Newborns sleep a lot, about 16 hours a day. It’s safe to say that sleeping is a big part of your baby’s life. So as your baby drifts off, dreaming of your cuddles, be sure she’s sleeping safely. Safe sleep can help protect your baby from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
Here are some tips:
- Back to sleep: always put your baby to sleep on her back on a flat surface.
- Share a room with your baby but don’t share a bed. Make sure your baby has her own crib or bassinet to sleep in.
- Besides your baby, the bassinet or crib should be empty. Crib bumpers, loose bedding, toys and stuffed animals can be dangerous and lead to suffocation.
- After you and your baby have established breastfeeding (around 4 weeks) give your baby a pacifier for naps and at bedtime. Pacifiers may help protect against SIDS. If your baby doesn’t want a pacifier, don’t force it. If the pacifier falls out while your baby is sleeping, that’s OK.
- Thinking of a cardiorespiratory monitor? These monitors track a baby’s heart rate and breathing, and in rare cases a baby may need this kind of monitor for medical problems. But there is no evidence these monitors help reduce the risk of SIDS in healthy babies.
- Dress your baby in light sleep clothes. A blanket sleeper, a kind of clothing just for sleeping, can help keep your baby warm without covering his face or head. If your baby is sweating or her chest feels hot, she may be overheated.
If you are worried about your baby’s sleep, talk to her health care provider.
Have questions? Email or text us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.