In many households, who's sleeping, who's not and how to make it happen is the bane of new parents' existence. While you can't really control baby's sleep patterns, you can ensure she's snoozing safely. Several government and consumer agencies have turned a critical eye toward baby products marketed as safe sleep aids for nurseries and cribs. Their findings yielded some pretty alarming statistics regarding infant injuries and fatalities that will have new moms and dads rethinking those sweet, cozy-looking bumpers and snugly loveys. Read on to learn how you can keep your baby out of harm's way, at least while she's catching her zzzs.
Picking the Right Crib
Recently, the U.S. government issued a ban on drop-side cribs, as they have been linked to more than 30 infant deaths in the past decade. If buying a new crib, make sure to select one with fixed sides and slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart that has been approved by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). If you already have a drop-side version, check with the manufacturer for any recalls on your model. Visit cribsafety.org for information about how to immobilize a drop-side crib. Important to note: A crib should not be placed next to a window, near outlets or within reach of blinds or blind cords, tabletops or dressers to avoid fall and strangulation hazards. If using a secondhand crib, make sure it's in perfect condition. If parts are missing, damaged or broken or it's more than 10 years old, play it safe and buy a new one.
Studies have shown that using a pacifier while sleeping reduces the risk of SIDS because the sucking keeps baby from snoozing too deeply and may help keep nasal and oral passages open.