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How Should Babies REALLY Sleep? Here Are The Facts

Everyone, regardless of how young or old they are, needs time to sleep. There are thousands of pieces of research on the human sleep patterns. There are various different styles of sleeping for adults that depend upon their size, height, weight, preferences, and, according to some sources, personalities. However, babies need to sleep as well.

While sleep comes naturally to a baby, it is the responsibility of the parents to make sure that the baby is sleeping in a safe and comfortable way that is conducive to the health and growth of their child. There is an overwhelming amount of research in parenting books and on the internet about the safest way for a baby to sleep, but sometimes safe doesn’t mean easy or that the baby will prefer it.

Here are the ABC’s of proper sleep safety for your infant to ensure that they get the soundest and safest night’s sleep possible.

Alone

The “ABC’s of proper sleep safety” is not simply a creative way to categorize this information. It is actually an acronym for remembering the three most important, easy steps to ensure that your baby has a safe sleep through the night that will leave you worry free. The first letter, A, stands for “Alone”.

During the early years especially, people will bombard you with a barrage of stuffed animals and other fluffy toys. It is important that your baby sleeps alone without these trinkets on the grounds that they could actually pose a safety hazard to your child. If your child rolls over in the night, he or she could end up with their face in one of these pillows, making it difficult for them to breathe, especially as a new born when they are still developing their automatic breathing patterns.

 

This logic also goes along with other people. While it may be tempting to put your crying child into bed with you, it may be a very dangerous decision. If you do this, you run the risk of rolling on to your child during the night. Overall, it is much safer for your baby to be sleeping in his or her own space.

However, it is important to know that this doesn’t mean the baby has to be alone in a separate room. In fact, studies are revealing the importance of keeping the baby in the same room as mom and dad until at least 6 months age. Being near the caregiver actually helps the baby to regulate their breathing and heart rate, and produces a whole host of benefits.

Back

There are a wide array of online quizzes and pseudo scientific posts that dissect the personalities of people who sleep in different ways. Some people sleep straight as a board. Others sleep spread out like a starfish.

Some people sleep on their stomachs while many others sleep on their backs. Seeing as all people seem to sleep in a different way, people often forget that, especially for infants, there is a proper and safe way to have them sleep. It is important when putting your child to bed to lay them on their back.

This is the safest position because, from this position, they are the least likely to accidentally roll onto their face. If you lay your child on their stomach, they run the risk of simply turning their head slightly and trying to sleep with their face completely down. For a newborn who is still learning to breathe regularly during sleep, this could lead to easy suffocation. It also risks the baby spitting up and having his or her face and nose submerged in the spit up.

These risks are minimized greatly if you simply lay the child on his or her back at bedtime.

Crib

One of the best ways to help to ensure your child’s maximum safety while they are asleep is to control the environment in which they sleep to the best of your abilities. The safest place for your child to sleep is in his or her own crib. When your child is very young and immobile this may not seem incredibly necessary.

However, it is because of this questionable lack of mobility that it is so important that they sleep in a crib. Your child is constantly growing and changing and becoming more mobile by the minute. If that happens when your child is asleep, they may begin to roll and move around. If they are not in a crib, they run the risk of falling to the floor.

Furthermore, because the child may not understand his or her own mobility, they will not know how to move back if they have moved to close to the edge. You will sleep more soundly knowing that your child is safe within their crib.

About the Author

Amanda Acuña an influential Mom Blogger. She created MommyMandy as an online resource to the parenting community. She is married to her high school sweetheart and has three daughters, ages 15,12, 6 and a son who is 2. They currently reside in Texas.

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