The ABC's of safe sleep

Updated: Feb 12, 2021

You just brought your little bundle of joy home from the hospital, you're exhausted but full of adrenaline at the same time. All you care about at this moment is to keep your little one safe and you wonder how to get through these next few months while getting used to the constant feeding and interrupted sleep.

There are infinite resources out there but you don't know which is the best fit for you and your family. It is quite simple: ABC (Alone, on their back, in their cot).

A) Alone

Babies should always sleep alone. What does this mean? It means that for safe sleep babies require their own sleep surface on a firm, completely flat mattress, covered with a tight-fitting sheet.

No loose bedding, blankets, pillows, or toys should be placed in the baby's sleep space and the baby should not share their sleep space with another adult or child. Adult mattresses are too soft to be considered a safe sleep space.

B) On their backs

Years ago medical advice was to sleep babies on their tummies. However, the number one guideline for safe sleep now is to always sleep babies on their backs as tummy sleeping is a big SIDS risk. Once your baby can roll over themselves it is safe to let them sleep on their bellies but it is still necessary to always place them on their backs initially.

C) In their cot/bassinet

There are so many products out there, marketed to sleep-deprived parents as the solution to all their sleep problems. But many of these products are dangerous and should never be used for sleep.

The only safe space for sleep for your little one is in a safety-approved cot, bassinet, or travel-cot. Bed-sharing is never safe no matter what the circumstances.

Room-sharing is recommended for the first year as long as your baby sleeps on their own safe sleep surface away from any hazards (no window blinds, cords, furniture within reach of the sleep space).

Other tips for safe sleep

  • You may wish to introduce a dummy after feeding has been well established if breastfeeding, if formula feeding, dummy can be introduced right from birth

  • Keep up regular health check-ups and follow the immunisation schedule

  • Dress your baby in one more layer than you are wearing to avoid overheating

  • Dress your baby in materials that can breathe such as cotton

  • Don't use sheepskins or cot bumpers

  • Never cover your baby's head while they are sleeping

I know how difficult it can be to follow safe sleep guidelines when your baby is not sleeping well and you yourself are exhausted. I can guide you through this process and help get your baby to sleep safely in their own sleep space. Contact me today for a free 15-minute consultation.

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