When you have a little one on the way, there’s no doubt on your mind that you want to do everything that you possibly can in order to not just ensure their comfort but also help ensure their safety. There are various ways that you can do that.
You may be surprised to be finding such an article on a website that promotes safety against lead paint exposure, but the reality is there’s a reason why we’re writing this article.
While we want to ensure the safety of those most at risk, we also want to make sure that you are taking the necessary precautions in general. With that being said, there are a bunch of consumer products on the market that unfortunately don’t live up to the safety guidelines, meaning that they may in fact have a bunch of chemicals in them that aren’t approved. Until it is discovered, they will unfortunately be filling our homes with unnecessary chemical exposure, and exposure to heavy metals such as lead and lead paint.
The importance of good sleep is imperative for proper development, and you have probably had days in your life where you could tell them you simply haven’t had sufficient amounts of this miracle drug to really be functioning at an optimal level. For kids, sleep is even more so important than it is for adults, why they will additionally sleep significantly longer hours than most adults end up doing.
There are unfortunately too many accidents with babies dying unexpectedly, and in a lot of cases it isn’t even possible to come up with a reason why it happened. In fact, there is a term that has been coined – SUDI. SUDI stands for “sudden unexpected death in infancy”, which can surely happen when a baby is sleeping as well.
It is luckily a thing that has become significantly less of an issue than it was in the past, there are still a lot of reasons why you should be following the guidelines on safe sleeping for newborns. With the help of these tips, we’ll be able to lower SUDI even more, and help protect your smallest family members against the hidden dangers that they are currently exposed to, perhaps without you even knowing that it’s the case.
Here’s a bunch of tips that you should be implementing to help increase the safety of your baby’s sleep, thereby lowering the risk of SUDI.
- You should always make sure that your baby is in fact sleeping on their back.
For healthy babies, sleeping on their backs is an important step in making sure that they avoid the suffocation risks associated with some of the other sleeping positions and only when they are able to navigate the bed on their own will you be able to let your baby determine what position they’re comfortable sleeping in.
SUDI often occurs because babies end up in sleeping positions where they are unable to breathe, because they have yet to develop the ability to roll over, which usually happens around the age of 4-6 months.
2. A baby’s face should naturally not be covered as they’re going to sleep, nor should there be a risk that that could happen by accident.
Things like bed sheet should be securely tightened so that they don’t accidentally end up covering anything that it shouldn’t be covering. There are in fact specific products that have been made available such as the safe infant sleeping bag, intended to replace the use of blankets and significantly reducing the risk of anything accidentally covering your baby’s head, at which point they would be at risk of suffocating. It’s important that your baby’s feet are near the bottom end of the cot as well, as you’re positioning them and making them ready for a bunch of z’s.
3. Don’t smoke in the house
There are a bunch of things that you shouldn’t be doing during pregnancy, and there are a bunch of things that you shouldn’t be doing after your baby is born either. Ideally you make sure that the baby doesn’t end up being exposed to the harmful chemicals that are involved in the making of cigarettes, so as to keep them from the exposure. Second-hand smoke isn’t good for anyone, especially not babies, and can both affect your kids’ development but can also lead to SUDI.
4. Make sure that you only get a mattress for your kid that lives up to the various safety guidelines
It’s very important that you not only buy a cot or a mattress that lives up to the rigorous safety guidelines that are instituted in the United States, but we encourage you to be equally rigorous in making sure that you aren’t getting any sort of materials that could potentially hurt your baby. We understand that you may have found a website that offers a bunch of products slightly cheaper than you would be able to find them for from a more reputable site, but the truth is that you’re exposing your baby to unnecessary harm when you’re buying these sorts of products instead of getting them from a source that you absolutely know is safe to buy from.
Safety standards have been instituted in the United States for a reason, including various safety standards concerning the use of lead paint in consumer products. In fact, the use of lead paint in consumer products was severely limited back in 1992, at which point it was practically banned for the purpose. However, that doesn’t mean that other countries have nearly the same regulatory bodies that ensure that the dangerous addition to paint is being avoided. As a consequence, there are often recalls of products coming from foreign manufacturers when they have proven unable to follow the rules set by the United States.
In addition to not meeting the safety guidelines when it comes to the inclusion of lead paint, there are also other safety standards concerning cots that prevent babies from either getting trapped in the gaps, as well as how tall the sides have to be in order to provide protection against a child that gets curious and wants to crawl all over the place. Having sides that are too low could unfortunately lead to dangerous falls as the baby starts exploring the limitations of the cot.
