Baby Care Blog

Creating a Safe Sleep Environment for Your Newborn

Babies and sleep are a funny combination.  My new mom friends and I laughed at the irony of life with a newborn: we spent so much time and effort soothing our babies to sleep, and when they'd finally go to sleep, we’d obsessively check on them.

If you’re preparing for life with a newborn, you only need the basics when it comes to sleeping them safely. Crib bumpers are out. Snoozing with four-legged family pets is out. Newborns don’t need pillows or blankets or stuffed toys.

Just follow the guidelines of the “Safe to Sleep” campaign (formerly “Back to Sleep”) that’s been helping moms snooze their babies safely for the last 23 years.

Back to Sleep

While it may feel unnatural to place your newborn on her back in her crib or bassinet, it's the safest position for her. You may worry if she spits up, that putting her on her back could make her choke, but that's not the case. Babies, even newborns, have a reflex so they either swallow their fluid or spit it up.

Safe sleep environment

To make sure your baby is in a safe environment, follow the guidelines from the Consumer Product Safety Commission [CPSC]:

  • To prevent suffocation, never place pillows or thick quilts in a baby's sleep environment.
  • Make sure there are no gaps larger than two fingers between the sides of the crib and the mattress.
  • Proper assembly of your crib is critical. Follow the instructions provided, and make sure that every part is installed correctly. If you are not sure, call the manufacturer for assistance.
  • Do not use cribs older than 6 years that have drop-side rails, or that are broken or modified. Infants can strangle to death if their bodies pass through gaps between loose components or broken slats while their heads remain entrapped.
  • Never place a crib near a window with cords from blinds, curtains or baby monitors; babies can strangle on cords.
  • Keep curious pets out of your baby's nursery.

What surprised you about life with a newborn? Let us know in the comments section on the Boudreaux’s Butt Paste® Facebook page!