Baby Registry Items for a Safe and Conductive Sleep Environment

baby registry items for safe sleep - photo of a group of people with long hair in dresses opening presents

Congratulations on your upcoming new baby!  This is such an exciting time!  But it can also be overwhelming! Good Night Sleep Site is here to help!  When it comes to keeping your baby safe and comfortable while sleeping, we have you covered!  

You are about to share your joy with family and friends at your upcoming baby shower. You will be tasked with putting together a baby registry to ensure that you are getting what you need to welcome your new baby.  There are so many options to choose from when it comes to cribs, mattresses, and sleep aids.  With so many options, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. To help you get started, here is a list of sleep products to get your little one off to a safe start as well as set your baby up with a good sleep foundation.   

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Why Is a Safe Sleep Environment Important? 

The American Academy of Pediatrics and The Canadian Paediatric Society has provided guidance for safe sleep to lower the risk of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  Here at Good Night Sleep Site, this is our number one priority when working with clients and sharing information.  SUID and SIDS can be prevented by following their guidance. The AAP recommends following the ABCs of safe sleep.  When you are looking to buy products for your new baby, ask yourself does this product meets these recommendations for safe sleep.  

A-Alone-Baby should be alone in their sleep environment.  No blankets, no stuffed animals, no bumpers pads.  Nothing but baby.  

B-Back-Always offer sleep on a baby’s back. 

C-Only use a crib, bassinet or pack and play for sleep.  

You can read more about safe sleep here.    

What Should I Put on My Sleep Registry?

A Safe Place to Sleep

  • A safe crib or bassinet: You’ll also want to make sure you have a safe crib for your baby. This means one that meets all the safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). For full size cribs, you want to be sure they were manufactured after June 28, 2011, and for bassinet’s manufactured after April 23rd, 2014. These manufacturer dates are as of the writing of this blog.  Be sure to check to see if there have been any updated standards.  
  • A Portable Crib or a Play Yard-This is a great product parents should consider adding to their registry.  This is a great option for parents who need to save space, or who will be traveling frequently.  Portable cribs are perfect for those who need a sleeping space that’s easy to move from room to room or bring with them when traveling. You will want to look for manufactured date after February 28, 2013.  This will confirm that your play yard meets the new standards. You can also contact the manufacturer of the produce if before this date to see if the play yard meets the new standards.  These manufacturer dates are as of the writing of this blog. Be sure to check to see if there have been any updated standards.  
  • A firm mattress: You’ll want to make sure your baby has a firm mattress to sleep on.   An infant can sink into a soft mattress.  This can be dangerous as they can roll around and become stuck in the mattress increasing the risk of SIDS. Make sure you measure your crib or bassinet before purchasing a mattress, as the mattress needs to fit perfectly for safety. The mattress should be tight fitting in the crib to prevent baby getting trapped between the mattress and the side of the crib (less than 2 fingers should fit between the mattress and the side of the crib).  

What to Wear for Sleep

What to Wear? When deciding what to put your baby to sleep in, you want to make sure your baby will not get tangled in extra materials. Here are safe and comfortable items to add your baby registry.  

  • Swaddle-A swaddle is a wrap that goes securely around your baby to keep them secure and cozy.  It also helps prevent the Moro reflex that can startle a baby wake.  This is a great option for sleeping during the newborn stage.  You will want to stop swaddling once your baby begins to show signs of rolling for safety.  
  • Sleep sacks-A sleep sack is a wearable blanket.  Sleep sacks come in a variety of sizes and styles, as well as materials and colors. A sleep sack provides an extra layer of warmth without having to have a blanket which would not be safe for a baby to have in their sleep space. A sleep sack is also a perfect transition from the swaddle.   Read more about sleep sacks here.  

Where to Sleep? 

The AAP recommends that parents sleep in the same room, but not the same bed for the first 6 months to decrease the risk of SIDS.    

So, if you plan to room share, think about what products would comfortably fit in your room when making your baby registry.  

Sleep Extra’s for Safety and Sleep Success

  • A Baby Monitor-This is a great product for parents of infants and toddlers.  It is a great tool for parents to keep an eye on their sleeping baby.  A monitor will allow you to keep an eye and ear on your baby while you are in other parts of the house.  Monitors come in all varieties.  You will want to pick one that met the needs of your family.  Many monitors have other features such as room temperature readings, talk back, multiple camara’s and more.  
  • A White Noise Machine-A white noise machine can be an invaluable addition to your baby’s sleep tools.  You can buy a standalone baby monitor or use an app.  There is a lot of value to using a white noise machine.  It will help keep outside noise outside and will also become a familiar part of your baby’s sleep routine that will help relax them as soon as you turn it on if you use it for every sleep cycle.  Sleep tip-There are many options for sounds to use.  I suggest using boring sounds such as white noise, heartbeat, or hush sounds.  
  • Blackout Shades-Blackout curtains are a must-have for new parents. Keeping a room very dark for sleep will help keep stimulation lower for newborns and help support the production of the sleep hormone melatonin when a baby gets a little older.  Blackout shades can also help to regulate the temperature of the room.  
  • Nightlights-A baby doesn’t need a night light as they are too young for fears.  However, parents will need to tend to their baby at night with feedings and changings.  Since bright light can cause wakefulness, using a red or amber colored night light will allow parents to tend to their baby’s needs without interfering with your own melatonin.   

How Do You Know if a Product is Safe? 

Products are being reviewed regularly.  You will want to take extra steps when being given a hand me down product.  Since so much has changed in safety standards, youwill want to be sure that it meets the latest standards for safety and does not have any recalls on it.  You can check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission or SaferProducts.gov to check.  

Items to Avoid for Sleep

There are so many things on the market that are not intended for sleep and/or are not safe.  When you are using an item be sure to read the manufacturing instructions to see if that product is intended for sleep.  

Items that are not safe for crib use:

  • Blankets
  • Lovey
  • stuffed animals
  • pillows
  • bumper pads
  • weighted sleepers or products
  • sleep positioners  

Places that are not safe for sleep: 

  • Baby nests or pods
  • Couches
  • Armchairs
  • Swings
  • Inclined products (not flat)
  • Special note-If a baby falls asleep in a car seat while you are driving, when you get to where you are going it is safest to move your baby to a crib, bassinet or play yard.  

Remember the ABCs of safe sleep when making choices about what to add to your baby’s sleep environment.  If you have questions about setting up a safe and conducive sleep environment for your baby, reach out to a Good Night Sleep Site consultant!  

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