A baby’s sleep needs change as he or she grows. Newborns sleep about 16 hours a day, usually 3 to 4 hours at a time. Don’t be surprised if your baby can only stay awake for an hour or two. Over time, his or her body gets into a sleep pattern and will start sleeping longer. To keep your baby safe while slumbering, here are some safe sleep tips to keep in mind.
On the back.
Until the age of one, you should always place your baby on his or her back every time they go to sleep. It is not safe for a baby to sleep on his or her side or tummy. Make sure you are using a flat, firm surface like a crib or a bassinet.
Where should your baby sleep?
Don’t share a bed with your baby. Bed-sharing is the most common cause of death in infants younger than 3 months old.
A clutter-free bed.
Be sure to keep crib bumpers, loose bedding, toys and other soft objects out of the crib. Remove any hanging window cords or electrical wires near where your baby sleeps to prevent him or her from getting tangled in them and possibly choking.
Make your baby comfortable.
Dress your baby in light sleep clothing. Remove any strings or ties from pajamas and don’t cover his or her head. Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for you. If the room is too warm for you, it will be too warm for your baby.
Using a pacifier.
Give your baby a pacifier for naps and at bedtime. Pacifiers can help protect against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as SIDS, which can cause the unexplained death of a baby often while sleeping. If you’re breastfeeding, it’s best to wait until your child is a month old before using a pacifier.
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