sleep flat on their back on a firm flat mattress, and putting them on their back again if they roll over
- tucking them in with blankets across their chest and under their arms
- always putting them feet first at the bottom of the cot so they cant wriggle down and get caught under the blankets
- removing any bumpers, pillows or soft toys from the cot as these can cause your baby to overheat or affect your baby’s breathing if they’re too close to their face
- making sure they don’t get too hot or cold – check their temperature by feeling their stomach or the back of their neck, and dont go by hands and feet as they’ll often feel cold
- keeping their head uncovered when theyre sleeping and taking off any swaddling or sleeping bag if they’re in bed with you
- taking your baby out of their car seat when theyre not travelling, and from a bouncy seat, swing or nest if theyre asleep, as their head can roll forward if they’re not sleeping flat which can affect their breathing
- making your home smoke-free, and keeping your baby away from cigarette smoke
Make sure that any other family or friends who may look after your baby know how to put your baby down for a sleep safely.
Can Babies Sleep On Their Stomach On Your Chest
Avoid this too. Parents make their baby sleep on them as long as they are directly observing them. But as soon as the parent gets sleepy or is not directly observing the baby, then they have to put the baby on his back.
Sleeping on the back, in a crib is the safest way for a baby to sleep even for short naps. However, if you intend to breastfeed a half-asleep baby, then place him on his back on the bed, lie on your side beside him, and breastfeed in side-feeding position. It will help you slowly withdraw the nipple from the infants mouth while leaving him asleep on his back.
Sleep is essential for a baby to grow both physically and mentally. When a baby sleeps safely, he not only enjoys the benefits of sleep but also has a reduced risk of fatal conditions such as suffocation and SIDS. Once he can roll on his tummy or back by himself, you can leave him to sleep on his belly all night. But, sleeping on the back is the best position for infants younger than six months.
Do Not Let Your Baby Get Too Hot Or Too Cold
Overheating can increase the risk of SIDS. Babies can overheat because of too much bedding or clothing, or because the room is too hot.
- When you check your baby, make sure they’re not too hot. If your baby is sweating or their tummy feels hot to the touch, take off some of the bedding. Do not worry if their hands or feet feel cool this is normal.
- It’s easier to adjust for the temperature by using layers of lightweight blankets. Remember, a folded blanket counts as 2 blankets. Lightweight, well-fitting baby sleeping bags are a good choice, too.
- Babies do not need hot rooms. All-night heating is rarely necessary. Keep the room at a temperature that’s comfortable for you at night about 18C is ideal.
- If it’s very warm, your baby may not need any bedclothes other than a sheet.
- Even in winter, most babies who are unwell or feverish do not need extra clothes.
- Babies should never sleep with a hot water bottle or electric blanket, next to a radiator, heater or fire, or in direct sunshine.
- Babies lose excess heat through their heads, so make sure their heads cannot be covered by bedclothes while they’re asleep.
- Remove hats and extra clothing as soon as you come indoors or enter a warm car, bus or train, even if it means waking your baby.
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Myth : Some Babies Sleep Worse When Swaddled Because They Want To Be Free
Not really. Your baby may fuss and resist swaddling at first, so it may look like she hates it. But babies dont need freedom, they need the feeling of security they had in the womb. Without wrapping, your infant will flail her arms, whack herself in the face and startle easily throughout the night. Thats a recipe for poor sleep.
Swaddling is the first step to calming, and its important you dont stop there, especially if your infants been fighting it. To help her settle, youll want to layer in other womb-mimicking steps: shushing, side/stomach position, swinging and sucking, which, along with swaddling, make up the 5 Ss of setting up a baby for sleep success. And once the Ss become part of your sleep routine, shell give up her battle!
So When Is It Safe For Babies To Sleep On Their Stomach
With a newborn, sleep position is fairly easy to control. If you put them on their back, theyre likely to stay there. However, there comes a point where you cant control your babys sleep position anymore. He or she may start rolling over in the night, making it impossible for you to make sure they stay on their back. So when can you stop losing sleep over this problem? And at what age is it safe to put your baby on his or her tummy?
The highest risk of SIDS happens between one and four months of age. During this stage, it is absolutely crucial that your baby sleeps in the supine position, flat on their back. When your baby learns how to roll over, usually around 6 months, she may roll from her back to her belly during the night. When this happens, you should still put your baby to sleep on her back, but you dont have to worry if she rolls over herself when youre not around.
SIDS remains a risk until your baby is about one year old. Until then, you should always put your baby to sleep on his or her back. After that, you probably wont be able to control your babys sleeping position, and its okay to allow them to sleep however they want to.
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Myth : You Should Never Wake A Sleeping Baby
Nope. You should always wake your sleeping baby using a little technique called wake and sleep. It gently teaches your child the important skill of self-soothing. Heres briefly how it works: Starting as early as the first day of life, wake him up the tiniest bit after sliding him into bed. Just tickle his neck or feet until his eyes drowsily open. Very soon after, hell drift right back into slumberland. In those few semi-awake seconds, hes just soothed himself back to sleep the first step toward sleeping through the night.
