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Babies are vulnerable. They are soft, small, and let’s be real, so cute and squishy. As much of an advantage this is to the eyes of us parents, we know how susceptible to danger babies are, and even more so while they are asleep.
We want to keep our babies safe at all times, and we can do so by providing a safe sleeping environment because sleeping is what babies do most of the time. So, come on board with me, a baby sleep specialist in Singapore, as I share my tips with you.
Risk of sleeping; what can happen?
SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is a term used to describe sudden and unexpected deaths in babies during sleep. The risk is higher particularly for those younger than 6 months and there are usually no obvious reasons for the baby’s passing. However, some possible reasons include premature birth, exposure to alcohol, smoke, or drugs before and/or after birth, and blocked airway.
Other terms that are used to describe this are Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) and crib death.
How to provide a safe sleeping environment for a baby?
Before I am a certified infant sleep consultant in Singapore, I am a mother. And the risk and possibility of my babies passing in their sleep worried me. I knew I had to take control of the situation and I learned to be extra careful. Here are some of the things I’ve learned through my experiences.
1. Sleep in the same room, but not on the same bed
Sharing the bed could cause problems like breathing difficulty from choking on the blanket or even, god forbid, myself rolling over my baby in my sleep. So, I made sure my baby slept in the same room as my husband and I so that we were near, but he had his own space, and so did we.
2. Have my baby sleep on his back on a flat surface
Sleeping on the tummy or side has been observed to result in higher risk of SIDS. This makes lying on his back the safest sleeping position, so I always put him on his back when it was time to sleep.
3. Learn that less is more
When it is time for sleeping, think minimalism. No toys, no weighted blankets, no small or poofy items. This helps prevent choking or suffocation in babies. The same goes to clothing. Do not over-clothe your baby as this may cause overheating during the night.
4. Provide a smoke-free environment for my baby
Exposure to cigarette smoke increases the risk of SIDS in babies. My husband and I are not smokers, so that helps. I also make sure our room is well-ventilated.
Lowering the risk of SIDS
No matter how many precautions we take, the risk of SIDS is there. While we may not be able to foresee what may or may not happen, we can try to prevent it from happening. And you can try following what I, a newborn sleep consultant in Singapore, did for my boys.
It is recommended to breastfeed babies as breast milk is a proven protector against SIDS. Even after my baby started solids, I still breastfed him for optimal nutrition and protection.
2. Using a pacifier
A pacifier helps reduce the risk of SIDS as well, and it is safe even if the pacifier falls out after babies have fallen asleep. Try it out with your baby and see if he/she takes to it, but it should not be forced if he/she does not want it.
3. Being up-to-date with medical appointments and vaccinations
I cannot stress how important it is for babies to get their vaccinations and us following up with doctor’s appointments as it keeps our babies safe and protected. Being a baby sleep specialist in Singapore does not mean I have all the answers, so it is great when I can raise any concerns I have with my paediatrician.
4. Being cautious when buying any products
Whether it is the bedding, the crib, or the toys, I always make sure I get them from safe sources and that they are safe for babies. More often than not, if we are not careful, the products end up being more of a hazard than help.
Keeping our sleeping baby safe is the ultimate goal here. But it is not just about the physical things that matter. Making sure our babies are well-rested plays an important part too. So if your baby is experiencing any difficulty in sleeping, and you’re looking for a suitable infant sleep family plan packages, do not be shy to reach out to me. We will start out with a free 15 minute discovery call and we will go from there.