Waking up in the middle of the night to check on your baby can be a daunting task but we cannot promise you more sleep especially when your babys’ sleeping area is not safe.
Sleeping position for infants is a major stressor for every new mom. Protecting babies and toddlers is every mom’s key priority.
When babies sleep with toys, cot-bumpers, blankets and pillows, then they stand a greater risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Sudden infant death commonly referred to as crib death is the unexplained death of a healthy infant under a year old which usually occurs while an infant is sleeping.
Sleeping with the baby while gazing at their beauty can be attractive but this can lead to an added risk of suffocation from the beddings or being rolled over by an adult.
Parents who have lost infants due to SIDS have had to live with the worst guilt wondering if there was anything they could have done to prevent their baby’s death.
Christine Achieng’ lost her baby exactly two years today. Like every new mom, Christine was looking forward to seeing her baby grow but little did she know that one day she would lose her baby in her sleep.
“I had placed my 2 months old baby in our bed. This was like every normal routine after a bath. An hour later my instincts prompted me to check on her. She was beautifully asleep but her body felt cold and she was breathless. That’s how I lost her. The doctors said it was a tragedy,” Achieng recounts.
According to the paediatrician Joy Mwenda, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) accounts for about 37 per cent of infant deaths globally.
“The major cause of SIDS has remained unknown among researchers and doctors. It’s a silent killer and very common in households globally,” she says.
However, Nancy says there are proper precautions that a new mom can put into practice such as laying babies on their back and keeping blankets out of their sleeping area.
“Keeping your baby’s sleeping surface clutter-free from toys is important. Modern day parents insist on placing teddy bears alongside their babies while sleeping which is a major risk factor. Parents should keep away pillows, blankets, bumpers and toys,” she says.
Safe sleep practices are crucial for every infant’s well being, growth and development.
Here are some of the safe sleep practices for babies:
1. Ensure your baby sleeps on their back to reduce the risk of unexpected sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation.
2. Baby’s sleeping area should be fitted with bedsheets only to prevent suffocation. Use of pillows, crib bumpers, or comforters is highly discouraged.
3. Toys should also be kept out of your baby’s sleeping area.
4. Babies should only be put to sleep in their cribs, bassinet or bedside sleeper.
5. If they fall asleep in a car seat, they should be placed in a baby cot instead of leaving them to sleep in those areas.
Most infant sleep-related deaths are due to asphyxia which is lack of enough supply of oxygen to the body resulting from a cluttered sleeping area or hazardous sleep environment.
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