All the rules for safe sleep for infants can be confusing for a new parent. Here’s what you need to know about putting your baby down to sleep safe and sound.

Since you’ve become a parent, it seems like everyone you talk to has a different opinion about what’s safe and what’s not when it comes to raising your infant. 

You thought co-sleeping was safe until your friend told you otherwise. 

You believed letting your baby sleep on the side was okay until your co-worker told you it’s one major mistake parents make.

So, from so many opinions, how do you know what is right and what is wrong? 

Yes, the rules can be confusing for a new parent. 

That’s why, in this post, I’ll try to answer the most common concerns new parents may have when it comes to safe baby sleep practices. 

Knowing the safe sleep practices can help protect infants from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related hazards. 

Let’s begin:

What is safe for infants to sleep in?

Infants are safe to sleep in a bassinet or crib. And when it comes to bassinets or cribs, less is always better. 

To prevent the risk of SIDS, make sure the bassinet or crib contains only your baby and nothing else. Take out any toys, pillows, bumper pads, blankers, or positioning devices. The mattress should be firm, and the sheet should be tightly fitted. Soft bedding is risky as it can block your baby’s airways.

Are sleeping pods safe for babies?

Items such as sleeping pods don’t conform to safe sleep guidelines and could pose a risk of infants younger than 12 months. Sleeping pods can lead to overheating or can potentially obstruct a baby’s airway if they roll on their face. To reduce the risk of SIDS, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies should sleep on their backs, on a firm and empty surface. 

What should infants wear to sleep?

You want to make sure that your baby is not too hot and not too cold during the night. Simple is always the safest.

The clothing your child should wear to sleep depends on the temperature of the room. The ideal room temperature for an infant is between 68–72°F (16°C to 20°C). 

The ideal clothing for the warmer months is an onesie, sleep slack, or a lightweight swaddle. In colder months, consider a long-sleeves onesie or a heavier swaddle. 

Safe-sleep-for-infants

How should babies sleep safely at night?

Parents are advised to let their babies sleep on their backs, at least until they reach the age of 1 or until they develop neck control. Back-sleeping is a safer option than sleeping on the stomach or the side as it increases a baby’s access to fresh air and makes him less likely to get overheated.

What age is co-sleeping safe?

The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t support the trend of parents co-sleeping with their infants. According to the Academy, parents should share a room with their baby but should avoid bed-sharing. More specifically, it advises against sleeping with babies who are younger than three months old. Bed-sharing should also be avoided if parents are excessively tired or have been using alcohol or medication. More about Co-sleeping

Is sleep training cruel?

Many parents mistakenly believe that sleep training means leaving your baby cry throughout the night. But contrary to their belief, sleep training means gradually teaching your baby how to sleep independently. It involves periods of comforting and periods of distancing. 

The more slowly you go with sleep training, the less likely your baby will resist and cry.

Sleep training consultants teach gentle sleep training techniques that focus on two things: creating a consistent bedtime routine and teaching your child how to fall asleep on his own at bedtime.

Is 3-months-old too early for sleep training?

Generally, you can start sleep training at any age. Whether your child is three or six months old, the most important thing is for you to feel comfortable. If you and your partner feel ready to start sleep training your baby, then the age shouldn’t concern you.

What age can you stop worrying about SIDS?

You should take SIDS seriously throughout the first year of your baby’s life. As your baby gets older, the more the risk of SIDS drops. Most SIDS cases happen before four months, and the majority happen before six months of age.

Is it OK to leave the baby in the crib awake?

Putting your baby down into his crib when he’s drowsy but awake is the best way to teach him how to sleep on his own. Even if he cries a little bit, this will help him get used to it. Give him a gentle pat and then leave the room without waiting for him to fall asleep. 

Is it OK for an infant to sleep on the chest?

New parents are advised against letting their babies sleep on their stomachs until they reach the age of 1. The risk for SIDS drops dramatically after a baby turns one. By the time they’re 1, the baby’s lung capacity will increase, and they will develop better neck control.

You can let your baby sleep on his tummy before the age of one, but only if he starts flipping over on his own. Once babies start flipping over on their own, that means that their brains are mature enough to alert them to breathing dangers. To be completely safe, ensure that your baby can roll over in both directions, stomach to back and back to stomach.

Can I hire someone to sleep train my baby?

Teaching your baby how to sleep independently can be challenging. It’s good to know that you don’t have to do it alone. A baby sleep trainer can help you every step of the way. Sleep trainers will guide you through the process of sleep training your baby for a few weeks. They’ll teach you how to establish a healthy bedtime routine and finally get that sleep you need. Because when the baby sleeps, you sleep.

How much does a sleep coach cost?

The cost of a baby sleep trainer ranges from $100 to $1000+, depending on the individual sleep trainer. However, the good news is that FSA and HSA cover the costs for a sleep trainer. More employers every year are moving to a high-deductible HSA/FSA plans. They’ve finally realized that for moms and dads to be more productive at work, they need better sleep. 

Final Word

I hope that I answered some of the questions that keep you worried and concerned.

To sum up, here’s everything you should keep in mind:

  • The safest place for babies to sleep is in a bassinet or crib that’s firm and empty.
  • Items such as sleeping pods don’t conform to safe sleep guidelines and could pose a risk of infants younger than 12 months.
  • The ideal clothing for the warmer months is an onesie, sleep slack, or a lightweight swaddle. In colder months, consider a long-sleeves onesie or a heavier swaddle. 
  • Babies should sleep on their backs, at least until they reach the age of 1.
  • According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents should share a room with their baby but should avoid bed-sharing.
  • Sleep training means gradually teaching your baby how to sleep independently.
  • Generally, you should start sleep training once your child turns four months old.
  • You should take SIDS seriously throughout the first year of your baby’s life.
  • The best to teach your baby how to sleep independently is to put him down into his crib when he’s drowsy but awake.
  • New parents are advised against letting their babies sleep on their stomachs until they reach the age of 1.
  • FSA and HSA cover the costs for a sleep trainer.