As a child sleep consultant, safe sleep is my number one priority. With the recent recall of the Fisher Price Rock’n’Play making headlines and an increasing appearance of unsafe sleep images being used for advertising and by social media influencers, I want to make it clear for parents exactly what safe sleep should look like.
Do you know how difficult it is to find photos out there of a sleeping baby in an empty crib or bassinet? An empty crib with no bumpers, no blankets, no pillows, no stuffed animals. It’s almost impossible – and this is a problem. While a bare crib might not look “cute” for photos, parents are constantly seeing these images and it is sending a confusing message.
The AAP states that babies under one-year-old should sleep on their backs, in an empty crib or bassinet with a fitted sheet ONLY. Advertisers and social media influencers need to stop sharing unsafe sleep images because it is promoting and normalizing unsafe sleep practices. Don’t let these “cute” images and the abundance of unsafe products being advertised and targeting towards new parents influence you from creating anything but the safest sleep environment for your little one.
To make it easy to remember, always follow the ABC’s of safe sleep:
Babies should sleep Alone,
on their Backs,
and in a Crib.
If you are worried about your little one getting cold, layer them accordingly with clothing and a sleep sack. If you are concerned about your baby’s legs getting caught in the crib slats, sleep sacks are also useful for this issue and a much safer alternative to crib bumpers which pose a suffocation and strangulation risk. Stuffed animals and loveys can also become a suffocation hazard so it is best to remove them from your baby’s crib until they are at least 1-year-old. A pillow should not be introduced until at least 18-months-old.
If you have any questions about safe sleep for your infant or child, refer to the AAP guidelines or get in touch and I’d be happy to answer them for you. Remember to keep the sleep environment as simple as possible and avoid any unsafe sleep situations, and unsafe products like sleep positions. No matter what you see your favorite celebrity doing with their baby, or what your Grandmother used to do with theirs – knowing what we know now means it is just not worth the risk when it comes to protecting our own children.