Updated: Nov 19, 2018
With recent concerns raised over the increased risk of suffocation associated with the use of sleep positioners, also known as ‘nests’ or ‘anti-roll’ products, we wanted to go back to basics and look at the simple ways to put your baby to sleep safely.
Back is Best
For the first few months after your baby is born, it is advised to put them to sleep on their backs, on a flat surface, such as in a carry cot, cot bed or moses basket. When babies are put to sleep on their backs the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDs) significantly decreases.
It is interesting to note that during these early months your baby will spend the majority of their time sleeping, so it is also important for their spinal development that they spend these prolonged periods asleep on their back with their spine fully supported and rested.
To continue to help proper spinal development it is advised to give your baby tummy time each day (5-10 min sessions up to 30 mins) in order to start to develop the muscles in the head and neck, which support the natural curves of the spine.
When you place your baby into their cot, moses basket or pram, make sure their feet are touching the bottom. This ensures they can’t wriggle down in their sleep and become covered by their blanket.
Snuggle Up Safely
If you are using a blanket to keep your baby warm, make sure it is securely tucked under the 3 sides of the mattress and only goes up as far as the underneath of your baby’s armpits. The blanket should be torte across your baby’s body, but not so tight as to restrict their breathing at all.
It’s good to have a blanket which is big enough to allow you to securely tuck it under the mattress on all 3 sides. This helps to prevent the blanket from coming loose, which in turn helps your baby sleep more soundly.
Keep it Natural
It is best to use breathable bedding made from natural materials, such as bamboo or cotton. Bamboo will help to regulate your baby’s body temperature and avoid them becoming too hot or too cold.
Avoid using heavy quilts and bedding made from synthetic materials, such as polyester, acrylic and nylon, which are not breathable.
Maximise air flow inside your baby’s cot bed by choosing a cot bed which has cot bars on all four sides, rather than blocked ends.
Keeping the cot sides free from cot bumpers and toys also improves air circulation inside the cot and helps your baby to sleep more soundly.
The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) suggests there is no evidence that cot bumpers protect against injury, but instead they increase the potential risk of suffocation, strangulation and entrapment.
For the first few weeks from birth your baby is not able to regulate their body temperature effectively as their internal thermostat is still developing. If they become agitated or fussy, it may be a sign they are too hot or too cold.
You can gauge their temperature by placing the back of your hand on the back of their neck. If they are hot and clammy, remove a layer and if they feel cool, add a layer.
Body temperature for a baby varies slightly but should be between 36 – 37 degrees C (96.8 – 98.6 degrees F). The general rule is that your baby will need to be wearing one more layer than you do in the same temperature and conditions.
Once your baby is asleep, check on them regularly to make sure the blanket is still securely in position and that your baby’s temperature is okay. Your baby’s room should be between about 18 - 22 degrees C (64.4 – 71.6 degrees F). Ensuring your baby’s room does not become too hot helps to reduce the risk of SIDs.
Protecting Your Baby The Natural Way…
At The Bamboo Baby Company we design all our products with safety as the number one priority. Our Bamboo Cot Bed has the British Safety Standards stamp of approval for use as both a cot EN 716-1:2017 and toddler bed BS 8509:2008+A1:2011.
The Bamboo Cot Bed is designed with your baby’s safety and comfort in mind, which is why we make it from 100% solid bamboo, only use non-toxic adhesive, maximise air circulation inside the cot by keeping all four sides as ventilated as possible and we varnish it with a natural palm wax and linseed oil coating.
Our full collection of organic bamboo baby blankets are made from 100% bamboo viscose, making all the blankets fully breathable and able to help control moisture and temperature as well as being super soft.
Summary of key points for safe sleeping:
Baby on their back
Baby’s feet touching the bottom of the cot/moses basket
Blanket securely tucked under mattress
Blanket goes under baby’s armpits
Use a blanket made from natural breathable material
Check your baby regularly
Keep your baby’s room between 18 – 22 degrees C / 64.4 – 71.6 degrees F
For more information on the risk of suffocation associated with the use of ‘sleep positioners’, ‘nests’ or ‘anti-roll’ products, please view our Industry News article.
Wishing you all a good night’s sleep and happy napping.
With love and best wishes,
The Bamboo Baby Company x