One of the most important things to keep in mind during your pregnancy is preparing a safe space for baby to sleep. It does not need to be fancy and a very simple set up can satisfy all of the requirements for a safe sleeping space. This is a topic that cannot be discussed enough!
I wanted to make sure that you have access to the safe sleep guidelines for infants as they are important to keep in mind every time you put your baby down for a nap or at bedtime.
These are the Health Canada recommendations for safe sleep.
1. Back to sleep: Put your baby to sleep on his/her back for nap times and at night.
2. Use a firm surface: Put your baby to sleep on a firm mattress with a fitted sheet. No bumper pads, blankets, pillows or toys in the sleeping space.
3. Separate surface: a crib, cradle or bassinet that meets Canadian safety regulations is the safest place for baby to sleep.
4. Room-sharing: Having baby sleep in the same room as you do is recommended for the first 6 months of life.
5. Smoke-free environment during pregnancy and after birth. Smoking during pregnancy, around your baby or in areas that your baby will be in increases the risk of SIDS
6. Breastfeeding is recommended.
7. Avoid overheating: Keep the room temperature comfortable and dress baby is light breathable clothing (use a sleep sack for extra layers).
8. Baby’s face uncovered.
It is so important to share these guidelines with anyone that may be caring for or watching your baby. For that reason I created a PDF that you can print for easy access.
What about baby nests, are they safe?
Baby nests sometimes can be marketed as a place for baby to sleep or rest, whilst they are cozy and can provide some much needed comfort to your baby while being put down, it’s best to only use them while supervised. In 2017, Health Canada issued a warning informing parents that the soft padded sides of baby nests can be a suffocation risk and advising parents to never leave baby unattended in a baby nest. This is not about shaming parents for their choices, but about spreading this very important information.
What about co-sleeping?
Some families choose to bed-share with their baby, we will be discussing this in-depth here in the blog in the following weeks.
Until then find more information on the topic as well as guidelines for safe bed-sharing here: