The most important safe sleeping tips explained:
Supine sleeping position
- Always put your baby supine - on his back - to sleep. This way the airway is not obstructed.
- If our baby is awake, put him a few times during the day in prone position, under your supervision. For example, when you change a diaper or while playing in the box. This prevents a flat or skewed skull (plagiocephaly).
- Place a baby back to the supine position when he is able to turn prone, but not able yet to turn back. Turning prone for the first time while sleeping has an extremely high risk. That is the reason why it is so good to exercise turning under supervision of a parent, i.e. during the day in the playpen or the playpen rug.
- If a baby easily can run back and forth, you don’t have to turn the baby – who turned to prone - on his back again.
- Side sleeping of an infant is also risk increasing. A baby will be able to turn more easily to prone. However, in itself, the side position is risk increasing.
- Premature infants (older than 32 weeks) should also always sleep in supine position (exceptions only on medical grounds).
- Don’t be concerned that your baby chokes in supine position. Since infants sleep supine, death by choking did not increase, but has further decreased. (Exceptions only on medical grounds).
Separate sleeping surface with your baby
- Do not bed share with a baby younger than 4 months. After 4 months of age, the risk is no longer increased.
- If parents smoke or use other addictive substances, or if the baby is born prematurely, the risk of bed sharing is increased until 6 months of age.
- If a click-on bed or an extension cot is used, the “septum” (side-part) should always be up when the baby goes to sleep.
- Never put a baby to sleep on a couch or sofa and never fall asleep with your baby on the couch or sofa. This has caused often (fatal) accidents.
- Ensure a smoke-free environment and fresh air in your home.
Safe sleeping environment
- Place the cradle or cot at least the first 6 months (or the first year) in the parents ' room (room-sharing). That is protective.
- Avoid a water-bed, pillows, soft baby bumpers, soft stuffed toys in the baby bed. These may cause airway obstruction and so hinder breathing.
- Never leave a baby unattended in a 'baby nest' with soft sides.
- Avoid stabilization pillows if direct supervision is lacking.
- Do not place your baby to sleep on/in a nursing pillow and prevent the baby to sleep in a baby carrier in a 'comma' position (chin to chest). This can hamper breathing.
- Make sure that the baby car seat is not in an extreme upright position. This allows the baby's head to forward. This can obstruct the airway and hinder breathing.
- Prevent twins to sleep together in a crib or cot.
- Make sure your baby sleeps in a sleeping bag or under a blanket and a sheet. Place the blanket across. This way you will be able to tuck him in firmly. This postpones the moment the child starts turning to prone, during sleep.
- Never use a duvet.
- Make sure the baby sleeps feet to foot.
- Use a firm mattress that fits well in the cot or baby bed.
- Use in a camping cot mattress no thicker than intended, because this creates space between the side of fabric and the mattress. A baby can be stuck between the wall and the mattress.
- Check regularly that your baby is not too hot or too cold. Hands may be cold, feet should be warm.
- A temperature in the children's room between 60.8°F and 64.4°F (16 °C and 18 °C) is fine.
- Never give your baby sleep inducing medications.
- Breastfeed if possible.
- If breastfeeding is well underway, give a pacifier during each sleep. When bottle feeding, a pacifier can be offered immediately.