Topic of the Month

November 2012
Safe Sleep Basics

You have been waiting to meet baby for nine months. You purchased the best baby gear, carefully decorated the nursery, and stocked up on diapers and baby wipes. But, despite all this preparation, you’re feeling a little overwhelmed now that baby is here.

One of the main safety areas most parents are concerned with is a safe sleep environment. After all, this is the one place baby is typically apart from you. This month, JPMA is answering your common new parent sleep questions to ease the uncertainty.

Is it safe for my baby to sleep on her tummy?

Healthy infants should always sleep on their backs, unless otherwise advised by a pediatrician. Also, baby should always sleep in a full-sized crib that meets Federal and ASTM standards. Make sure baby’s crib is a safe sleep environment by removing all blankets, toys and pillows.

So, what can I do with all the blankets and toys I received as gifts?

Although you should never put extra blankets and toys inside the crib, you can still use them to liven up the nursery. Hang your beautiful blankets on the wall as art until your child can use them in their toddler bed. Use decorative pillows to support your back and legs while using a rocker or glider. Also, let baby play safely with toys under adult supervision, but keep the toys out of the crib.

How long should my baby sleep?

Infants sleep an average of 16 hours per day, which is a total of 8 hours during the night and another 8 hours spaced out throughout the day. Remember that all babies are different and your child could sleep two hours more or less than the average 16 hours.

Should I use bumper pads in my baby’s crib?

Bumper pads prevent limb entrapment while your little one is sleeping, but they need to be used with safety in mind. Never use pillow-like bumper pads, and make sure to secure ties on the outside of the crib. Only use bumper pads until your child can pull up to standing position. Then remove them so baby can’t use them to climb out of the crib.

Check back next month for part 2 of Safe Sleep Basics: Did You Know?