October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month. To minimize your baby’s risk of SIDS, follow these tips from First Candle, a nonprofit organization working to increase public participation and support in the fight against stillbirth, SIDS and other causes of sudden unexpected infant death (SUID).
• Use a firm mattress in a crib that meets current safety standards.
• Never place your baby to sleep on a soft surface.
• Remove all soft, fluffy or loose bedding from baby’s sleep area, including bumpers, wedges and sleep positioners.
• Dress baby in a wearable blanket or other temperature-appropriate sleeper.
• Room-in with baby, but provide him with his own separate sleep space.
• Refrain from letting baby sleep in a car seat, infant carrier, bouncer, swing or other similar product.
• Never fall asleep with baby on a couch or armchair.
Some gear to consider to prepare for your babe's safe snoozing:
The groegg works as a nightlight and temperature gage for your baby's room all in one, changing colors if the air is too hot or cold helping you maintain her environment at the recommended 61 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you're worried that 61 degrees is too cool for baby just to sleep in pajamas, the Halo Sleep Sack is a plush option for keeping baby safe and cozy at the same time.
If your baby prefers a nice snug swaddle, a Woombie can mimic the feeling of being in the womb while giving baby a gentle hug as she slumbers.
For ultimate peace of mind, look no further than the Angelcare AC1100 Video, Movement & Sound Baby Monitor. The high-tech system allows parents to hear and see their baby from another room via an LCD touch screen parent unit, and the under-mattress sensor pad detects baby’s slightest movements, sounding an alarm when stillness creates cause for concern.
Prefer to sleep close to baby? The Arms Reach Co-Sleeper allows you to sleep next to your infant without putting her in harm's way. Simply place the unit next to your bed, making night feedings and midnight soothing a cinch.
Research shows that pacifier use greatly decreases the chance of SIDS. Read First Candle's tips on safe paci practices:
• Offer a pacifier every time you put your baby down to sleep. This will maximize the protective benefits.
• If you are breastfeeding wait until nursing is going well (usually 3-4 weeks) before offering a pacifier.The risk of SIDS is very low during the first month.
• Limit pacifier use to the first year of life. This includes the peak ages for SIDS risk and the 1 to 5 month period when the baby’s need for sucking is the highest.
• Pacifiers should not be used as a substitute for nursing or feeding. The pacifier should be offered following a feeding session as you place the baby down to sleep.
• After the baby falls asleep, there is no need to reinsert the pacifier if it falls out. Experts feel that frequent pacifier users may undergo adaptive changes that are beneficial even when the pacifier is not in the mouth.
• Infants who refuse a pacifier should not be forced to take one.
• Pacifiers should not be coated with any sweet solutions.
• Do not use a string or other device to attach pacifiers around your baby’s neck or to clothing.