Family Health

The ABCs of Safe Sleep

An unexpected danger

When it comes to their infant’s safety, sleep probably isn’t in the top ten list for risks new parents feel their babies face. But unfortunately, thousands of babies die each year because of sleep-related risks.

Methodist Women’s Hospital is proud to be a designated Nebraska Safe Sleep Hospital. That means it’s our job to help parents understand how to safely put their new infants to sleep. We also make sure we follow those safe sleep practices here in our hospital. 

It’s an obligation we take seriously – and with good reason.

Deadly consequences

Of all the Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID) in the U.S. in 2015, one out of every four infant deaths was due to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed. Those deaths were entirely preventable.

Fortunately, there are simple steps parents, grandparents and caregivers can take to keep babies healthy and safe. It’s all about following the ABCs of safe sleep.

Easy as A-B-C

A: Your baby should always sleep Alone.

During baby’s first year, the safest place for a baby to sleep is alone in their crib, close to the parent’s bed. Room sharing is ok… bed sharing is not.

Sharing a bed can be dangerous. Adult beds have soft mattresses, pillows and bedding that increase the risk baby will suffocate, fall or become trapped. If your baby is in your bed to feed or for comfort, be sure to put your baby in the crib for sleep. 

B: Your baby should always sleep on his or her Back.

Babies should always be positioned on their backs to sleep – whether they’re napping during the day or in bed at night. 

Parents should also be aware that while devices or positioning props may claim to help prevent SUID, they are not proven to be effective and may even be dangerous. 

C: Your baby should always sleep in a safe Crib.

It just really isn’t safe for baby to sleep anywhere other than a crib – that includes car seats, infant swings, adult beds, couches or chairs.

A safe crib has: 

Don’t forget this!

Along with the ABCs of safe sleep, there are a few more steps new parents should take to keep baby safe: 

  • Make sure baby receives all their recommended vaccinations. 
  • Breastfeeding is recommended. 
  • Using a pacifier is ok at nap time and bed time once breastfeeding is well established. 
  • Baby’s room shouldn’t be too hot or cold. Keep the temperature around 68 – 72 degrees. 
  • See the doctor for regular prenatal and well-baby care. 
  • Don’t smoke in your home or around your baby.

If you need more help on how to keep your baby safe at home, make an appointment today with your Methodist Physicians Clinic pediatrician.


About the Author

As a pediatrician, Dr. Rosann Nichols is dedicated to providing answers for parents and their kids. As a mother of two children, she recognizes the struggles parents go through and assures them they are not alone. Dr. Nichols encourages parents to come to her with any concerns.

Your family can visit Dr. Nichols at Methodist Physicians Clinic.

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