Safer Sleep Week
To coincide with The Lullaby Trusts Safer Sleep Week this month’s focus is on just that. As an expectant parent we focus so much on our pregnancy, what to eat, where to birth and what to expect that many of us aren’t as aware as we should be about how to ensure our new baby has a Safer Sleep. We asked Bababoom’s resident Midwife, Becky Elliott to help explain the Safer Sleep points to us.
Not everyone will remember back in the 1980’s when the famous Anne Diamond, the woman at the forefront of morning TV lost her son Sebastian to Cot Death. Anne spearheaded the Back to Sleep campaign and the figures for cot death plummeted, it was an amazing result. Since then figures have dropped but have remained almost static over the last few years and it’s time to get the word back out there.
SO let’s make this simple and clear. No one has a crystal ball or any cast iron guarantees because that is life but research over decades has shown us that there are 5 key contributing factors to help you baby stay safe.
- ALWAYS sleep your baby on his/her back, with his/her feet to the bottom of the crib so they can’t wriggle down and over heat.
- Your mattress should be a firm flat surface and baby should sleep in the same room as you for the first 6 months.
- Rooms should be kept between 18-20 degrees, if you’re not sure buy a room thermometer. NO HATS in doors. If babies get too hot they will expel their heat through their head so this needs to be free.
- No smoking around the baby. In fact babies cared for by smokers, that have never smoked around the baby, when tested their urine carries the toxins from the smoke.
- If you’re baby appears unwell or has a temperature seek help from either a GP, midwife or A+E, you know your baby so trust your instincts.
Sudden Infant Death or SID’s can occur anywhere so that fact that we have referred to it as Cot Death for so many years has probably not helped. With one of the key contributing factors being over heating many new parents aren’t aware of the risk in cars. We are so worried about our precious little ones that we tend to bundle them up to stop them from getting cold, how many of you go on journeys in huge puffer jackets? Babies should be in a thin jacket or cardigan at most with blankets placed over them. When the car warms up, which they do so quickly now you simply remove the blanket to prevent them overheating. Remember the no hats in doors rule applies to cars and shops too.
Finally, NEVER sleep on a sofa with your baby or in an arm chair. Use blankets that allow air to flow, not fleece. Seek advice from a professional before considering bed sharing and if possible breast feed for the first 6 months.
The Lullaby Trust Safer Sleep week page has tons of information for you on Safer Sleep for your baby, please visit their page on www.lullabytrust.org.uk