Baby Safe Sleep Frequently Asked Questions
by Hayley Morgan on Oct 11, 2022
Keeping the baby safe while sleeping is vital. This helps prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), suffocation and choking. Here are a few common queries about baby safe sleep from new parents.
1. What is safe sleep for babies?
Safe sleep for babies is meant to prevent suffocation and choking, thus helping the baby sleep peacefully. To ensure safe sleep, you should always make the baby sleep on a crib or bassinet with a firm and flat mattress. The baby should lie on the back with no other person sleeping beside them. You should avoid placing loose blankets, pillows or toys in the crib, as it can cause suffocation.
2. Does safe sleep prevent SIDS?
In case of safe sleeping, the baby is made to lie down on the back on a firm surface with no loose objects nearby. Thus, you can reduce the chances of SIDS, and other dangers like suffocation and strangulation, to a great extent.
3. When can you stop safe sleep?
The danger of SIDS is high during the first year of the baby. Thus, it is best to continue safe sleep until the baby is one year. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parent’s let babies sleep in their room until one year. This helps lower the risk of SIDS by up to 50%.
4. What is a baby sleep sack?
A baby sleep sack is like a baby sleeping bag that keeps the baby warm while sleeping. It is also called a wearable blanket. It prevents overheating of the baby, which is a major cause of SIDS. You need not use a loose blanket in the crib when the baby is wearing a sleep sack.
5. When should the baby wear a sleep sack?
You can start using a baby sleep sack once the baby outgrows swaddling. This mainly occurs between 3-4 months of age, when the baby starts rolling over. In a sleep sack, the baby can move the hands and legs freely, at the same time, keep themselves warm.
6. Can a baby sleep peacefully in a sleep sack once they start rolling over?
A baby can sleep peacefully in a sleep sack once it starts rolling over. The sleep sack allows the free movement of the baby’s hands, legs and hips. Thus, the baby can easily roll over while wearing a sleep sack. However, you should never swaddle a baby with the sleep sack, as it can restrict the baby’s movement.
7. How should a sleep sack fit?
The weight of a sleep sack should not be more than 10% of the baby’s weight. The sleep sack should be 56-68 cm in length for babies under six months. For 6-18 month-old babies, the sleep sack should be 65-82 cm, and for older babies till 36 months, the length of the sleep sack should be 82-95 cm.
8. Is sleep sack and swaddle the same?
No, sleep sack and swaddle are not the same. A swaddle is a soft blanket used to wrap the baby while sleeping. A sleep sack is a wearable blanket similar to a body suit. It is made of blanket-like material with provision for the baby’s head and arm.
9. Are sleep sacks better than swaddles?
Both sleep sack and swaddle serve the same purpose of keeping the baby warm while sleeping. While a swaddle is used for newborns less than two months of age, a sleep sack is used for babies who have started rolling over.
10. Can a baby overheat in a sleep sack?
Yes, the risk of overheating is high when the baby sleeps in a sleep sack. To prevent this, parents should dress the baby lightly, depending on the room's temperature. Also, leave the baby’s head uncovered to reduce the risk of overheating.
11. How long can a baby use a sleep sack?
A baby can use a sleep sack from 6 months to 36 months. You can introduce a soft blanket one the baby is 36 months old.
12. How do you dress a baby under a sleep sack?
The dress to wear under the sleep sack depends on the room's temperature. Ideally, you can make the baby wear a light pajama and a light sleep sack during spring and summer. You can change this to a warm fleece pajama and heavy sleep sack during winter and fall. Depending on how cold or hot it is, you can make the baby wear a top.
13. How to maintain a sleep sack?
You can wash a sleep sack in a gentle cycle in the washing machine. Make sure to set the temperature low and use a mild detergent. Also, you should close the zipper or fastener and turn the sack inside out before washing.
It is a parent’s responsibility to ensure safe sleeping for the baby. A sleep sack or wearable blanket creates a warm and cosy feel that helps the baby to sleep. While using the sleep sack, it is best to leave the baby’s head uncovered to prevent overheating.