If you've ever had the urge to check in on your baby every 10 minutes to make sure they're still breathing at night, you know that sleep can be one of the most worrisome times for parents — especially when their babies are young. More often than not, this means that neither of you get the well-deserved rest you need. But you can ease some of the fear by knowing the list of unsafe places for baby to sleep. (However, the unsafe list is much longer than the list of safe places, which can seem a bit overwhelming.)
Although being the parent of a new baby can seem like an endless list of things to research and worry about, infant sleep isn't as complex as it sounds. Once you become aware of the best places to have your baby sleep and, conversely, the places your baby should not sleep, it's simply a matter of where you choose to lay your baby down.
It probably seems intuitive, but since the American Academy of Pediatrics noted that sleep related deaths are the leading cause of mortality among babies one month to twelve months old, it's vastly important to ensure you're not letting your baby sleep in any of the places listed below.
1. On A Sofa
Whether its with an adult or by themselves, couches are never safe for babies. Besides the obvious risk of rolling off (even if they can't roll on their own yet,) a study published in the journal Pediatrics detailed how letting a baby sleep on the sofa increases their risk of SIDS and other sleep related deaths.
2. In A Swing Or Bouncy Seat
Although almost every parent can admit to letting their baby sleep in their bouncer or swing at some point, experts say letting a baby sleep for any period of time (especially overnight) without a fully awake adult watching them is hazardous. A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics noted that leaving a sleeping infant unsupervised in a swing or using it for anything other than its intended purpose is dangerous.
3. Car Seats Outside Of A Vehicle
The same study grouped car seats in the same category as the swings and bouncy seats, stating that if they're being used for baby's sleep while not in the car, it could be unsafe.
4. In An Unsafe Bed-Sharing Environment
The safety of the situation of bed-sharing is determined by the sleep environment — and the state of the parents or caretakers. According to the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at Notre Dame University, a safe bed-sharing environment is one in which there are sober parents, no tobacco use, and no thick or excess blankets.