Sudden infant death is a real concern for most new or expecting parents and rightly so. Sadly, over 3,000 Australian families experience the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or child every year.
Red Nose Day is a Red Nose initiative that is held every August with the goal of raising funds for SIDS research and providing bereavement support to grieving parents. They also provides parents with vital information to help reduce the risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy.
Using the resources available from Red Nose, we have put together our top tips for keeping your baby safe while sleeping. We encourage you to share this article with friends and family who might help you with your baby’s caregiving, so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to your baby’s safety and wellbeing.
Back to Sleep
It is always advised to lay your baby down on their back for all sleeps and naps. In fact, this one tip alone has seen an 85% decrease in babies dying from SIDS. It is not recommended to put babies to sleep on their tummies or on their side.
Need a good reason to quit smoking? It’s better for baby’s health and keeps them safer from SIDS. Never ever smoke around a baby and keep their sleeping environment free of smoke.
Keep Their Face Uncovered
Always keep a babies head and face uncovered. Best to keep your babies cot free of blankets, sheets, toys and pillows. If needing blankets and extra bedding to keep baby warm, it is recommended to make a short bed towards the end of the cot that goes no further than the babies neck. Sleeping bags are advised instead and can be found in a variety of sizes and thicknesses.
Breastfeed your Baby
If you have the choice and ability to breastfeed, it is recommended to do so. Breastfeeding for even two months can reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS by half. Better yet, baby doesn’t even need to be exclusively breastfed to benefit.
Share a Room not a Bed
If sharing a bedroom with your baby, it’s advised to place baby in their own cot rather than in your bed. There are tips for parents who have made the choice to co-sleep but please know it is advised against.
Firm & Clean Bed
Babies should always be put to sleep on a firm and clean environment. Never put baby to sleep on a bean bag, propped up on a pillow or on a lounge. It isn’t recommended to fall asleep holding a baby either, so be sure to move yourself and baby to a safe sleep surface if that might happen. Need to borrow a bed? Just keep any adult bedding and pillows away from your baby.
There’s a lot of little things you can do to keep your baby as safe as possible and dramatically reduce their risk of sudden infant death. Be sure to check out the Red Nose website for visual guides and further information on topics such as wrapping your baby and tummy time.
Northside Health have services for expecting parents, new babies and children and we are happy to discuss any concerns you might have, however big or small. Make a booking today online, via the HotDoc app or by calling (02) 6652 5322.