Myth : We Should Teach Babies To Sleep In Their Own Rooms
Having our babies grow up to be independent takes a long time. Theres no need to rush it. In fact, having your new child sleep in another room is inconvenient and possibly dangerous. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in the parents room for at least six months . The simple practice has shown to significantly reduce the rate of sudden infant death syndrome.
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When Can Babies Sleep On Their Stomachs
All babies should be put to sleep on their backs for every sleep, including naps, during their first year of life. After your baby turns 1 you can let her sleep in any position she prefers, though you should continue to place her in the crib on her back.The back-sleeping position â along with other important precautions, such as keeping the crib free of loose bedding and toys â helps reduce the risk of SIDS.
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What To Do If Baby Rolls Onto Stomach While Sleeping
Youve done your part and put baby to sleep on her back. But as every new mom knowsno matter how exhausted you areyou cant help but wake up in the middle of the night to make adjustments should you find baby sleeping on her stomach.
The good news is, depending on babys age, you might not need to do that. If your child is around 6 months old and has good head and trunk control , then its not necessary to turn baby over onto his back, Campbell says.
But not all babies wait until the six-month mark to roll over some as young as 3 or 4 months can turn onto their stomachs while theyre sleeping. If this is the case, Campbell advises gently turning baby onto her back. The following tips can also help keep baby safe throughout the night:
Encourage lots of tummy playtime when hes awake, so he has plenty of practice moving onto his back by himself while youre able to supervise him.
Keep the crib clear of toys and blankets and keep the bedding tight. Loose blankets can increase the risks of SIDS.
Use a firm crib mattress and make sure it meets safety standards.
Stay away from wedges or pillows, Campbell says, unless your pediatrician recommends them .
Remember, once a baby attempts to roll or turn over, its important to stop swaddling the baby, Campbell says.
Always Put Your Baby Down To Sleep On Her Back
Twenty-eight per cent of moms say they have put their baby to sleep on his stomach, a practice that leaves babies at increased risk for SIDS. And of those who take this risk, 47 per cent do it before their baby turns three months old. Thats when the risk of SIDS is highest, in the first four months, associate director of the Sleep Center at the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia and author of Sleeping Through the Night.
Many of these parents are what wed call conscientious objectors. They think that what theyre doing is somehow better or safer than what their pediatrician is telling them. Parents who are desperate not to hear their baby cry, for example, may find ways to rationalize stomach-sleeping. Its true, and babies do wake up more easily when theyre on their back. But that may protect them from SIDS. Infants who sleep on their stomach dont arouse as well, which means they can get in trouble with their oxygen levels and never wake up.
Another common justification for stomach-sleeping was worry that Baby would choke from reflux. No evidence supports this. Stomach-sleeping is riskier than back-sleeping when it comes to choking concerns.
To ensure safe sleep for babies, make back-sleeping non-negotiable. The only way youre going to teach your baby to sleep on his back is to teach your baby to sleep on his back. Its the same thing as an infant who hates to be in his car seat. He has to be in his car seat.
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How To Change Baby Sleeping Positions
Some babies sleep better on their stomach or side. In fact, this is what can make these positions so dangerous. Babies enter deeper sleep for longer and may be more difficult to awaken. They may not wake up if they cannot breathe or need to move.
The simplest way to change a babyâs sleep position is to begin putting them to sleep on their back. Parents and caregivers may need to help the baby slowly adapt to this new position by nursing them to sleep before bed, gently rubbing their belly, singing to them while they fall asleep, or rocking them.
People should not use devices that hold a baby in position or prevent them from rolling. actually increase the risk of SIDS because a baby may suffocate against the device. Restraining a babyâs movement may even prevent them from rolling out of an unsafe position.
Instead, it is best to focus on putting the baby to sleep on their back.
When To Call The Doctor
Theres no reason to be concerned if your baby decides for herself that she prefers to roll over and sleep on her stomach, as long as you’ve followed safe sleep practices at bedtime.
But if you have any concerns about your babys sleeping patterns , dont hesitate to check in with your doctor.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
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Baby Will Not Sleep Unless Held
Ever had this problem? You lay your baby down as gently as possible, but the second pajamas hit sheet, the screaming starts. Plop your baby back on your chest? The crying immediately stops. This common struggle exhausts parents and makes them feelstuck.
Babies arent dummies! They know a good thing when they find it. To him, your warm, familiar, subtly moving body is so much more welcoming than that quiet, cold, still bassinet. And while it feels very sweet when he crashes on your body, its actually risky to let him. Happiest Baby’s founder, Dr. Harvey Karp said, “I have gotten emergency calls in the middle of the night after babies sleeping perched on mom or dad fell to the floor. Plus, co-sleeping on unsafe surfaces like couches, reclining chairs and adult beds, increase the chances of SIDS.”