According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the two most important things to remember about safe sleep habits for your baby are:
1. Healthy babies should always be placed on their backs to sleep, at night and during naps. Side sleeping isn’t as safe as sleeping on their back, and isn’t advised.
2. Babies need to spend time on their tummy to develop strong muscles, while awake and being watched.
Back to Sleep:
- Babies should always be placed on their backs to sleep, even during short naps.
- They need to be on a firm sleep surface. Go to http://www.cpsc.gov/ for more on the current safety standards.
- Keep loose blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, and bumpers out of the crib. Nothing that baby could move into and cause suffocation or strangulation should be in the crib. Don’t let anything cover baby’s face causing a re-breathing of carbon dioxide.
- Don’t let baby get overheated. If baby’s chest feels hot or they are sweating, they are overdressed.
Tummy to Play:
Baby should spend about 3-5 minutes, 2-3 times a day, beginning the first day home from the hospital. Increasing the amount of time as baby enjoys and grows. This will help baby build their own strength for creeping and crawling.
- Place yourself or toys in front of baby while they lie on their stomach. Eventually baby will enjoy playing in this position.
- Lie on your back with baby laying on his tummy on your chest. He will lift his head to see you.
- Place toys in a circle around baby. This will encourage her to reach, scoot and roll to get to her favorite toys.
- Young children can easily get down on the floor to play with baby, and they often enjoy playing together, just always supervise playtime.