Babies spend a lot of their time sleeping. But, did you know that the features of your baby’s sleep area can actually affect their risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other fatal sleeping accidents?
Wherever you put your baby down, whether it is at night or for a nap during the day, it is important you make sure your baby has the safest sleeping environment possible.
The safest place for your baby to sleep is always in an Australian Standards compliant cot – not a beanbag, car seat, bouncer, rocker, hammock or on a couch. All new cots purchased in Australia are required to meet the current mandatory Australian Standard (AS2172) and should carry a label to prove it. Be cautious about buying and using second hand cots as they may not meet the strict Australian Safety Standards and could be dangerous.
The cot needs to have a firm mattress that is flat and fits well inside the cot. A baby can get wedged in gaps between the mattress and the cot sides so ensure there is no more than 2cm gap when the mattress is pushed to any side or end.
As beautiful as they may look in styled photographs, in reality, pillows, quilts, soft toys, bumpers, doonas, lambs wool and the like are a big no-no. There should be nothing soft in the cot as it may lead to your baby overheating or suffocating.
When positioning the cot, make sure you place it well away from hanging blind and curtain cords as these cords have devastatingly been associated with strangulation deaths. Likewise, keep the cot away from heaters and other electrical appliances.
For the first 6-12 months have your baby share your room, but not your bed! Room-sharing with a baby has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS and other fatal sleeping accidents and therefore, it is recommended to have your baby sleeping in their own cot in the same room. While many parents do choose to share a bed with their baby, it is important to remember that sharing a sleep surface does increase the risk of SIDS in some circumstances. If you are considering sharing a sleep space with your little one make sure you do your research and are aware of the potential risks and how to minimise them.
If you have any concerns or queries about your babies sleeping environment, make sure you contact your doctor, specialist or paediatrician as soon as possible.
This post was brought to you by The Gro Company – The “official” baby sleep bag brand.
Having teamed up with Kidsafe Australia, The Gro Company and Kidsafe Australia are proud to announce a true collaboration, both working towards a safer sleep environment for children. This partnership will continue the important education and awareness raising on safer sleep practices for children. As Infants are unable to control their own sleeping environment – they are reliant on parents and caregivers to keep them safe. The good news is, there are positive steps that parents and carers can take to make the sleeping environment safer for infants. Thanks to The Gro Company, we will share these tips with you in over the next few weeks.