Tips to help your infant sleep well
- Respond to your infant’s cues day and night. Learn the cues that mean your infant is tired, yawns, losing interest, quiet, whines more or eye rubbing
- Aim for a flexible feeding and sleeping routine based on the needs of your infant.
- Establish a brief routine before bedtime and nap time so your infant will learn to associate the bedtime and nap routine with going to sleep. Choose a couple of activities like breastfeeding, bathing, telling a story, singing or massaging, etc.
- Keep infant’s sleeping area comfortable with dim light and keep night time quiet.
- Place your infant in their crib, cradle or bassinet to sleep. Over time your infant learns that this is the place where he sleeps.
- Put your infant to bed when they are drowsy, this will help your infant to learn to settle and fall asleep by himself.
- If your infant is crying or fussing, comfort them. It will not spoil them! Your presence may be sufficient to help your infant fall asleep.
Recommended Safe Sleep Practices and Creating a Safe Sleep Environment
- Share the same room with your infant for at least the first 6 months. Place the crib, cradle or bassinet next to your bed.
- Always place your baby on his/her back to sleep, at nap time and at night time.
- Place your infant to sleep on a separate surface in an age appropriate crib, cradle or bassinet.
- Provide a sleep surface that is firm and flat.
- Pillows, comforters, quilts, stuffed animals, bumper pads, positional devices or other loose or soft bedding materials are strongly not recommended as they could suffocate or smother an infant.
- Dress your infant in comfortable fitted one-piece sleepwear.
- Ensure the room temperature is comfortable for everyone.
- Baby seats, swings, car seats, bouncers, strollers, slings and playpens are not safe places to sleep.
Additional Resources for Safe Sleep
- Public health agency of Canada: Safe Sleep www.publichealth.gc.ca/safesleep
- Safe sleep video www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/dca-dea/stages-etapes/childhood-enfance_0-2/sids/ss-en.php
- Canadian paediatric society: Caring for Kids www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/safe_sleep_for_babies www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/never_shake_a_baby
- Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario Health Education Fact Sheet- Working with Families to Promote Safe Sleep for Infant 0-12 Months of Age www.rnao.ca/bpg/guidelines/safe-sleep-practices-infants
By: Krista Guan and Tiffany Ho