By: Jeremy Forster, M.D., Mayo Clinic Health System
After months of waiting, you have finally welcomed your child into the world. Your main priority now is to keep your little miracle safe. Hopefully, your baby will spend a lot of time sleeping, so it is important to prepare a safe sleep area and correct potential hazards.
Take a few minutes to evaluate your infant’s sleep plan with these tips in mind:
Infant sleep safety
Crib and bed safety is important to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is the unexplained death of an infant under 1. It usually occurs while a baby is sleeping in a crib, which is why it also is known as crib death.
While the exact cause of SIDS is unknown, researchers suggest these ways to help prevent babies from dying while in their cribs:
Moving to their own space
The transition to their own bedroom leads to other safety considerations, such as: Adjust the crib level so that your child cannot climb over the rail and fall. If the crib level cannot be adjusted to ensure safety, it is likely time to move to a “big-kid” bed
Safety outside the nursery
While it is important to keep furniture inside the nursery safe for infants, you also should pay attention to other furniture in your home. Specifically, you should:Not leave a baby unattended on furniture.
Planning ahead and making a few changes can help keep your baby safe from harm. These changes may seem small, but they can protect your child from injuries or death.
Dr. Forster is a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Menomonie. He cares for patients under 18, monitoring their physical, emotional, social and psychological development. Mayo Clinic Health System is a community partner of Chippewa Valley Family.