Creating a safe sleep environment for a new baby is at the forefront of every new parents mind.
We caught up with the wonderful Tara from The Gentle Sleep Specialist to get her top 3 tips on how to create a safe sleep environment for your baby.
You can find out more about Tara and TGSS through the link at the bottom of the blog.
Photo by @hunterandcophotography
Tara here from The Gentle Sleep Specialist. I am a Mum, a Leading Children’s Sleep expert and a Paediatric Nurse with 17 years experience working with children, 13 of those years being at a professional level. I have become a trusted referral source for Pediatricians, Midwives, Child Health Nurses, Pharmacists, Psychologists, Teachers and Parents. I am passionate about helping families to gain healthy habits in regards to sleep and have helped thousands of families around the world. It’s my mission to provide support to these families with my knowledge in regards to sleep and honestly, in any way I possibly can.
Let’s talk about creating a safe sleep space for your precious babe, because above all, safety is the most important thing to be considering when it comes to sleep. We can reduce some of the many worries we have as parents by following some simple steps.
STEP 1 - Stay Firm & Flat
Photo by Sacred Bundle
We are aiming for a firm and flat space to settle your little one. It is important to research cots, bassinets and mattresses to ensure they comply with Australian standards and the fit in the bassinet/cot is correct. You are after less than 20mm gap between the mattress and the cot. Whilst we may think we want our little ones on a soft and cozy mattress it is quite the opposite. A firm mattress is required to provide support to those little soft bones, for resistance when our little ones are moving into positions during sleep, and to reduce any risk of suffocation.
Little ones should be placed on their backs to settle for sleep, but do not need to be secured in this position. Once old enough and rolling they do not need to be stopped from doing so. It may be tempting to prop your little one’s mattress on a tilt or use a wedge, particularly with a windy or reflux affected babe. However, many studies show that an incline such as one achieved with this practice makes little difference to reflux symptoms in a baby under 12 months of age, but can increase the risk of sliding under bedding or into a less desired position at the base of the mattress. There are also more concerns around the materials potentially used in wedges contributing to suffocation. A firm, flat mattress free of any soft objects is imperative for safe sleep. This includes pillows, cushions, teddies, and duvets. Removing these items from the sleep space reduces risk of suffocation and distractions.
STEP 2 - Remove Dangers
Photo by @little_seaside_stories
Be mindful of any dangers surrounding babies sleeping space. Things to look out for are blind/curtain cords, shelves, electrical cords, monitors and mobiles, these pose a strangulation risk for your little ones. These are also things to consider when finding the perfect spot to pop your DockATot for supervised day naps. Although cute, mobiles are discouraged for both safety reasons and as they can be a distraction around sleep time. Please remember! Babes should be in a smoke free household and environment at all times especially whilst sleeping.
STEP 3 - Regulate Temperature
Photo by Babes in Arms
The most difficult of all is regulating your little one’s temperature. I know it can be quite the challenge to get the balance right and you’re not alone in questioning what to dress your babe in each evening. The preferred option when it comes to comfort and providing warmth is an approved sleeping bag or sleep suit rather than blankets and bedding. These can be adjusted through-out the seasons. When looking for the perfect sleep suit - we would like fitted neck and arm holes, with no hoods or beanies used.
Room temperature is important when it comes to keeping our babes in ideal sleep settings to encourage healthy sleep and to reduce frequent waking due to being cold. Always being mindful of recommended temperature and dressing your babe appropriately to prevent over-heating as some studies have shown that having a very high environmental temperature may cause increase risks of SIDS. Some signs your little one is too hot are hot to touch, restless, red skin, rapid heart rate, vomiting.
Let’s sum it up, creating a checklist in your mind to ensure you have ticked the boxes for a safe sleep space. Provide a smoke free environment and remove any dangers in the area. Settle your appropriately dressed little one on their back using a flat, firm mattress …simple! Now it’s time for sleep…
This is where I step in. Sleep is the answer to many problems that babies, children and parents experience. I myself, have experienced this first hand with my own daughter and this essentially was the start of The Gentle Sleep Specialist. Sleep deprivation can impact the entire families physical, emotional and developmental well bring. We know the facts around the importance of sleep and the role it plays in healthy outcomes.
At The Gentle Sleep Specialist we have a variety of packages available to ensure we cater to everyone’s needs. We have both Online Sleep Programs and One on One Packages. At TGSS we pride ourselves on always being here to help and listen so jump onto our Instagram where we frequently share free tips and do weekly Q’s and A’s. Shout out!
Simplifying life for new parents, DockATot is your extra set of hands.
The multi-functional DockATot is the perfect place for your baby to lounge, play, rest, cuddle, and enjoy tummy time. The DockATot is here for you no matter where the day takes you! Created to mimic the womb and voted as a must-have baby product, parents and babies around the world love DockATot.
From parents who know:
"Life saver! No matter if we are home or out and about, we always take our DockATot with us. So easy for on the go and also easy to clean." - Alexia D
"My little girl absolutely loves her DockATot! Would 100% recommend this to anyone having a baby. Sadie has excellent naps and I do believe this is one of the reasons why." - Carmen F
"This has honestly been my lifesaver post c-section. The DockATot means I can have him next to me all the time and not move around too much." - Meagan L