Why is it important to create a safe sleep environment for your baby?

Safe and good sleeping habits are essential to your infant’s overall physical and emotional well-being.  A very important factor that helps your baby develop good sleeping habits is the sleep environment, according to Canadian Pediatric Society.  This includes the kind of bed, crib or mattress they use and so on.

Creating a safe sleep environment for your baby will also reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), in which the baby, one year of age and under, die unexpectedly during sleep.  SIDS is actually the number one cause of death for healthy infants at the age of one and under in Canada, but the cause of SIDS remains unknown.  However, safe sleep practices can help reduce the risk of SIDS or any other accidental deaths related to sleeping.

New Mom Project presents the first of the four-part workshop series: Baby Sleep Love – Safe Sleep, where healthy safe sleeping practices were shared to new mothers.  Our goal as an organization is to promote health and well-being to the members of our community, particularly to families in need.  This workshop has helped parents provide a safe sleep environment for their babies through the tips and the education provided by our guest speaker, Rosalee Lahaie Hera, who is a professional sleep consultant for infants.

From left to right:
Gwen Broda, Rosalee Hera, Judy Bautista, & Rachelle Yang

 

We were grateful to have  Rosalee Lahaie Hera for an informative and helpful seminar held in October 19, 2017.  She has shared these tips for a healthy and safe sleep for your baby.

Some tips from Rosalee: Follow ABC’s of Sleep

Alone (nothing else & nobody else in the crib with the baby)

Back (always placed on back)

Crib (a standard crib & firm infant mattress with only a fitted sheet)

 

Other tips from Rosalee:
• Practice safe “on the go” naps – chin always off chest, never sleeping in an inclined position.

• Car seat sleeping is safe ONLY  while seat is properly installed in car or travel/stroller system.

• STOP swaddling with arms in by 8 weeks old

• Supervising unsafe sleep DOES NOT make it safer.

• The best sleep environment for your infant is a dark, cool and calm space. Consider using continuous white noise to calm your baby.

RECOMMENDED SAFE SLEEP PRACTICES:

• Share the same room with your baby for at least the first six months of life.

• For the first year, place your baby on a crib, bassinet, or in the Baby box* next to your bed and ensure that the baby sleeps on their back during their naptime and bedtime, as recommended by the Canadian Paediatric Society.

• When the baby can turn over on his/her own, there is no need to force the baby to back-sleep position.

• Provide a sleep surface that is firm and flat.

• Avoid placing pillows, comforters, blankets, stuffed animals, quilts, bumper pads, positional devices or other loose soft bedding materials that could suffocate or strangle a baby.

• Ensure the room temperature is comfortable for the baby and dress your baby in a comfortable fitted one-piece sleepwear, so the baby would not need a blanket.

• Baby seats, swings, car seats, bouncers, strollers, slings, and playpens are not safe substitutes for a crib or bassinet.

 

Testimonials

“Thank you so much for making me take part in this workshop, I really learned a lot!” –New mom S.

“Very educative!” –New mom O.

“It was a good and educational experience! There were many things I didn’t know about safe sleeping and I learned so much today!” –New mom A.

 

 

Reference:
Creating a safe sleep environment for your baby. (2004). Paediatrics & Child Health, 9(9), 665–666.