We know, we know those stuffed animals and baby blankets are adorable and look super cozy. Unfortunately, as cute as they are, they are simply not safe for babies to sleep with or around. “When it comes to safe sleep the bottom line is the safest place for your baby to sleep is ALONE in his or her own crib and on his or her BACK,” says Joyce Davis, president of Keeping Babies Safe, a non-profit that provides education, assistance, advocacy and leadership in the development of safer infant sleep products and practices. “All items – even soft ones – should be removed from the crib including traditional crib bumpers, pillows, blankets, comforters and toys.” Bare is not only the best, but the safest.
The importance of these safety measures cannot be over-stated and there remains a huge gap in knowledge. The hospital where I gave birth routinely allowed parents to load baby cribs with items known to increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In most cases nothing happens, but do you really want to take that risk? Think about the parents who did lose their children. Keeping Babies Safe was, in fact, started out of tragedy. Davis lost her four month-old son, Garret, through the simple act of adding a supplemental mattress to her boy’s portable crib.
Read on to learn more about products to avoid for safe baby sleep.
Supplemental/After Market Play Yard Mattress
“Please read play yard warning labels carefully. Infants can suffocate in the gaps between an extra mattress and the crib mesh. Use only the mattress pad provided by the manufacturer that comes with the play yard. Do not buy/use supplemental play yard mattresses.”
Infant Sleep Postioners
“Stop using sleep positioners. Using a positioner to hold an infant on his or her back or side for sleep is dangerous and unnecessary. Infants can suffocate in sleep positioners or become trapped and suffocate between a sleep postioner and the side of a crib or bassinet.”
Padded crib bumpers
“The risk of death from padded crib bumpers far outweighs any purported benefits. Crib bumpers can cause suffocation and can increase the risk of sudden unexpected infant death. Bare is best in the crib, play yard and bassinet.”
Cribs manufactured prior to 2012 including drop-side cribs
“All cribs manufactured after June 2011 must comply with the five new standards and provide a safer generation of cribs to the marketplace. A crib’s mattress support, slats and hardware are now required to be more durable. Drop side cribs cannot be made or sold. Any cribs manufactured before that date should not be bought sold or used. Cribs account for more infant deaths than any other nursery product.”
“Never place a baby on a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress or pillow or other soft surface to sleep. These are extremely dangerous place for your baby to sleep. A firm surface is a hard surface and should not indent when the baby is lying on it. Always use a tight fitting firm mattress and fitted sheet designed for the particular product. Never use a twin sheet on a crib, play yard or bassinet.”