You’re about to become a first time parent and no doubt you’ve read all the books, tirelessly searched the internet, and addressed a million questions and concerns with your pediatrician, but you can’t really know what to expect when bringing home your precious bundle of joy until the day actually comes. Let TLC Pediatrics reassure you that the anxiety you are experiencing now will decrease the moment you meet your newborn, as maternal and paternal instincts seem to magically kick in and take over.
One of the greatest worries new parents face is putting their baby to bed safely. Across generations, the ways grandparents did things isn’t always the way we should do them now, and studies have shown there are safer ways to put baby to sleep at night. Here are the top tips to make sure your baby sleeps safely.
- You can do things to prepare for baby’s homecoming to ensure he or she has a safe place to sleep before leaving for the hospital. Purchase a bassinet or crib that meets current safety standards. The key to picking out the best crib or bassinet is to opt for safety over design or family hand-me-downs. Should you receive a bassinet or crib from past years, check the model number for safety standards and any recalls. Do not use a crib with drop-side rails, broken, or missing parts.
- Avoid co-sleeping. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your baby sleep in your room for a minimum of six months in their own crib, but not in your bed, where they are highly susceptible to suffocation and injury.
- Put your baby to sleep on his back on a flat, firm crib mattress with only a fitted sheet. Make sure the mattress fits snug and there are no spaces between the sides of the crib and the mattress. Avoid blankets, toys, and crib bumpers, as they can cause suffocation.
- Remove any hanging window cords, lamps, and wires near the crib so that your baby doesn’t get tangled in them and choke.
- Dress your infant in lightweight sleep clothes to avoid overheating and never put baby to sleep in clothing that could cover his or her face. Remove any ties or strings on the pajamas or clothing before laying him down. Summer months in Arizona, especially in Ahwatukee, can be hot, so take special care not to let your baby overheat when sleeping.
Consider getting in a sleep routine within several months, as this will help as your baby gets older and or if you have other children in your household or plan to grow your family.