Choose a trusted friend or family member and invite them over to your place for a cuppa. Ask them to go into your baby’s sleep space and get them to point out anything to you that may be a potential danger to your child. A fresh set of eyes that doesn’t see this room as much as you do everyday is much easier to identify something that may be overlooked by you.
A guide of what to look for :
- The room itself – temperature, use of heaters, ventilation. In winter the room should not exceed 21c.
- What lotions and potions that are accessible to an infant. Have these inaccessible to your child. If your change table is right next to the cot, consider moving it further away so your child can’t reach through the cot and grab items on the change table. Place these high up on a shelf way out of reach and evaluate if you are still using any or al of these.
- Cords that you may trip over, cords dangling from curtains and blinds.
- The cot itself – bumpers, mobiles or netting dangling over the cot. Remove bumpers and mobiles.
- Blankets, monitors, toys that are in the cot. It is suggested to have one fitted sheet and for babies over 7 months of age – one small comfort toy in the cot. Nothing else. No blankets, lambswool mats, heat packs or sleep positioners They all pose risks to your baby’s safety. Lambswools, heat packs and sleep positioners can contribute to overheating which is a SIDS risk.
- Cords that a child could grab through the cot ( from a monitor or electrical outlet). These are electrocution and strangulation risks. Keep monitors well away from cots, children can grab the cords from within their cots.
- A flat and firm, clean mattress that fits the cot or basinet being used
- Do family pets have access to the child’s room?
- Is bedroom furniture bolted to walls to prevent toppling onto children?
The common ones that we see are bumpers. These are not recommended in cots. Even air weave bumpers pose a danger that they are choking risk to babies and a step up for older babies that are pulling to standing or walking. We also see monitors placed inside cots as well as balancing or blue tacked onto the cot itself. These can easily fall into the cot or be grabbed by babies. They may reach the cords attached to the monitor, which again prove to be a strangulation risk to a child. Move the monitor to a place well away from the cot either on a shelf or stand.
Dressing your baby safely for sleep
With the rise of many social media accounts, we are constantly viewing unsafe pictures of babies sleeping. These pictures often come from influencers and celebrities that have huge social media followings. While their pictures can often look so cute, we often see babies asleep with beanies and hats on. Asleep in rockers and left on couches, adult beds and other unsafe surfaces. This makes it increasingly difficult for new parents to understand what is safe for their baby.
In the above picture, we see a young baby asleep with
- a hat on
- on it’s side
- a folded cloth under the baby’s head
- a blanket draped over the baby
When parents view pictures like this, it can help them to validate any unsafe practices that they may be practicing with their own baby – leading to potential risk and harm.
A picture taken from the Rednose website to demonstrate evidence based safe sleep positions for young babies.
The above picture shows a difference in that the baby is
- on it’s back
- no hat on
- down the bottom third of a flat mattress
- blanket tucked in from the chest down
Be sure to regularly update your knowledge at www.rednose.org.au for the latest safe sleeping information.
We need to support our fellow parents, and be that village that is needed to help raise a child.
Be safe and sweet dreams to all.