Saturday, April 13, 2013
Safe Sleep for Your Baby
Your new baby does not know the difference between day and night. His little stomach holds only enough food to satisfy him for three or four hours. For the first few weeks of his life, there will be a seemingly endless schedule of around the clock waking, feeding and sleeping. But even at this age you can start teaching your baby that daytime sunny hours are for playing, and when the moon comes out one must sleep.
Keep the nighttime feedings as quiet and hushed as possible. Keep the lights low, and do not prolong nighttime diaper changes. If your baby takes a longer than necessary nap in the afternoon, wake him up and play with him. This will teach him that his extra sleeping hours are for the nighttime.
In the past it has been recommended that babies, particularly those between birth and about four months of age be placed on their stomachs to sleep. This was thought to be the best way to keep the baby from aspirating, or inhaling food or saliva into the windpipe in the event of a spit up. It is now taught that the back is a safer position, especially as it relates to the sudden infant death syndrome, (SIDS) which is responsible for many infant deaths during the first year of life. It is therefore recommended that for their health, babies be placed on their backs to sleep.
It is thought that in doing this, your baby will get more fresh oxygen. They will not just breathe air that is tucked within his blankets and the sheet where his face lies. The position in which a baby sleeps is not the only reason for the sudden infant death syndrome, but it seems strongly related and is thus advised by modern pediatricians.
There may be some circumstances or health reasons for placing certain babies on their stomachs to sleep. It is important, in these cases, to discuss these concerns with your pediatrician.
Even though sleeping on his back is the best position, sometimes you can also place your baby on his side to sleep. You can also alternate your baby from one side to the other.
It is important to avoid placing your baby on very soft surfaces such as comforters or pillows. A firm crib mattress covered with a sheet is best. Use little one piece sleepers for warmth, and avoid using blankets and other coverings.
It is important that your baby sleep in comfort, but also with safety. You will have peace of mind, and your baby will still get restful sleep!
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Sleep for Your Baby