5. Sharing a room with your baby
It’s very much so encouraged that you sleep in the same room as your baby, especially in the early stages where they aren’t yet ready to roll around when they find the need to. In fact, the recommendation is tat you share a room with your baby for the first year of their life, meaning you may be sleeping in the same room as them for slightly longer than it will take for them to be able to roll over, which is just a safety measure to consider.
6. Breastfeeding your baby
Had you ever imagined that this simple act of providing the nutrients to your baby in a natural way such as breastfeeding might in fact be helping to keep the risk of SUDI at bay. Yes, there are indications that it may help.
7. Keep away any type of object that could end up obstructing your baby’s sleep ways.
There are a couple of reasons why you want to make sure that you aren’t including various objects in your baby’s cot. It’s not just the risk of suffocating on these objects that will help keep you feeling at ease when you put them to sleep, but it will also help to avoid the risk of them overheating. Some of the common objects that parents often want to put in the cot but really shouldn’t include soft toys, pillows, doonas, mattress padding, cot bumpers and anything that is a soft object that could potentially end up getting in the way.
This is the perfect moment to also mention to you that we have a bunch of other articles that are focused on not just improving the safety of your newborn but include various articles on additionally improving your family’s safety. Many of these safety tips are especially important when you have kids in the house, and even more so when you have really young kids in the house, as these are the ones that are the most prone to the environmental impacts that we are exposing them to.
If it’s the first time that you visit Check4Lead’s website, you probably don’t know that we have other articles on protecting your family against lead exposure, general things you need to know about lead paint, and what some of the risks are that you are walking into if you’re buying a 50 year old home. Assuming you know what you’re doing, and you’re both doing the necessary testing and making sure that any old paint remains in good condition, there isn’t a good reason why you shouldn’t be able to buy a 50 year old home if that is really what your dream is. However, when that’s been said, they will often suffer from various things like bad indoor air quality and other things, so if you have children living there, you will want to make sure that you have these things addressed before you start moving your family into the place.
Either way, you can check those things out at your own convenience, and then if you choose to learn more about it, you can read the various articles that we have posted. We have an entire blog section where you can keep reading these safety focused articles, ones that will often have lead exposure as the core of their focus, given the obvious fact that those are the things that we focus on, and the reason we are able to stay in business.
Let’s get on with the remainder of the article.
8. Make sure that the mattress that your baby is sleeping on is both firm and well-fitting.
You will want to make sure that the mattress that you choose for the cot doesn’t have gaps between the frame and the mattress, as that is a place where a small child’s head could easily end up getting jammed, and as a result suffocate. Second mattresses should be avoided, as should mattresses that aren’t firm, as these pose some of the same dangers that soft objects in the cot do.
9. Avoid letting your baby sleep on other surfaces that they aren’t intended to sleep on which could include couches.
Makeshift bedding, couches and other surfaces are easily ones where you might consider letting your baby sleep, but there really isn’t a good reason for you to do so given the obvious dangers that it will subject your baby to. Remember how we previously said you should make sure that your baby is sleeping on a firm mattress? Well, that is not a couch.
10. Dress your baby appropriately as you’re putting them to sleep.
You wouldn’t leave your dog in a hot car where the sun is shining down on for several hours as you go and run errands, so why would you ever consider not dressing your baby appropriately as you’re putting them to sleep? Babies deserve the same attention that others do, and that means you have to ensure that there isn’t a risk of overheating.
Sure, you should be making sure that your baby is wearing warm clothing that will keep them from freezing through the night, but overheating is one risk factor for SUDI, why appropriate clothing for sleep is massively important. You probably know that you yourself wouldn’t be jumping into bed wearing a ski outfit. Well, if you put your baby to bed in something that resembles that, overheating suddenly becomes a potential hazard as well. Would you yourself wear the clothing that you are putting your baby to sleep in? If so, the level of heat is probably appropriate, if not, you might just want to reevaluate the situation.
11. Make sure that anyone who takes care of your baby has read these many tips before being put in charge of your baby
We understand that you might be the one putting your baby to sleep most of the nights but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be the one doing it every single night. Is someone else doing it for one night, then make sure to have them go over this article as well so that they are properly equipped to the challenges you are facing in caring for a newborn.
Either way, we hope that you enjoyed this article despite the fact that it may have strayed away from our usual focus of dealing with lead paint issues.