27 April 2022
5 tips to help your baby sleep better and safer#credibility article
By now you know that babies have a crazy tendency of sleeping in various bizarre positions. Some might even seem funny, but it’s always better to ensure they sleep in positions where they are not just comfortable, but also safe.
Since babies spend 70% of their time asleep, let’s look at simple precautions one can take as a parent to ensure safe sleep for your baby.
Dr. Verena Senn
1. Dress them comfortably
Your baby’s sleepwear should be based on the following:
- Made of breathable material- this will reduce the chances of them overheating and becoming uncomfortable as they sleep.
- Snug-fitting clothing- loose materials may ride up and cover their face, inhibiting their breathing.
- Functional clothes- considering you will be changing their nappy often than not, onesies with snaps and zippers are ideal for greater efficiency and convenience.
2. Place them in the best sleeping position
We recommend parents always place their babies in the supine position. In other words, babies must lay facing upwards, rather than on their side, for every sleep period.
Research has shown that this has reduced the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by 53% over the last 10 years. When infants are swaddled and placed on their stomachs, or if they roll onto their stomachs, they may accidentally suffocate.
3. Keep the space clean
Ensure that the baby sleeps in a clean environment, as they are susceptible to illnesses and their immune systems may not handle frequent exposure to the elements.
Also, remember to remove any objects, toys, or loose blankets in your baby’s sleeping area, since these could potentially suffocate the child, cause overheating, or impair their breathing
4. Regulate the temperature
A cool bedroom temperature of around 18 degrees Celsius is what´s usually reccomended for a good night´s sleep, whether you´re a baby or a grown up.
So, during the hot summer night, you can place a fan around the area of the crib, to make sure they sleep in cool and reduce the chances of them overheating.
5. Swaddle the baby
This is the practice of wrapping a baby up in a blanket to help them feel calm and sleep better. Newborns generally respond well to being swaddled as it’s like they’re back in the womb.
Swaddling can help a baby settle more easily and sleep longer. This is because they are less likely to startle themselves and wake from environmental factors.
During the transition period between the security of the womb and entering the outside world, it is comforting for babies to be gently wrapped and cosy.
How to Swaddle Correctly
- To swaddle your baby, use thin, breathable material. We recommend choosing a cloth of cotton or muslin as these fabrics are lightweight and flexible.
- Lay the baby facing up on the blanket, with their head above the folded corner. It is important that only their body is wrapped and not their neck or head.
- Straighten their left arm and wrap the left corner of the blanket over their body. Tuck it between their right arm and the right side of their body.
- Tuck their right arm down and fold the right corner of the blanket over their body and under their left side.
- Fold the bottom of the blanket loosely and tuck it under one side of the baby. The swaddle must be gently wrapped but still secure.
- Ensure that the baby’s hips are loose and their knees can freely kick. Your baby’s legs should be able to fall into a natural position like frog legs. Wrapping a baby’s legs too tightly can lead to hip dislocation or hip dysplasia.
Note: once the baby starts showing signs of active movement discontinue the swaddling to allow them to move more freely and reduce the chances of them being stuck in a dangerous position.
The first few months after getting a child might be hectic. You may have a hard time sleeping at night due to the constant attention babies demand but remember, it is only short-term. Their sleeping patterns become more organized as they get older so just bear with them. Try making your baby comfortable enough for them to sleep better, safer and longer without waking up. Check on them once in a while to ensure that they are comfortable and are asleep in the correct position, to reduce the chances of succumbing to SIDS. All in all, ensure that they are safe as they sleep by following the simple tips above.
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