SAFE SLEEP: The Best Baby Shower Gift to Receive

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Baby showers are a time to celebrate mom-to-be and baby! Family and friends gather to share parenting advice and help the new mom prepare for baby. Moms receive baby-welcoming gifts from cute tiny clothes, to soft bath towels and everyday accessories. The best present you can give a new mom is the knowledge of safe sleep. Before you head to the checkout counter, consider the items in your basket. Do they help promote safe sleep? Share safe sleep rules with the new mom-to-be. Help her create a safe sleeping environment for the baby.

If you are purchasing products for a new baby, here is what you need to know:

  • Crib or bassinet– A new baby will spend the majority of the time sleeping. A safe crib is crucial to promoting a safe sleep environment. A hand-me-down crib or new crib must meet the current standards of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Check to make sure there are no missing pieces and that crib bars follows the right guidelines.
  • Mattress– Mattress and crib shopping should go hand-in-hand. A baby’s mattress should never be soft. A soft, squishy sleep surface is not the answer to a better sleep. In fact, mattresses should be firm. They should fit tightly against the crib walls. A firm flat mattress reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
  • Comforter and Sheets– A comforter and bed sheets can make a crib look more inviting. They also greatly increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome and other related deaths. Blankets or comforters are OK to use in the crib when your baby is not in it. When your baby is sleeping, remove everything from the crib. The only thing inside the crib, besides the baby, is a tight fitted sheet over the firm mattress.
  • Pacifiers– The decision to use a pacifier is up to the new mom-to-be. Pacifiers can help soothe a baby during night-time troubles. Studies have shown that pacifiers help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Follow the rules and guidelines to reduce the risk of SIDS. Items in the crib can harm the infant’s ability to breathe if they accidentally cover the face. There is no proven way to prevent SIDS. As a parent, friend, family member or caregiver, you can reduce the risk significantly by making sure a baby sleeps safe. You can help new parents with this by making sure they know about the four rules of safe sleep.