Many parents understand the risks of SIDS and the importance of putting baby down safely, though when you’re tired and overwhelmed with a grizzly baby, sometimes our safety radars go into sleep mode too.
We’ve highlighted a number of common areas in which parents overlook the dangers when putting baby to bed. Then we’ve shed a little light on how to correct these to ensure baby sleeps safely and soundly…
A Cosy Cot
In a survey compiled by Safe Kids Worldwide, 73% of parents asked said they’d placed at least one item inside baby’s cot. Blankets, cot bumpers, soft toys and pillows are commonly used to keep baby comforted and snug, however all pose a risk of suffocation.
We can see how it can be confusing when you only have to walk through a shop or flick through a magazine to see pictures of babies in cots with luxury blankets and fluffy stuffed animals. Many Mums even admit to accessorising their cots to make them look better.
The only thing that should be in your cot is a fitted sheet… and of course your baby!
Blankets, extra covers or pillows can cause baby to become overheated or even worse, suffocate as they’re unable to remove items away from their face.
If you’re concerned that baby isn’t warm enough, use a lightweight baby sleeping bag instead.
Putting baby down to sleep on their stomach puts them at increased risk of SIDS. Unable to support their own heads, babies won’t be able to lift themselves if they’re unable to breathe clearly.
Parents are often concerned about the risk of choking for babies that sleep on their backs. Whilst there is no evidence to support this, there is evidence to support that stomach sleeping is riskier when it comes to the possibility of choking.
Baby may not immediately take to being put down on their back, but as with everything you teach them, they’ll adjust! If they manage to flip over onto their front in the night, that’s nothing to worry about. Continue to put them down on the back until they reach around the age of one.
Studies show that about half of all suffocation deaths among infants happen in an adult bed. Compared with sleeping in their own cot, the overall death rate is 40 times higher for babies who sleep with a parent.
There are a number of factors to take into account which have shown to increase the risk of SIDS. In these cases, you should avoid bed-sharing with your little ones…
- If you (or your partner) smoke.
- If your baby was premature, or had a low birth weight.
- If you or your other half have been drinking alcohol, taken medication or drugs. Either of these could affect your memory, causing you to forget that baby is in bed with you. Deep sleep caused by some medications can also prevent you from waking if you move or roll over in the night.
- This goes the same for those suffering from sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea.
If any of these apply to you, you may consider using a safe bedside cot instead.
Whilst drifting off on the sofa with baby seems like the perfect cure for sleepiness, many sofas are much softer than a bed and so pose a number of dangers. Built in pillows and cushions can pose a suffocation risk to baby, whilst you yourself could roll over any moment landing yourself and baby on the floor.
Saddening news reports have revealed incidences of babies being suffocated by deep-sleeping parents or becoming trapped in between an adults body and the sofa whilst sleeping.
If you feel you’re starting to drift off on the sofa with baby, sit up! Get baby to bed safely whilst you’re able, and don’t compromise your current state of comfort for baby’s safety.
A Bounty Parenting Club Survey revealed that though more than half (62%) of all parents with a baby under six months old worry that their newborn baby may die in its sleep, they were often not following expert advice, with 50% admitting to having fallen asleep on a sofa or armchair with their baby at least once.
Any of these sound familiar?
Francine Bates, chief executive of The Lullaby Trust said: “The numbers of babies dying suddenly and unexpectedly remains stubbornly high In the UK.”
This is something we can change with the smallest amount of safety sense. We at Simple Safety Solutions therefore urge parents to ask themselves whether any of the above sound familiar, and take note of our safety tips.