Providing a safe environment where your baby sleeps – this includes SIDS prevention

Research has shown that the position the baby sleeps in is most important – your newborn baby should lie on his/her back to sleep. If you have a large cot or crib – “make-up” the bed with the blankets at the bottom of the cot.

I know you want to do everything to prevent sudden death syndrome happening to your infant so do the following:

Get rid of fluffy toys and “crib bumpers” and do not use “doonas” or eiderdown type covers (comforters) on your newborn baby – these may cause your baby to overheat or to suffocate.

Make sure there is good ventilation in the cot, and MOST IMPORTANTLY that you provide a SMOKE-FREE environment in which your newborn baby sleeps. Insist that smokers smoke outside the house – and if you are a smoker yourself – I know you will want the best for your baby – so you will do the same.

Also make sure that the room is not too hot or cold – an even temperature is best.

Research has also shown the following:   you reduce the risk of sudden death syndrome (cot death) if the infant sleeps in the same room as a responsible adult – for the first six months of life.   Also, “cot death” has been found to happen more often if the overtired carer falls asleep on the couch with the baby – which just makes us aware of how important it is that the Mom and the Dad are also taking care of themselves.

The other time your newborn baby can be exposed to danger is during bath time. I deal with how to bath your baby in a separate section, but in summary – make sure the water is not too hot or cold. Luke warm is not warm enough, as it soon becomes cold after the baby has been in it for a few minutes. Obviously, it must not be too hot either – or the baby will be scalded – it should feel warm on a sensitive part of your body.

Ensure that your newborn baby comes to no harm – that you keep your baby’s head above water at all times, and that you don’t scratch your baby with jewellery, or drop your baby – they can be awfully slippery when they are wet and soapy.

Keep your baby safe, by ensuring that he is having enough to drink so that he/she can grow into a healthy infant.- I have a section on how to tell if your baby is getting enough to drink.

Some parents feel reassured by doing a First Aid Course – hopefully you will never need to practice any of it, but it useful to have the knowledge. Ask your Health Professional what is available in your area.

See what I mean about keeping your newborn baby safe – If you get that right – believe me you are doing very well – so just let any raised eye-brows about wax in baby’s ear go straight over your head!!