As a new parent, you’ll no doubt develop an new found interest (some might say obsession!) with sleep and how to get more of it, but one thing that’s bound to help you snooze a little more peacefully is knowing that your precious bundle is safe and secure as they enter baby dreamland. A helpful way of ensuring your own sweet dreams is knowing that you have created a safe sleeping environment for your baby and you can do this by following some straightforward tips:
- The jury’s out about tiny babies co-sleeping with parents; current guidelines suggest that a newborn baby is safest in its own cot, moses basket or bassinet. You can get bassinets which attach to the side of beds if you want to keep baby close to hand without the risks of co-sleeping.
- Cribs and cots now come in a wide range of designs sure to enhance any stylish home; just make sure you check regularly that all parts are secure and lower mattresses as soon as your child can push up on their hands and knees.
- Make sure baby’s bed is well away from open windows which pose a fall hazard, or blind and monitor cords which put baby at risk of strangulation.
- Always put baby to sleep on her back as a preventative measure against SIDS, never on her front or side (babies put to sleep on their sides can easily flip over on to their fronts).
- Keep baby in the same room as you for at least the first 6 months; there is evidence that this protects against SIDS as it helps the baby regulate its breathing whilst sleeping.
- Make sure the baby’s mattress is firm and well fitting in the cot – no more than 2 inches gap between the mattress and the cot sides. There have been suggestions that synthetic materials can cause a build up of fumes in baby’s bed, so it might be wise to look for baby mattresses made from a combination of natural fibres such as coir, horsehair, latex and lambswool which provide excellent ventilation and support.
- Baby sheets should be tight fitting and wrinkle free – just like baby’s peachy soft skin! You can use flat or fitted sheets, just make sure they are secure and tightly tucked in. You can buy sheets for cots singly or why not save valuable time and money and buy a pack of baby sheets?
- No pillows, stuffed toys, extra bedding or bumpers in baby’s bed please. Plenty of time for that when your child is a bit older.
- Bedrooms should not be too hot and baby should not be over-dressed for sleeping. Many parents find baby sleeping bags helpful as they not only come in different tog ratings, helping to regulate sleeping temperature, but they also prevent extra night wakings caused by baby kicking off blankets.
- Where possible use natural fabrics, such as cotton baby sheets. Sleeping bags also come in everything from cotton to merino wool whilst organic bedding is even more lovely for baby, aiding golden slumbers.
Following these tips might not get your little one sleeping through the night any quicker, but they are sure to put the safe into ‘safe and sound’. Sweet dreams.
This post was contributed by naturalmat.co.uk