YOU’VE BROUGHT HOME YOUR BUNDLE OF JOY AND NOW YOU’LL SPEND A LOT OF YOUR PARENTING KEEPING YOUR CHILD SAFE.
As parents, especially new parents, you are constantly bombarded by new potential fears. Am I feeding my baby enough? Is s/he getting the right kind of stimulation? When is it safe to take her/him out in public? Where should my baby sleep?
Last year (2019) there was a recall of the Rock ‘n Play™ Sleepers which literally rocked the parenting world. I remember it vividly because I was one of those parents. We owned one; I purchased it when pregnant for close to half of its original price and remember being ecstatic when it was delivered to our door. We had just welcomed our daughter a few weeks prior to the recall. Honestly I was pretty devastated because our daughter slept in her Rock ‘n Play Sleeper every night. But after learning that infants had died, I knew there was only one decision to make; we had to stop using it. But I was truly panicked because it was our primary sleeping place for our infant daughter. I knew there would be sleepless nights as we transitioned to something else.
As a doula and a parent, I am all about safe sleep and the general safety of children, but I honestly did not know I was putting my child at risk every time we went to sleep. And I would bet that many of you also don’t think about the possibility that there are items that could currently be a threat to your child.
TIP: DO NOT FEEL OVERWHELMED BECAUSE THERE ARE WAYS TO KNOW IF SOMETHING IS SAFE.
As a doula and educator, I believe, it is my responsibility to educate using evidence-based information. Research shows inclined sleep products of any kind are unsafe for infants. For items that hold your baby when you aren’t (e.g. swings, rockers, bouncers, etc.), there is an easy way to know if it is safe for sleep. Only CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) approved items labeled as either “sleeper” or “bassinet” are considered safe for sleeping (this does not include a crib, which is a safe sleep space). You can also find all recalled products and the research through the CPSC website. Amazon banned the sale of inclined sleepers; a huge step in the right direction.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has determined that the safest place for a baby to sleep during the first year of life is in a crib, bassinet or play yard in the parents’ bedroom. This practice of having your baby in your room with you is known as co-sleeping.
ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS, YOUR BABY SHOULD SLEEP:
In a bassinet, cradle, or crib that is near her mother’s bed.
On her back, not on her side or stomach.
Without any soft objects (pillows and toys) or loose bedding (blankets and sheets) in her bassinet, cradle, or crib.
On a firm sleep surface, such as a firm crib mattress, which has been covered by a well-fitted sheet.
SO, WHAT OTHER CHOICE DO YOU HAVE?
Well there are many options. First, we can help; our Hello Postpartum course covers infant sleeping. You can call a friend or family member to come over so you can lay down for a few hours. Ultimately, we want you, your baby and your family well-rested and safe.
IF YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT BEDSHARING, PLEASE READ MY THOUGHTS AND WHAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER HERE.
Share with us, leave your thoughts in the comments below or in our Facebook group. We would love to hear about your experience with an inclined sleeper.
Authored by Sharita Thompson, M.Ed, HBCE