Parents who bring a new baby home quickly become obsessed with the issue of sleep. Everyone's trying to figure out how to get more of it, of course, but the more pressing concern is how to make make sure your baby's sleeping safely. And it's understandable, given the possibility of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Still, it can seem like everything is dangerous when it comes to baby sleep, from blankets to crib bumpers to the baby's position. There are, however, some things that are actually safe when your baby is sleeping. If you focus on those everyone should rest easy.
As noted above, there's a long list of no-nos when it comes to safe baby sleep according to Kid's Health. Loose blankets and pillows are out, as are soft squishy sleep surfaces or napping on mom or dad on the couch. You also want to make sure you always put your baby down to sleep on their back, never on their stomach. Following all these guidelines closely should reduce your baby's risk of SIDS by a considerable amount.
Here are five things that can help your baby get a good and safe night's sleep, though people will try to tell you otherwise. .
There's a strong possibility you'll get some judgmental comments for giving your baby a pacifier, but there's a valid reason to go ahead and ignore them. According to Parents, pacifiers can actually help reduce your baby's chances of SIDS. Having a pacifier in their mouth as they nod off keeps their airways open and may even keep them in a lighter state of sleep, cutting down on the chances that they'll stop breathing.
Although heavy, loose blankets that could accidentally suffocate your baby, swaddle blankets are perfectly safe according to Healthy Children. But you do need to make sure you're swaddling correctly. The baby should always be on his or her back with the blanket snug — but not tight — and you should stop swaddling once they're big enough to roll over.
Some parents worry about whether their baby is going to be too cold at night without a blanket to keep them warm, but also know that a regular blanket can be dangerous. That's where wearable sleep sacks for babies come in, according to Baby Center. They're a safe way to keep your baby bundled up without putting them at risk.
If you're a breastfeeding mom who's desperate for some more sleep, it's safe to give dream feeding your baby a try. It's when you breastfeed him or her while they're still asleep, in the hopes that they stay asleep and sleep more soundly on a fully belly.
Bed-sharing can be a bit controversial, but it can sometimes be the only way for parents to get any sleep. If you're going to do it, there are lots of ways to make sure you're bed-sharing safely, according to Ask Dr. Sears. To start, you shouldn't bed share if you've been drinking or have taken any drugs. You should always make sure baby is positioned on one side of the mother instead of between both parents, and you should make sure that there's no loose bedding that could pose a danger.