Safe sleeping and your newborn

Published by Baby Bunting on Sunday, January 27, 2019

Your newborn spends most of their day asleep, and this is a critical time in their development as it allows their body to grow. However, there are many risks to newborn health associated with unsafe sleeping practices. To optimise your baby's health and safety, it's important to follow a few simple steps and guidelines.

SIDS and SUDI

Understanding of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) has come a long way over the years. We now understand many of the risk factors that contribute to early baby deaths – fortunately there are several simple steps we can take to minimise these risks.

Sharing a room

The risk of SIDS and SUDI are decreased when your baby shares a room with you. Remember that this must be in a cot or bassinet that meets Australian safety standards. Do not share a bed with your baby as this increases the risk of SIDS or SUDI. It is recommended that you continue to share a room with your baby for the first six to 12 months of their life.

Safe positioning of the cot

Your baby’s cot should be placed out of direct sunlight, away from overhanging items such as blinds, cords, mirrors and pictures and away from any heater or electrical appliance.

Safe positioning in the cot

Always place your baby down with their feet towards the end of the cot. This is often referred to as the ‘feet-to-foot’ position.

Keep the cot clear of clutter

Don’t put any toys, pillows or cot bumpers in your newborn’s cot. These put your baby at risk of suffocating.

Temperature control

Newborns have a hard time regulating their own body temperature. Avoid relying on heaters and air conditioners as these dry your baby’s skin out and dehydrate them. If you do use climate control, set it to a temperature that would be comfortable for you if you were wearing light clothing. Your baby should be comfortable in a onesie, sleeping bag or with a light sheet or blanket tucked under the cot mattress.

Baby monitors

Baby monitors have come a long way over the years, and many now offer more than a simple audio transmission of your baby in their room. Most now come with digital displays of your baby in the cot, and some can even sync with a smartphone so that you don’t have to carry the receiving monitor around the house.

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