Fretting over baby, watching over your newborn through the night or clutching the baby monitor wondering if everything is okay – all these are normal concerns for parents with a newborn in the family. But it’s important that you get a good night’s sleep as well. You don’t want to be sleep deprived most of day because you’ve been worried all night.
Rest easier at night with these 10 safe sleeping for newborns tips.
Safe sleeping for newborns: Tips for new parents
1. Sleep in a cot
Baby doesn’t need any additional pillows and toys in the first few months | Source: Pexels
Baby should always sleep in a cot, on a comfortable, firm mattress. Don’t add any toys or additional pillows, just baby sleeping on a fitted sheet. When baby sleeps on a firm surface, you reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
2. Sleep on their back
Newborns should always be sleeping on their backs, at least until they figure out how to roll over. But until then, help put baby back on their back before you kiss them goodnight.
If you are co-sleeping, still ensure that your little one is on his back, there are no heavy blankets or covers near him, and that you don’t have other kids (especially toddlers) sleeping near your newborn.
It goes without saying (but we’ll still say it) that if you or your partner have consumed alcohol or smoked before bedtime, or have taken sleep-inducing medication, you baby should not be in bed with you.
3. Set the right temperature
Singapore weather can be stuffy at night, but you worry that the air conditioning in the house might be too cold for baby. The general recommendations is to set your air conditioner between 23 and 25C for us here in Singapore.
This lets you dress your newborn in a cotton full body onesie for bedtime, and you can rest assured that your little one won’t be too hot or cold.
4. Baby’s own room
A nursery provides safe sleeping for newborns and reduces the risk of SIDS | Source: Pexels
Some mothers prefer baby’s cot to be in a different room, other mums vouch for the benefits of sharing the same bed. If co-sleeping is not for you, but you feel better with baby being close to you when asleep, then put the cot next to your bed.
5. Get a baby monitor
Opted for baby to get their own room? A baby monitor can check if your newborn is sound asleep throughout the night, and alert you when you need to check on baby. It’s normal to make a few trips at night even on the slightest of noises, but at least with a baby monitor you can rest easy at night knowing you have your eye on your little one.
6. No smoking
Smoking is a major risk of SIDS, and even smoking residue left on your clothes can be harmful for your newborn. When travelling with your newborn or deciding which room to be your newborn’s new room, do not let your infant sleep in an area that is exposed to cigarette smoke. Your friends and family should not be smoking in the presence of your baby either.
7. Install a smoke detector
Invest in a smoke and carbon monoxide detector for your home. They’re inexpensive and go for less than S$15 on most local online shopping websites like Lazada and Qoo10. Follow the instructions, replace the batteries often and make sure they’re working properly to give your family peace of mind.
8. Get a pacifier or breastfeed
Findings have shown that the risk of SIDS decreases in breastfeeding newborns. It is highly encouraged to feed baby whenever they are hungry as much as required. Try not to leave too wide a gap between feeding times.
9. Don’t get comfortable during feeding
It’s important to learn safe sleeping for newborns so you won’t be exhausted in the day | Source: Pexels
Sounds counterintuitive, but you shouldn’t be seated too comfortably when feeding baby. You don’t want to be dozing off especially after an exhausting day. Here, you run the risk of baby slipping out of your arms.
Try sitting upright on a chair as your feed your newborn, and when your baby falls asleep, place him in a safe space to sleep.
10. Yes to pets, no to sleeping in the same room
We’re not saying you shouldn’t have pets, especially when many of us have pets before our firstborn. Babies and pets can definitely coexist. Even if your cat and dog are the most gentle creatures on the planet, it’s best they doesn’t sleep in the same room as your newborn, just in case. They could accidentally suffocate your newborn if they can access the cot, or their fur could give your newborn trouble breathing.
These tips aren’t meant to turn you into an overprotective mother, but it serves as a guideline to help you help your newborn get the best sleep quality possible.
Source: Web MD