Babies are often provided with pillows and blankets in their cribs by their parents. Yet these items may increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation. Childcare professionals do not recommend that you use a pillow for babies younger than one year old as it can compromise on babies sleep safety.
Table of Contents
Baby age for pillows
Experts suggest keeping children off of pillows until over 2 years old. Using pillows in a child’s sleeping area before the recommended age can increase the risk of SIDS and suffocation.
Baby age for blankets
As for blankets, despite how soft and tender they may be, you should avoid giving them one before the age of 12 months old as this also increases the risk of suffocation and SIDS.
Sleeping bags can provide a safe sleep environment for your infant because they will not interfere with his or her breathing as long as it is snug fitting and you keep the neck opening uncovered.
Sleep with stuffed animals
Babies should avoid Stuffed animals, pillows, quilts, comforters, and other soft bedding. American Academics of pediatricians have listed stuffed animals in the “dangerous” category, hence ( along with similar items) should keep away from baby’s crib.
pacifier (good or bad?)
Using a pacifier can make your baby feel more relaxed. Pacifiers have been found to reduce SIDS risk, according to some sources. The use of pacifiers is still associated with other issues relating to child health, like the risk of developing a middle ear infection (which has a very low incidence rate for babies between birth and 6 months) as well as having dental issues with extended use of pacifiers.
Elevating crib’s head
Avoid elevating the crib’s head as this does not aid in reducing the baby’s gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and could also put them in potentially dangerous positions (such as rolling to the bed’s foot) where they could have difficulty breathing.
Here is an article added that provides value on setting up baby cribs, make give it a read.
Consult your pediatrician if your baby’s symptoms persist or worsen. This condition can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which requires treatment. You can ask your pediatrician what is best for your baby.
Keep your baby upright after feedings, avoid putting them to bed immediately after a feeding, and don’t smoke around them. Keep stress levels low while breastfeeding. Introduce solid foods at least six months after your baby is born. This can help reduce the severity and incidence of GERD.
Here’s a guide to GERD–its symptoms, causes, and treatments.
Moving to big kid bed
At 18 months old, some toddlers may be ready to give up their crib and settle for a bed. However, others might not be ready to transition to beds until they are 2 1/2 to 3 or 3 1/2 years old. You also want to make sure that the child has developed adequate motor skills so they aren’t tripping over the side of the bed.
Swaddling is a traditional technique in which babies are wrapped with a nice breathable blanket, but their heads and necks are not wrapped. Swaddling gives the baby an experience similar to being in the womb of his or her mother. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, swaddling a baby promotes sleep and keeps them calm, if done the right way.
Things to note before swaddling
The main concern with wrapping babies is that they can overheat, so try and prevent them from getting too hot. Swaddled babies can also become wrapped too tightly around their chest and have trouble breathing. It is therefore important to always place your baby on his or her back when swaddling and to unwrap them before putting them down to sleep. Also, make sure that the blanket is not covering the baby’s face. Here’s a guide for effective swaddling, do check it out.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is the unexpected death of a seemingly healthy baby one-year-old or younger. According to experts, SIDS is linked to issues related to arousal from sleep, low oxygen levels, or a buildup of carbohydrates in the baby’s blood. A baby who sleeps with his face down is at risk of breathing the same carbohydrates exhaled.
Babies at risk of SIDS
Following are categories of babies that could be at risk of having SIDS
- babies sleeping on stomachs.
- Babies born prematurely, or those with low birth weight
- Babies who overheat when they’re asleep
- Babies sleeping on soft surfaces, or those whose cribs contain soft blankets and bumper pads.
- Babies that had a sibling who died of SIDS, or those who have a family history that includes failure to thrive.
Researches are still examining the causes of SIDS though still there is no way to fully prevent SIDS. There are, however, precautions that can vastly reduce a baby’s chances of having SIDS.
- Baby should sleep on his back
- Keep stuffed toys, fluffy blankets, and quilts away from his crib.
- Fully refrain from smoking if you’re pregnant, also not allowing others to smoke around the baby.
- breastfeeding your baby.
- The crib mattress should be firm
- Infants should not sleep on couches or chairs.
While formula-fed babies are at fold four risks to die from SIDS, breastfed babies face a drop in their risk for SIDS. Even after considering other variables such as prenatal care, age of mother, or smoking habits, breastfeeding was still viewed as an independent protective factor against SIDS death. Breastfeeding is thought to be protective against SIDS because it boosts the baby’s immune system and helps an infant retain body heat.
So, think twice the next time you’re tempted to have your baby sleep with a pillow, blanket, or other soft bedding in their crib. As mentioned elsewhere these items may increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation in babies. Avoid pillows at least until your child is over two years old, also abstain from elevating the crib, until you take proper guidance from a pediatrician. Avoid keeping other elements such as stuffed animals, quilts, comforters at a distance from your baby. Also, invest in the right crib, and make sure it has a firm mattress.